“Freak” is Silverchair’s first single from their second album Freak Show; both were released in 1997.
The song reached number 1 in the Australian charts. This feat was not repeated by the band until ten years later, with “Straight Lines”, the first single from their 2007 album Young Modern.
The music video for this song was directed by Gerald Casale, a member of Devo who also directed the majority of their videos. The video was filmed in Los Angeles, California, in 5 and 6 December 1996.
The video features the band playing in an oven-chamber, monitored by a scientist in a control room. Their sweat is collected, received by a doctor and taken to a wrinkled-up woman in an adjoining room. The doctor touches part of her flesh with the sweat, and it smoothens. The doctor injects a large amount of sweat into the woman, and she regresses to being middle-aged. The doctor calls for more sweat, so the scientist turns up the heat in the oven-chamber, causing the band members to sweat even more. Their sweat drains into a sort of water cooler, where the doctor collects a glass of it. She gives this to the woman, and when she drinks it, her youth returns. However, she is still not satisfied, so she orders and drinks another dose and turns into an alien mutant. However, she loves the new look and pays the doctor. When this is all done, the heat lamps are turned off, and the room now seems to appear very cold. The band punch out their time cards and walk out.
The lights were not actual heat lamps, but lights coloured orange to look like heat lamps. The band members were sprayed with mass amounts of water to make it look like they were heavily sweating, and then the scientist would come on stage with prongs and a cotton ball and wipe a little bit of ‘sweat’ off of them and put it in a container.
The group did not have to do that many takes, but they did film each section different ways, so they would have a good variety of things to edit together. At first they had all three members on stage, then one would step off and they’d just use two, and then they filmed each band member individually.
The scenes featuring the old woman were filmed separately at another studio.
The video for “Freak” was honoured the International Viewer’s Choice Award at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards for Australia.
Edited Extracts from Wikipedia®