When your band is named "Ninefinger" everyone wants to know why.
So, the LA-based band with that handle decided to make a video depicting their lead singer taking one for the team and having his finger chopped off on stage. Some movie-making buddies pitched in to make a video that looked very, very real.
It was a hit, too. At least in Sweden.
Viral success seemed imminent until, the band says, YouTube pulled the video for being "too realistic." Sorta surprising considering all the weird music videos the site hosts. We've got the unedited video and an interview with the band about the incident. How real does it look to you?
How did you get the idea for this video?
People always ask us where the name, Ninefinger, came from. Mike Winney, our lead singer, is Mr. Ninefinger. We would always make up crazy stories like Mike got his finger bitten off by a shark or he bit it off. Crazy things like that. But we thought it would be fun to give our fans the craziest story of all of how Ninefinger came to be: being our front man, Mike volunteering to have his finger cut off during a one of our live shows. Based in Los Angeles, we have a lot of friends in the film industry. The director is a friend and fan of Ninefinger and offered to film it for us. Another friend of ours works on horror films and helped us create the realistic look. She handled all the blood and gore. Our fans came to see us rock out and see the cutting. Thanks to our friends and fans, we produced a great live show and a great story to tell.
How did you find out the video was banned and what was your reaction?
We couldn't believe YouTube thought it was real. We thought it may get flagged for 18 and over but we never thought it was graphic enough to get completely yanked. What are they thinking? We thought it was hilarious that they would take it so seriously. It started off as a joke for our fans and almost over night became the hot topic of discussion on YouTube. We uploaded the video later that night after the shoot, not thinking that anything would happen at all then days later, we had tens of thousands of hits. People from all over the world were debating and commenting on whether it was real or a fake. Maybe we should take up acting as well.
Anyways, one of our friends called us up, asking how he could see the video because he couldn't find it on YouTube. After looking into it, we found out that YouTube pulled it down for being too violent. It had been flagged for being too real. Or maybe they thought it WAS real.
We never gave much thought to the impact of the video. Like we said, it was a joke video for our fans. We put it up on YouTube for them to laugh at and almost immediately, people were more concerned if our singer really got his finger cut off. Let's be honest, there are way worse things happening on YouTube than a finger cutting, especially a fake finger cutting. People are getting their arms cut off. I guess they thought we looked crazy enough to do it. Do we?
The video was #1 in Sweden before it got pulled. Why do you think the Swedes loved it so much, maybe their history with black metal?
It may very well be. Their comments on the video were very supportive but they had one problem - they wanted to see a lot more blood. I mean, they wanted to see it spraying all over the stage. Maybe they're vampires. Who knows? But we love the Swedes and hope to tour there soon.
What's the next step for Ninefinger?
The next step for Ninefinger is world domination. Seriously though, we want to spread the word about Ninefinger. We love to play live shows. We looking to tour as much as possible. If you get a chance to see us live, you won't be disappointed. We are doing a big show at the Whisky a Go Go in Los Angeles on September 10th, @ 9:00 pm. We'd love to have our fans from AZ come out. If they can't make it to the LA show, we'll be coming to Phoenix in October and November. Just go to www.ninefinger.com and sign up on the Ninefinger Fan List and we will keep you alerted on all the Ninefinger happenings. We shot an alternate video that only Ninefinger fans will get a link to, so sign up. This video may also be banned from YouTube. We'll see. We know the Swedes will love it.