Duck Sauce never thought their "Big Bad Wolf" video would be deemed too extreme for YouTube – but it's been restricted to viewers over the age of 18.
"It ended up being a little bit more outrageous and disgusting than we thought," director Keith Schofield tells Rolling Stone. Still, he defends the vulgar, viral masterpiece that he created for A-Trak and Armand Van Helden's group. "It's not [Aphex Twin's] 'Windowlicker' or something," he says. "That was a disturbing video."
The video, which was released on Rolling Stone on October 24th, follows two men as they go to a club, pick-up and hook-up — with the DJs' heads between their legs. "My mom was like, 'It's funny, but it makes me uncomfortable. I can't show it to your father,'" A-Trak says.
Meanwhile, Kanye West praised it for pushing the envelope. "You took a risk as an artist to piss out of your mouth," he told A-Trak over e-mail.
"The song just sounded like swagger," Schofield says of his inspiration. "I had this visual image of these guys walking down the street with massive, four-foot cocks." Schofield – who previously directed videos for Charlotte Gainsbourg and Beck, BPA (Fatboy Slim and David Byrne), Chromeo (of which A-Trak's brother is a member), and Diesel's "SFW XXX" campaign — initially pitched three ideas for the video, but it was his "crotch faces" concept that spoke to the DJs. (His other pitches involved a house party concept and a teen fad parody — think "Galvanize" by the Chemical Brothers, where, instead of "clowning," kids were "wolfing.")
He originally planned on casting bearded actors as the crotch-faces. "[Schofield] was like, 'Are you sure you want to do this? It's going to be really gross to shoot,'" A-Trak recalls. "But we felt like if we're going to do this video, we've got to go all the way."
And all the way they went. "I've never seen, or even heard of, another artist going to this length for a video," Schofield says.
The video above features behind-the-scenes footage of the shoot. "We weren't sure what it'd be like to actually be on the set with all this skin," A-Trak says in the clip.
Some CGI was used in post-production, but the heads between the actors' legs were real — a little too real, even. To get the face-in-crotch effect, A-Trak and Van Helden donned green-screen jumpsuits that were removed using the magic of post-production, and spent two days on their hands and knees with actors straddling their necks.
"I'm trying to erase that from my memory," he says. "It was hygienic! Everything was protected. Let's leave it at that. … I thought that was going to be sort of like 'Keep the secret to the grave' kind of thing."
Like the video, the song itself is a departure for Duck Sauce, which is set to release their first album, tentatively titled Quack, next spring. "When we first started sending out 'Big Bad Wolf' out to people … people were like, 'This is your follow-up to 'Barbra Streisand?' Are you serious?'" A-Trak says.
"Big Bad Wolf" has no samples — a Duck Sauce first — and has already been remixed by DJs including Gesaffelstein and Dada Life.
Despite the buzz, A-Trak is skeptical "Big Bad Wolf" is the next "Barbra Streisand." "We never thought Barbra Streisand would be as big as it was, [and] maybe the universe will prove me wrong, " he says, "[But] I have a hard time imagining 'Big Bad Wolf' playing at a Bar Mitzvah."