L.A.'s most audacious — and animated — scenesters, models and alternative creative types are featured in the brand new video for Prayers' "One 9 One 3," an infectious techno-punk romp from their latest release, Baptism of Thieves.
It's a mesmerizing look into the gender-bending style proclivities of Prayers singer Leafar Seyer, whose look and sound meshes fetish, gang culture and hardcore into a provocative mix. Originally from San Diego, Seyer is based in Los Angeles these days and won't be leaving anytime soon; he just announced his marriage to L.A.-based tattoo artist Kat Von D yesterday via his instagram.
"I'm fucking your girlfriend and I'm wearing her lipstick..." "I'm fucking your girlfriend while she's painting my nails..." -chorus from "One 9 One 3."
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Seyer won't be having sex with anyone's girlfriend now that he's a married man, but he will have plenty of lipstick to choose from: His new wife's beauty line is a top seller at Sephora. And while the song's choruses might come off as arrogant or crass, there's a sincere subtext: individualism, fighting to express oneself in ways that mainstream society might deem freaky, weird or queer, and calling out the absurdities of labels in general.
Though Prayers are often tagged with a "cholo goth" label due to the singer's previous ties with gangs and the moodiness of their music, the themes go a lot deeper. Particularly for those of us who grew up within Latin culture, being "different" or "dark" presents specific challenges and complexities. Religion, patriarchal norms, and certain ideas about femininity and masculinity (machismo) are all part of this, and Seyer's new exhibit, opening Saturday, is sure to explore them all.
The black-and-white clip has a message, but it's also a celebration of pan-sexual hedonism and hell-raising, intercutting and interchanging scenes with Seyer and L.A.-based model Charlie Qu driving around San Diego and Los Angeles, at a photo shoot in Chinatown, in a San Diego cemetery and at Sav Noir's DTLA warehouse party, Dark City. The latter captures the androgynous verve of the city's goth, industrial and fetish party scenes, and features lots of familiar faces including dancer Malice McMunn (whom I might have been the first to shoot in L.A. when I met her eight years ago at the Standard and took this). Also seen in the clip: local makeup artist Leah Carmichael, photographer Sequoia Emmanuelle, pin-up model Aziza Kyebasuuta, and DJ Tragik, who will be spinning along with Prayers' Dave Parley at the gallery show's opening Saturday night.