Canadian new-wave band You Say Party just dropped their latest music video for the single “Underside” and it shows off Japan in all its scenic glory.

Although you’ll recognize the bright lights and backstreets of Shibuya in the opening scenes, the rest of the video follows a young boy as he escapes the city to “become a monk”. Director Jeremy Rubier traveled around Kyushu and other parts of the country for nine days, filming several scenes in Kagoshima Prefecture’s magical Yakushima forest. It’s an exquisite backdrop to complement the song’s pensive mood.

Following the launch on April 23, we got in touch with Rubier to ask him more about the inspiration behind the video.

Why did you choose Japan as a setting?

I moved to Japan to make music videos in order to show the world special places, and ultimately to make my first feature movie in Okinawa. I’m passionate about the country and decided to focus on foreign-artist music videos, basing them on Japanese stories and locations.

What in particular inspired this video?

When I wrote the story of a child leaving the city to become a monk, I had in mind the manga series “Mushishi” mixed with the youthful adventures of Hayao Miyazaki’s anime. I am inspired by the spirit of his movies, with nature being predominant and kids being the heroes. Of course, visually it’s inspired by “Princess Mononoke” but in terms of character, it’s more inspired by “Mushishi”.

How did you choose the main location?

Kyushu was where I wanted to shoot. I had never been there and, I thought, based on pictures I’d seen, that Yakushima forest was mystical enough for my story. However, the band’s budget was limited, so I was desperate to find a kid and a crew. Then one day on Facebook, I saw a drone video of a volcano in Kyushu, and I immediately contacted the director of photography, a Slovakian dude [Peter Majtan] who has lived in Japan for years. He was so cool, and he told me that I should cast his five-year-old son! His wife ended up producing the video, too. So, basically, I was traveling with the whole family. We drove 4,000 km around Japan. I’m working on the “making of” now, so that viewers can see what kind of shoot it was… truly special.

You Say Party’s fourth, self-titled album is out now. Read more about the band and the director here: