You could be forgiven for not recognising Lawrence Rothman instantaneously. The Los Angeles-based artist is a man of many appearances: in one video he's a seedy Elizabeth Taylor; the next he's a prisoner that is chained and unrecognisable; and, in last month's Oz Vs. Eden, he called upon another of his alter-egos, Kevin. By admission, it was only during the third watch of his new video USERS (premiering below) that we realised Rothman plays the lead male character in this too.
In this clip for single USERS directed by Floria Sigismondi – responsible for some of Bowie and Marilyn Manson's fantastical videos – Rothman and fellow artistic spirit Soko star in a short film that was shot on location at Joshua Tree National Park. The area for the shoot has a significant resonance to Rothman: the area itself is the site that country-rock legend Gram Parsons was found dead in 1973 at the Joshua Tree Inn. Next year, Rothman will release his as-yet-untitled debut album (produced with Justin Raisen) through Downtown Recordings and features Kim Gordon, Angel Olsen, and Ariel Pink as guests. As well as the release of the new single, Rothman has also put together a mix-tape titled '24 HOUR CHURCH'. Listen to it below.
In a statement provided to Dummy via email, here's what Rothman has to say about USERS:
"It is a snapshot of a larger long form piece Floria, and I are creating around my Alters. This scene highlights a moment of two people being unaware of who they really are and a deeper pain that needs to get exorcised. The USERS video takes a journey into a blurred memory of a past traumatic event. Soko plays our protagonist character named “Nine" in a fragile state of mind. She can't connect what's real and what's not. Lawrence’s alter-ego Aleister is manipulated by an unknown entity that he associates as “Charlie Chaplin", layering the complexities of who and what is the root of the manipulation. The two characters commit a crime and are unaware of why they are committing it.
Watch the video to USERS above.
Lawrence Rothman will release his debut album through Downtown in early 2016.