The Rentals have shared the music video for Forgotten Astronaut to coincide with the release of their ‘Q36 Forgotten Astronaut Special Feature’ EP on all digital platforms. Both releases aim to remind us of the extraordinary things mankind is capable of accomplishing when we work with a common goal and purpose. Just as citizens from all nations and the global space community came together in 1969—another very uncertain and tumultuous time in our collective story—against all odds, we came out the other side a little wiser and perhaps a little more hopeful. The otherworldly achievement of Apollo 11 continues to inspire future generations to create a better world for everyone. Watch the video via YouTube below.
Santa Monica-based visual production company Subtractive, Inc. created the video clip for the track. Subtractive focuses on space exploration and is best-known for producing playfully surreal and inventive visual experiences that promote both science and science fiction. The Forgotten Astronaut video is an inspirational look back at one man’s real-life space odyssey. It marks the work of the extraordinary team at Subtractive, including the video’s director Ryan Stuit, famed photographer / director Brantley Gutierrez, and Subtractive CEO Kyle Schember. The video is composed entirely from the kind of NASA archival footage that would have undoubtedly inspired all of the current leaders of our new generation of space explorers to look far beyond the moon and into an audacious and exciting new world that we would’ve barely believed was possible in 1969.
The new music on the ‘Q36 Forgotten Astronaut Special Feature’ EP explores four totally different sonic perspectives, each one a way for the listener to approach The Rentals’ sincere tribute to astronaut Michael Collins. The “acoustic mix” of the song has been stripped back down to where it all began, with only a couple original scratch tracks of Matt Sharp’s beaten up 1920’s Martin parlor guitar and his vocals, plus nothing but endless space for his friends in The Gentle Assassins Choir to fill the chorus backgrounds with a bed of glorious, Beatles-esque harmonies. On the two Z36 (vocal and instrumental) mixes, the arrangements focus primarily on the atmospheric worlds built on the guitar work of Nick Zinner and Sharp’s own vintage synthesizers. These polar opposite musical viewpoints offer a better understanding and sense of depth to Dave Fridmann’s main album mix featured in the video.
Sharp remembers, “When I was previewing early arrangements of the song for friends, I would tell them that lyrics were being sung from Michael’s perspective and they would, without exception, hit me with the exact same question, everytime, Who the hell is Michael Collins!?!” Read more about how Michael Collins inspired Matt Sharp’s lyrics for Forgotten Astronaut here.
Subtractive and The Rentals are both hopeful that this collaboration of sound and image will inspire like-minded folks to find their way back to the source material of Michael’s writing, as they strongly encourage those who are interested to read his books Flying To The Moon & Carrying The Fire. Beyond that they have a dream that this video, in some small way, will inspire more artists, from a wide variety of backgrounds, to reach out and collaborate with the modern space community to find new creative ways to promote the exploration of our future beyond the stars.