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Interpol’s Lights by Charlie White

David Knight - 24th June 2010

A ritual performed with a mysterious purpose, and an extraordinary outcome. Would you believe that it's all about the production of a pheromone within the body of a three-horned rhinoceros beetle Charlie explains all below, and he's not messing around. An uncompromising, exquisitely-crafted work.

Charlie White on making the video for Interpol's Lights

"About the video: The video aims to complement the somber and meditative build of Lights with an equally progressive scenario: the imagined ritual of pheromone production within the body of a three-horned rhinoceros beetle. The video portrays the ballet-like ritual in which a donor, called a "Pheromone Doe" for her ability to excrete the intoxicating fluid, is led through the steps of disrobing, washing, and dressing in preparation for arousal. Once fully prepared, the doe is taken by her courtesans (members of a guild of pheromone-production workers who are addicted to the fluid and live to aid its production) to an arousal plinth where she will build her excitement until she excretes the white pheromone fluid from her eyes, mouth, and fingers. The pheromone is then collected within the chamber for future use by the beetle.

"About the collaboration: There is no better collaborative tool than trust, and Interpol has exhibited enormous trust in my interpretation of their sound and the doors it can open into alternative narratives and worlds. The hypnotic space of Interpol begs for fantasy, and perhaps that is why so many people have loved them since TOTBL--because they have the ability to allude to intense moods and scenes without suffocating the listener's personal responses to the music. The band and I have never met; we have only spoken at length, and this may be the most important part of our relationship: it is purely about ideas.
"About the beetle: The three-horned rhinoceros beetle (Chalcosoma caucasus) is one of the most dramatic as well as demonic-looking insects. The male beetle has a heavy black shelled form with a helmet-like cranium bearing three enormous horns. The beetle was the creative starting point for the video, and a complement to the dominance of black within Interpol's aesthetic language. The beetle became the muse, and from it the video's sets, wardrobe, and palette emerged. Details that specifically reference the majestic bug include the courtesan' long, black pinky fingers with their shell-like nails; the shape of the Doe's hair; and the dense use of black-on-black-on-black throughout the video."

David Knight - 24th June 2010


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Charlie White
PJ Sodaski
Production Company
Revolver Film Company
Executive Producer
Jannie McInnes


Director of Photography


Production designer
Sue Tebbutt


Marjan Malakpour


Jarrett Fijall, Bonch


Christina Dunkley

David Knight - 24th June 2010

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