The Brains' "Take What I Want" Video Banned by MuchMusic over Depicting Violence Against Women

> Nov 22 2011

The Brains' "Take What I Want" Video Banned by MuchMusic over Depicting Violence Against Women
By Gregory AdamsMontreal psychobillies the Brains recently released a video for their new single "Take What I Want," but you may not have seen the controversial clip, partly thanks to it being banned by MuchMusic. The video was deemed unfit for airplay due to its violent content, a move the band and their record company, Union Label Group, feel is unjust.

Taken from the Brains' recent Exclaim!-approved LP Drunk Not Dead, "Take What I Want" finds an unidentified maniac stalking the streets, plucking women from the shadows, seemingly at random, and stabbing them to death. The last victim in the vid, however, appears to return from the dead, playing on the group's long-running zombie theme.

Regardless, the attack scenes, coupled with the poppy, upbeat chorus of "I'll take what I want and I will be remembered," apparently disturbed members of MuchMusic/Bell Media, prompting them to prevent the clip from running on the nation's music station. However, you can watch the clip below.

In an email obtained from the Brains, Bell Media manager of talent and artist relations Neha Sharma pointed out that the video did not meet the demands of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council. She cites two regulations in particular, that "Broadcasters shall not telecast programming which sanctions, promotes or glamorizes any aspect of violence against women," and that "Broadcasters shall ensure that women are not depicted as victims of violence unless the violence is integral to the story being told. Broadcasters shall be particularly sensitive not to perpetuate the link between women in a sexual context and women as victims of violence."

According to the panel that reviewed the video, the vagueness of the brutal attacks portrayed led to the decision of a ban.

"When we screened the video, we didn't understand why the women were being attacked. The zombie narrative isn't fully explored," Sharma said of the panel's confusion with the clip. "At the end of the video, the one woman's eyes open, but what happened to the other two girls? Who is the man that is killing them? Why is he killing these women specifically? Answers to these questions would help to develop the story and give it the necessary context."

While acknowledging that the violence in the clip does exist, Union Label Group vice-president Mike Magee tells Exclaim! that he feels the clip is hardly as bad as other videos that make the air.

"I responded that they don't have the best track record when it comes to portraying women in the videos they added to high rotation... and cited a zillion examples including Eminem's vid with Rihanna ['Love the Way You Lie'] where the female lead is repeatedly beaten, struck in the face, choked, then fucked against a wall," Magee says. "There's a bunch of other videos in high rotation at Loud that feature children getting smashed in the face with baseball bats and women with their throats slit rubbing blood on their cleavage."

Brains singer/guitarist Rene De La Muerte countered the station's belief, explaining, "I'm sure I've seen a lot more controversial stuff on mainstream media. Especially when it comes to the portrayal and treatment of women. What I do know is that our corporate society is controlling our freedoms more and more. If we let a TV station tell us what to see or what to think on one hand, then turn around and completely ignore their own 'standard' when it suits their commercial needs, then we need to ask ourselves who the real 'evil' is here."

As for the song, De La Muerte says that he was influenced by the mainstream's obsession with serial killers, and in particular Jack the Ripper.

"Serial killers are still prevalent in the media and are often used as the subject of a lot of horror movies," he says.

He also explains that the horror of how undefined the crimes portrayed in the music video is exactly their point, claiming that the harsh reality is that sometime there is no specific reasoning for the violence.

"The fact that there isn't a clear motive behind his actions is what truly makes [this] scary," he says of the video's villain. "I don't see the need in art to explain or narrate exactly what the story is in a literal sense. That's for the audience to decide for themselves. Showing something ugly and condoning/glamorizing something ugly are two very different things."

Interestingly, Magee points out that the video "shot to number one" on Quebec's music network, Musique Plus, and added it's been getting a positive reception in Europe.

Whether you feel the video is exploitative or just a work of horror-themed art, you can check out the uncensored video below. While you're there, let us know what you think.

UPDATE: Strangely enough, Toronto band the Mark Inside just had their new video banned by MuchMusic over similar concerns.

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More Brains!
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Silly Much Music...thanks for saving us from sexism...ha.
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The fact that the Brains Video highlights violence against women suddenly makes it taboo. The Brains are a PSYCHO Billy band. This Genre is always has been obsessed with horror, but it's all fantasy.

