"The lyrics of the song revolve around the Great Dying topic on two related but also distinctly different orbits," Staps tells Billboard. "The paleontology/climate change is the surface level, and beneath lies a personal relationship story, an end-times romance embedded into (and artistically inflated) to Earth's history dimensions."
Both aspects of the song are represented in the "Permian" video, directed by Craig Murray, who also helmed the clip for the album's previous video, "Cambrian: Eternal Recurrence." "We all agreed that we wanted this clip to look different," Staps says of the video, filmed mostly in India and Indonesia and featuring Ocean Collective singer Loic Rossetti along with nearly enough insect life and sea footage to populate the National Geographic channel. "While the first clip was very artsy, based on strong visual effects, intense colors and lots of post-production, ('Permian') was meant to have a desaturated, natural look and get by almost entirely without effects. We wanted it to have a dry, suffocating grade, with nice grain and a very authentic, stripped-to-the-core feel."
The video also plants the Ocean Collective's flag in the climate change debate, and Staps feels that even though humans weren't around for the Phanerozoic, "I don't see any reason to assume that the results of the current (unmistakably) man-made global warming would be any less devastating. The same increase in global temperatures which happened at the end of the Permian over the course of several hundreds of thousands of years, is very likely to happen in just over a few hundreds of years now. It is an immensely dramatic, eye-rolling and teeth-gnashing topic."
Staps and the Ocean Collective will be spreading the word with its Siberian Traps Tour, which starts in September and will visit Europe, Russia and Japan. The group will tour Europe again with Leprous in November and is eyeballing U.S. dates in 2020, but with "nothing confirmed yet" according to the guitarist.