Galen Pehrson is an animator, but not the kind that you generally see on the dumber end of the Internet. That is to say, he’s not in front of a computer programming GIFs—he’s holed up in his LA apartment for months slaving over hand drawn figures of oddball hallucinatory landscapes, often populated by animals that owe as much to Perestroika-era Soviet animation as they do to Max Fleischer.
A few months back, Pehrson teamed with the Sacramento noise-rap terrorizers Death Grips to produce a short film called “True Vulture.” The video is as gorgeous and psychedelic as you could hope for, and even features Pehrson’s girlfriend Jena Malone (yeah, the Jena Malone from Donnie Darko, Contact, and the upcoming The Hunger Games sequel) as the voice of a stoned-out, Nietzsche-quoting crow. The whole shebang was done with the support of LA’s Museum Of Contemporary Art—MOCA just started their very own YouTube channel: head right here to subscribe, but before you do, check out the video.
Yesterday I gave Galen a ring to chat about his creative process, his insane work ethic, and the nausea that follows extreme aerobics. My only regret is that our readers can’t hear his voice, which is oddly hypnotic in a PST sort of way, and can only be described as the mid-point between Quentin Tarantino and Andy Warhol:
Noisey: Hi Galen! How are you doing?
Galen Pehrson: I’m doing good! I actually just got in from a crazy workout. My girlfriend Jena is doing this really intense training for a film and so I went with her and did these aerobic crazy exercises. I worked out until I got really nauseous, it was pretty extreme.
What a good boyfriend! You’re following her workout regimen! I don’t do that sort of thing for my girlfriend.
Yeah, I’m trying to get into it because I’m just working so much behind my computer, or drawing at my desk. I’ve got to do something to counteract that. Like this last thing I did with MOCA and Death Grips, I barely stood up at all.
How much work did you actually put into it?
I worked a lot faster than usual I did it in… let’s see, probably 12 weeks? Yeah, 12 weeks. It’s literally every moment of my life for weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks.
12 weeks? Oh my god.
12 weeks of at least 12 hours of work a day, minimum. The last week I slept for maybe three hours a night and worked every moment outside of that.
How did you get involved with MOCA and Death Grips?
I know Zach, Death Grips’ drummer. We’ve been friends for around 10 years now. MOCA sort of came to me, but I’d been trying to find a project with Zach for a while, something visual that wasn’t a label-funded video where the goal was to promote a song. So we found MOCA and realized that’s where we could do our project the way we wanted with the goal of just being creative and not just making a commercial for a piece of music.
Read the rest of the interview over at our sister site Noisey.