I have seen the women in the video and they love horror. It's their thing. It's part of their Psycho-Billy Culture. If they want to engage in a Psycho-Billy horror video, then it's fine.

Still, this video shows us that this sort of violence is terrible and creates a intense reaction. That's the value of it. That is art. Art is not always about making people happy. It's about making people feel.

Shame Much Music. You lost a good opportunity to showcase an important video here. I will look forward to you 10,000th replay of that Insipid Dirrty video.
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This video is terrible. The idea that all the band members are yelling "I'll take what I want" while 3 women get stabbed and raped is beyond the worst idea for a music video of all time. It should be banned from Musique Plus too and this band shouldn't be using our tax dollars to make such bullshit.
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It is a pity their video has been banned as they are one of Canada's best I think and can stand up to the rest of the world's psychobilly bands.

But I am not surprised happens here and the rest of the world. Crap bands get more airplay and the good ones don't. I stopped watching music channels such as Much Music and listening to radio a long time ago. I want to hear new, original music and music that has passion and soul...not just another revamp of some crappy techno/dance song.

That's what's great about the get to watch The Brains video and listen to online radio stations that play decent music.

Long live the Brains!
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This was banned why? I have seen and heard a lot worse on Much Music. A short horror flick with great back ground music and awesome cars is what I saw. What is wrong with people.
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yep, apparently they used the rule when it fitted their need.
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Whut? I thought I'd see blood or the blade actually hitting someone.

You don't know, he could have said "look what i clean catfish with, ugh! back in the pocket you go!"

& the girl was smiling at the end because he just cleaned her catfish.
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this is psychobilly.... not some poppy mainstream cheap rock band...
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it's a horror video. it's supposed to be creepy. it is not promoting violence against women, nor is it making a hero out of the serial killer, it is visually interpreting the story in a style cohesive with the theme. songs objectifying women are far more common, and too many people interpret THOSE messages as acceptable. this video is just a cool horror music video, it's not graphic, and the Lovecraftian element is a common device in horror.
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Apparently they should've just used a bunch of skanks like every other much music video, they would've been played. I think I'm actually more shocked that not only does Muchmusic apparently still play videos, but that they actually paid enough attention to anyone not named Drake or Bieber to know who The Brains were!
Drunk not Dead is like sex in album form!
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why are there so many terrible music videos.
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I love horror movies and am not easily offended, but I agree with Much Music banning this video. There's no storyline. It doesn't help that their last video "Screaming" depicts a woman being kidnapped and killed in what seems to a snuff film.
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seems like a poppy mainstream cheap rock band!!
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Nice contact lenses, stupid!
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Props to their management/label for sticking up for The Brains.

The irony that the horribly violent Eminem/Rihanna video was not only played on Much, but played excessively, shows how hypocritical the station is. When flipping by, Ive seen Chris Brown and Kanye videos.

If The Brains were a wealthy, popular hip hop or pop group, then they could probably release a video where they are molesting children... but they are an underground psychobilly band, so MM can dismiss them without a care.

At the same time, I dont think Much has been a relevant music source for more than a decade, so Ill just watch The Brains on youtube
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Stomp did a great job writing the singers response for him.
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I can see maybe a parental advisory at the beginning or it only gets played after 10pm or something. But banning it seems a bit extreme.
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and here i thought it was banned by Muchmusic because it's a music video
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It's not psychobilly. It's over produced pop-punk dressed up like psychobilly. As for the art vs not art debate.. who cares? The real threat here is the suburban kids missing the point (although the director admits there is no point). Sure some kids are smart, but some kids are not smart. I would go as far to say that the kids who watch Much Music are not smart. And those kids shouldn't be exposed to women getting dragged into alley's and stabbed, or the idea of the killer suffering no real world consequences for acting this way. B-movies are at least fun.. this is just boring/depressing.
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this is like Tiger Army dumbed down even MORE for thew under-16 set. Total bullshit. This is NOT psychobilly, it is bubblegum with an upright bass. YAWNSVILLE. Another turd out of the frozen anus of Quebec.
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