This week, Friday is more than just the end of the work week. Friday is the day that the Brian Buckley Band launches the video for their song “I Am Human.” Fans of the band have been waiting for the video since it was announced on twitter. Fans of “Supernatural” have been waiting for the video since Jared Padalecki (Sam Winchester) took to twitter to tell followers he was going to be in the video.
Finally, the wait is over and we can all see what Sarah Wilson (Director, Stella Bella Productions) put together.
Before he headed off to a rehearsal last night, Brian was kind enough to speak to me about the video and some other dates to slip into your calendar.
char: How did you choose “I Am Human” for the the next video.
BUCKLEY: Well, we really gage audience reaction to those sorts of things. Each song incredibly important to us. This particular song seemed to – we would get a more deeply resonant feeling from audiences with it. I think that’s what attracted us to it along with also, the fact that one can associate with making a mistake and trying to seek some redemption for it.
So something that really excited us about it was trying to find something visually that would coincide with that; something linear, something with a very simple narrative which is what we were going for in Jared’s storyline in the video. Something that doesn’t pull focus from either his footage, to his storyline or vice versa. Something that complimented one another. We thought with that theme we could pull that off.
char: Was Genevieve in it too?
BUCKLEY: She was.
char: I know they’re friends of the band, so what was it like working with them professionally because that’s kind of their realm?
BUCKLEY: It’s absolutely their realm. Genevieve shot for one day; when you see the video you’ll see she has a very specific role in it. Jared we shot with for a few days. He couldn’t have been more pro. The guy’s been doing this for half his life and he couldn’t have been classier. It was lovely being able to watch him work and also, in a way, video is different from the particular medium he works in. You know, with a music video it’s essentially like a silent film because there’s no dialogue and everything is emotion; it’s strictly visible expression. So, I think he was excited on that end to try something like that. And really all of this came about because of him; it was really his idea. Kind of pushing me to do something.
We decided – what we wanted to accomplish with it was to keep it simple. I think we, as musicians, like to kind of [Laughs] we like to experiment; we like to be very avant-garde when it comes to things like how you view a song. As opposed to verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus, chorus we like to switch things up. Things that keep it fresh and probably, in all reality, keep us less accessible to mass audiences in a pop sense.
That was kind of our main goal with the video; to keep it simple visually: to make it about, what forgiveness is – in a quirky way. If that makes any sense at all [laughs]
char: That’s one of my favorite songs of the CD actually.
BUCKLEY: Oh, thank you!
char: I think it’s because it’s just so direct. It’s not at all difficult to interpret it to fit to your life …
BUCKLEY: Of course, and I’m so glad that you get that from it; that was our intention. A lot of time I think, as individuals, we tend to make lyrics about ourselves or about what we’re going through. The songwriter, more often than not, is coming from a very personal standpoint, certainly for me.
When you go after a song like that, you kind of go after it going “well, fingers crossed”; hopefully you’ll actually have reactions that are on a grander scale and you’re kind of shocked and kind of blessed and like “wow, this is something that resonated in a larger way than I ever could have imagined.” So, I’m very, very happy.
Also, this song was my wife’s favorite song, from the record and she’s been hearing me play for 7 or 8 years.
char: That’s an expert opinion, right there.
BUCKLEY: It is an expert opinion. Absolutely, absolutely.
char: Do you think it’s “keep it simple” that is drawing people to the song? I know from reading twitter and listening to people that it’s certainly a fan favorite.
BUCKLEY: I’m so glad. Yeah, I think so. I think so. I feel like it’s certainly a very elementary approach lyrically. We wanted to keep it simple visually. Lyrically it was one of those things to try to stay away from the poetics of what lyrics can suddenly turn into. I think songwriters tend to over think things. Actually? Not tend, always over think things. [Laughs] And, not to sound like I’m executing some kind of mass generalization over all songwriters, but you have to kind of scale it back sometimes.
That’s what I wanted to do in collaborating with Sarah Wilson, the director, who is just such a talent. And Jared – you need no explanation on what he does. When you collaborate with those two and you break things down, which you don’t normally do after you write a song. In fact, it’s the last thing you want to do because you might turn around and burn the song up in the kitchen sink which I’ve been known to do in the past.
When we were breaking it down, it was funny, we all kind of came to the conclusion that it was very basic in that way. Don’t interest yourself in the things you can’t change. It’s not “the red flowing mountains of the grey lands.” [Laughs] It’s almost like a father singing to his son or a loved one to another. “Listen, this is just free advice ” is what my Dad says, “and it’s worth everything you pay for it.”
char: Okay, I know you have to get to rehearsal – one more quick question. How important are videos these days?
BUCKLEY: You know, that’s a hell of a question, Charlotte. I would have said, five years ago, maybe they held no importance. I think with the invention of twitter, being able to reach people literally within seconds, I think they’ve become relevant again.
I think that with poor disenfranchised MTV and VH1 – they’ve all gone to the “reality” district. And Palladia … not a major channel .. and typically they just show four or five-minute videos of very pop sensible mass-loved Katie Perry’s – which is fine.
We stepped away from a record label and had just finished recording a record. When we got into the gunfight of leaving the label we decided we were going to start over again as far as being a DIY (do it yourself) kind of band. It’s where we gained our most momentum and it’s where we were the happiest at that particular time.
We had recorded this record “Without Injuring Eternity” and that was a few years ago. We recorded it with Mark Howard who is a very famous producer. He’s worked with U2 and Bob Dylan and Tom Waits and Chili Peppers and we were just so excited.
We left the label; the record under contractual obligation stayed with them. When we got the record back which was just recently – (the one we’re releasing in late September. We’re very excited for people to hear it. It’s very atmospheric.) But it was a record that we finished long before “Hysterical Blindness“.
To come full circle on you and answer the question. You know, back then – when we recorded it four years ago … live videos? Yes. But conceptual videos? No, not necessarily.
Now they’ve become relevant through twitter and Facebook, YouTube. It’s become something that people actually care for and want to see and have, literally, at their fingertips as opposed to waiting and pressing record on the DVR for twelve hours on MTV and maybe, possibly, they’ll play something I care about. Back in the late 80s when VH1 was doing the Jukebox era when you call in and they would play it –I find that hilarious now.
I think now, it’s incredibly important. We got such feedback from “As Is“. We’re also doing a video from “Bye Blue Sky” with the same director as “As Is“. It’s actually the opposite of what we’re doing with Jared – incredibly experimental. I won’t tell you what it is ’cause I’m excited for you to see it but that comes out on September 10th.
No, I wouldn’t have they were relevant years ago but now, especially with how much time people spend searching for what they like which is – you can favorite things and like things…
char: And pass things on quickly…
BUCKLEY: Yeah! And people didn’t have the power before with the exception of going to the record store and buying the record, buying the film. Now we see how many likes something has, see how many views something has. More than anything this puts the power back in the consumer’s hands. Interestingly enough is the only thing that’s kept art alive.
You know with the music industry on its dying last legs and film becoming more and more a very nepotistic family. It’s really exciting for us to be able to do something DIY and have the talent and loyalty and love of someone like Jared who supports us the way he does. It’s just … it’s priceless.
This collaboration promises to be artistic and heart-warming. The song is a melodic, simple and touching piece. If you haven’t heard it – it’s a great choice to introduce yourself to the band.
The first two CD’s are available on their official website here.