fiona apple's 'criminal' video gets a queer frame-by-frame remake

As Apple's iconic song celebrates its 20th anniversary this week, New York band It Was Romance pays the ultimate tribute.

by Elyssa Goodman
27 July 2016, 6:08pm

"I've been a bad, bad girl…" What 90s kid or 90s nostalgia junkie doesn't get a shiver from the opening lines of Fiona Apple's "Criminal" ? Twenty years after its release, the song and its Mark Romanek video continue to inspire young artists (and parodists). One of the most recent is Lane Moore, frontwoman of the New York-based band It Was Romance: she produced, directed, and stars in the band's video for their song "Hooking Up With Girls," a shot-by-shot remake of Apple's now-iconic video. This version, though, is from a queer perspective and was produced entirely by LGBTQ folks and people of color. Watch it here:

"You could pick any video [to remake], but you want it to be one that also applies to the song," Moore says. "When you watch the 'Criminal' video, it's just so moody and frustrated and kind of off-putting but very watchable, very stylized. There's just something about it that's so intriguing and creepy and confused and angry, and all of those themes are what I hear, because I wrote it, when I listen to the song 'Hooking Up With Girls.'" As suggested by the song's title, Moore's video opens up the protagonist's sexuality to include female partners.

Moore's "Hooking Up With Girls", a mournful ode to the fickle nature of modern dating, matches Apple's classic in emotional temperament. Accordingly, Moore slinks through a house in her new video just like the singer who inspired her. Moore's house, however, is in Brooklyn, a discovery made after months of searching for the perfect venue, and was shot in just a day. Moore watched "Criminal" many times to prepare for the shoot, as well as interviews and behind-the-scenes footage where Apple discusses making the video. Moore also made sure her video's details matched those in "Criminal," seeking out the right stuffed animal, point and shoot camera, makeup, and costumes in hopes of remaining faithful to those in the original.

It was an act of love, since Moore cites Apple as one of her primary influences as a musician. "I usually say [we're] like The Black Keys meets Fiona Apple meets Fleetwood Mac meets The Ronettes," she says. "Fiona Apple was always a huge, huge influence on me growing up. She's an incredible songwriter. She's absolutely one of my idols, hands down."

It Was Romance began as Moore's solo bedroom recording project, but as of two years ago has been a full-fledged band with guitarist Alejandro Triana, drummer Angel Lozada, and bassist Jeff Connors. In fact, the only shot in the "Hooking Up With Girls" music video that deviates from "Criminal" is the addition of a party scene so Moore could include her bandmates in the video. Since releasing their self-titled debut album last year, the band has been hailed as BUST magazine's Best Band of 2015. "Hooking Up With Girls" is their second video.


Text Elyssa Goodman
Lead photo by Jirl Kohl, live photo by Maegan Gindi

fiona apple
it was romance