Billie Eilish‘s gruesome video for ‘When The Party’s Over’ is a staggering, and, er, eye watering watch. In it, the 17-year-old drinks a dark, gloopy liquid, which quickly comes tumbling out of her eyes, to make for a stream of bleak tears as the song reaches its emotional crescendo.
Matching the music’s emotional hold is something Billie had always hoped to match. The song, which was penned by co-writer, producer and older brother Finneas O’Connell, had an immense impact the first time she heard, she tells NME. “I remember hearing it from the other room or something and, like, he was like, ‘Billie come here I just wrote this fucking crazy song’. I feel like the melodies in that song get you, you know what I’m saying.”
“We played it live for like three months, but it was kind of impossible to then create, because we got home and it was just, like, I don’t know, we just had such high expectations for it that we didn’t know what the fuck to do, but we worked really hard, and I killed myself for that song, dude. Because recording that song is impossible.”
The video, however, is Billie’s creation. it was inspired by a drawing a fan gave to her in Montreal, and the dark imagery astound here. “I remember standing there, looking at this drawing of me, and my eyes were black and there was black ink dripping from my eyes, and I just stared at it and I feel like I got star-struck by this image, this drawing of me.”
From there, she had an immediate idea of how the music video was going to go down. “I like made my mum go outside and sit on a chair, with a little table, like a very small table, in exactly the position I wanted it. I put the glass right where I wanted it. And then I started filming, and I was like, ‘OK, so it’s gonna start on this shot, it’s gonna zoom out just until here on these lyrics, and then on these lyrics, it’s gonna zoom in on the face’, you know, ‘drink, put it down, wipe your face, do that weird movement’. And I have the video of me, being a fucking dick, because I’m like filming and, basically, I was making it for the director.”
The most difficult moments were still to come. Finding a suitable substance to come gushing out of her eyes. Dude, I bring the most miserable things onto myself. I just do, I don’t know why I do it, but I do it. I just love pain. I’ve always loved pain. I love being uncomfortable.”
“The glass of, like, black shit was Xanthan gum mixed with charcoal water, but for that thickness. But I still had to take maybe like four swallows. Oh my god, it was such a long fucking day, but it turned out so perfect.”