Where Was It Shot: Echo & The Bunnymen’s ‘The Cutter’ - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Where Was It Shot: Echo & The Bunnymen’s ‘The Cutter’

Where Was It Shot: Echo & The Bunnymen’s ‘The Cutter’

Published November 9, 2017

Long ago, Iceland was graced with the presence of one of the best new wave, post-punk bands from Liverpool, Echo & the Bunnymen. In 1982, they filmed a music video for their single ‘The Cutter’ from their third album ‘Porcupine.’ Shot at the Gullfoss waterfall located in southwest Iceland, the video features the Icelandic landscape, which perfectly reflects the cold and isolated image the band has become known for.

Originally the music video was supposed to be shot in Scotland, but since it was uncertain that there would be enough snow there in November, Iceland was the next option. You can see that in the music video, Gullfoss was completely frozen and covered in snow. Today, if you were to go there at the same of year the video was shot 35 years ago, there would be very little snow and the fall would not be close to being frozen at all. It really puts global warming into perspective.

The band’s lighting engineer, Bill Butt, directed the music video. He wanted the video to mirror the frigid feel to the music on the record, and you can’t really get more frigid than Iceland! Lead singer, Ian McCulloch claimed it was a dangerous process, saying that if they slipped there wasn’t anything for hundreds of feet below them. The band recalls that the entire time they were in Iceland, the sun never shined, and to walk, stand up or just think seemed like a massive effort…welcome to winter in Iceland.

The album cover features a photo of the band standing not far from the ledge of Gullfoss. Despite the dangerous effort, British music magazine ‘Q’ claims the cover is the epitome of the rock band as heroic archetype: “Young men on some ill-defined but glorious mission, one easily as timeless as the stars and the sea.”

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