The music video for, Punx Not Dead, I Am, is the first of two written and directed by Chris Aran for the band, Morning Glory, from their album, War Psalms. But like so many things in the world of rock and roll, the making of it was actually an accident…
It was a happy accident though, maybe like when they were putting The Wizard of Oz together and decided to include Somewhere Over the Rainbow at the last minute. Maybe life is a happy accident.
But before I tell you what really happened, it’s Punx Not Dead, I Am – not Punks Not Dead, I Am. Because good speling is important – so don’t derp it up…
(I like to use words like that, if only to give anyone who might think of me as a ‘respected’ author something else to think about)
About Morning Glory
Before we talk about that big secret though, we need to cover all the obligatory credits – and the non-obligatory ones in genuine thanks, like Brian Viglione from the Dresden Dolls and the (re-active!) Violent Femmes, who made a guest appearance on drums, political action figure Jimmy McMillin (that Rent’s Too Damned High!), and Morning Glory’s label, Fat Wreck Chords, who make a whole lot of good things possible.
Morning Glory itself, if you don’t know it, is fronted by Ezra Arrow Kire on vocals and piano, with Shawn Gardiner and Adam Schrager on guitars (two separate ones), Heavy Metal Chris on bass which is also a guitar with less strings which is not a reflection of HMC’s musical aptitude.
Actually, the aptitude of everyone involved was amazing. I could tell when I met these guys, that each member was so uniquely different. But the minute the music started it was like watching them become one sound. Because that’s what filmmakers do with sound, we watch it.
But they were completely in sync, supportive of cinematic adjustments and a totally cool to work with. The music and the video came first and all sense of ego was checked at the door. The band could not have made my job easier or more of a pleasure.
But in the end, Punx Not Dead, I Am was still the video that almost wasn’t…
Choosing Punx Not Dead, I Am
I’d known Ezra previously from working together as crew members on a show called Beat The House on HGTV. We talked about his music and some work he’d been doing with his latest project. I mentioned having directed a few music videos for a friend of mine named Ruslan who had a band called theBREAX from southern California.
When the show ended, we kept in touch and around the holidays he pulled a pretty major favor and got me tickets to Z100’s Jingle Ball for my little sister. I was indebted to this guy. Ezra helped me light up my sister’s face with happiness and so I offered to do a music video for him at his beck and call, or at least at the ‘family discount’ reserved for superstars.
A week later Ezra took me up on the offer with not one, but two videos, and sent me a couple of tracks off the War Psalms album. The first one was called Standard Issue. The second track was called I Am Machine Gun.
Standard Issue had a really fun sound and I knew we’d have a good time with it. But I Am Machine Gun had a much more epic scale to it and would require more extensive production.
I knew if I tried to shoot and direct both videos we would have needed some help. But by the time I was ready to call in backup, Ezra suggested replacing Standard Issue with the Punx Not Dead, I Am cut.
So I listened to it, had a conversation with Ezra who had this great idea of a kind of house party that was one step away from homelessness. I peppered the concept with some sketchy characters that would pop in and out of the video, and thats what we ran with. The band loved the idea!
It was a blast to shoot (I’ll put a post up on the making of it in the next day or two) – but I should really say they…
Next Up for Morning Glory – I Am Machine Gun
I Am Machine Gun was way more challenging technically (and it didn’t help that we thought we were all going to jail).
So perhaps that abandoned insane asylum was the perfect place for us.
But you’ll have to wait until it’s released to see for yourself…
Or you can sign up for my mailing list below for some cool stuff which may – just may 😉 – include a sneak peek (if you’re a sneaky-peeky type of person).
Your Morning Glory – Punx Not Dead, I Am Homewerk
But you don’t have to wait to do some fun things right now, so here’s your assignment:
- Watch the Punx Not Dead, I Am music video
- If you really thought it was Punks Not Dead, I Am, write it out until you get it right
- Check out the other great tracks from the Morning Glory War Psalms album at Fat Wreck Chords
- Click to go to the Behind the Scenes Making of the Punx Not Dead, I Am music video
- Sign up for free goodies and the skinny on lots of other stuff going on – because I don’t just do Morning Glory’s videos (no matter how cool that would be if they could only write songs fast enough – and get Fat Wreck Chords to pay for it all)
So you know what to do…