“During the 90s in Russia, the kingpins ruled everything,” says directors Alexander Khudokon and Leyla Masharipova write in an email. “It was a very violent, corrupt time that we grew up in.” After extensive research into the Russian mafioso lifestyle (“Russian roulette, prostitutes, and cocaine”), the pair created a replica gangster party for their video for Moscow indie rock group Pompeya’s new single “Liar,” the visuals providing a fascinating counterpoint to the song’s perky New Wave guitars and Cure-like shimmer.
The clip was shot at the abandoned Golden Palace Casino. “This is one of the most infamous places the mafia would host weddings and other celebrations,” the pair write. “You could feel the weight of how many people had died in that room. It is very well preserved–we didn’t add any of the decorations you see, and pretty much used everything that was left there for props.”
“Liar” will appear on Pompeya’s upcoming album Real, out May 5 on the Brooklyn-based label No Shame.
March 17-21: Austin, TX – SXSW
March 26: Los Angeles, CA – Satellite
March 28: Brooklyn, NY – Knitting Factory