Holiday cheer is already in high supply over at P&W thanks to the fresh and festive video we’re pumped to premiere today. The energy of Tchaikovsky’s classic “Marche” from The Nutcracker has been cranked up ten notches by L.A. prog rock band Johnny Stranger, whose guitar-powered take really revs up the instrumental piece. Guitarist/vocalist Peter Anthony showcases his creativity on this cover and the full EP on which it lives, The Nutcracker, released last month. Anthony himself animated this striking video, working with Stephanie Macleod on character design. The coolly-drawn nutcracker’s quick and expressive dancing matches the track so impeccably, you might wonder how much time it took to piece it all together. A lot of time, as a matter of fact, as well as some meticulous research.

“Animating ‘Marche’ was one of those deep dives where I disappeared from the world for a couple months,” Anthony told us. “I never stopped working on it. I took the character designs for the Nutcracker and Claire from our cover art and turned them into digital puppets that I then keyframe animated shot by shot.  For shots that included actual dancing, I used old ballet footage as a reference… painstakingly matching each frame. ‘Marche’ is sort of a condensed version of Act I, and it was a ton of fun to create. Probably the best part is that it opened my eyes to all the possible routes I can take with animation. I think animated videos will be a huge part of Johnny Stranger’s future.”

The Nutcracker EP is just one of the presents Johnny Stranger are bringing to fans this time of year. Their fifth album, Valkyrie, is due for release on January 27th. You can follow Johnny Stranger on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more updates about their music.


Article: Olivia Isenhart

Cover Art: Stephanie Macleod





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