Spectator, makers of shimmering, gossamer pop songs, is debuting its first official video today on RFT Music. The local quartet released its debut EP, In the Brick, last summer, and opening track "We've Been Through This Before" was the leadoff (and, if we're editorializing, best) track from that outing. The band teamed up with Brian McClelland, who has continued to make his name as a video director while handling bass and vocal duties in both Middle Class Fashion and Tight Pants Syndrome.
McClelland and Megan Rooney, Spectator's singer and keyboardist, answered a few questions about the beautifully shot, occasionally disquieting new video. Christian Schaeffer: What was the story you and the band were looking to tell here?
Megan Rooney: We love hearing about interpretations of our songs. To us, this song is about reconciling expectations with reality. The scenes we construct in our minds can feel so distant, yet so quickly the unfamiliar becomes the familiar...like how we feel at home in our dreams, even when they are unrecognizable. We're intrigued by this juxtaposition and tried to recreate this feeling through a series of scenes. There's no more of a story line in this video than in a dream -- like the way you often bounce through time and space. Hopefully we captured this feeling.
Brian McClelland: I was planning on doing a mostly performance vid in Megan's very awesome backyard garden when Megan was inspired with this kind of dreamy vision of alienation from those closest to you.
I approached the band about doing a vid for this tune because, first, it's a really beautiful song, and second, I wanted to challenge myself to work with material that's a little out of my comfort zone. My natural inclination is towards silliness, so I wanted a chance to challenge myself with something totally different.
Why make a video for this song, which led off a record that came out over a year ago?
MR: We did have some ideas for videos for In The Brick, but none of them quite materialized. Since we moved straight into writing and recording our next record, we had sort of written it off. This past summer, Brian McClelland approached us about making a video for Blip Blap [McClelland's production unit]. I used to play with Brian at the old Kennealy's in Soulard over ten years ago, and we are fans of all of his projects.
Continue to page two for more.
You put out the stand-alone single "Heart on Fire" earlier this year; when can we expect something new from Spectator?
MR: We started work on a full-length record about a month after our EP was released in July 2012. Our process is meticulous and one might say...slow. But it's steady. We kicked around the idea of releasing an EP this past summer, so people know we're still here, but these songs really fit our vision for an album. It's looking like a summer 2014 release. But for anyone interested in hearing our new stuff, we always play a good handful at our shows. We start off the night at 8:30, November 9, at the Gramophone with The Blind Eyes and probably half of our set will be songs not on In The Brick.
Brian, did the band members wince at your extreme close-ups?
BM: Those guys were game for whatever I threw at them. Total unfazeable pros. It was important for me to get those closer shots in there -- it's a little eerie and off-putting, I think, which helped sell the dream-world vibe for me.
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