We have high video expectations from Blitzen Trapper, seeing as the music video for "Black River Killer" is probably one of the most brilliant works of the last decade. So hesitation abounded when we got a note about their latest one, "Taking it Easy Too Long" from their recent album American Goldwing. Well calm yourselves because while "Easy" isn't the epic explosion of style that won our hearts in "Killer" it more than lives up to the band's message and potential.
Directed by drummer Brian Adrian Koch, the video follows the band as they live a seemingly inescapable small town life. The days are full of minor automotive repairs, dirty apartments, drinking, fishing, and shooting Roman candles into the night. That sounds like fun, and for those of us out there working hard in bad times trying to make ends meet it may even sound like paradise, but there's an essentially hopeless quality to the video.
We all have those friends and family that we know for a fact are going to die within a stone's throw of the place they were born. They succumb to the unholy gravity of their small towns, whether it's through fear, lack of drive, or as may be the case in "Easy" some kind of irreparably broken heart. In the end, there are simply people who ache for every minute of living their lives and then there are people who are just living to die. Blitzen Trapper has written the anthem for the latter, an ode to nowhere special that is more motivating than any '80s training montage.
Shot in the Molalla River near Salem, OR where the members of Blitzen Trapper all grew up, you get a crystal clear look into the lives that they might have lived if their talent hadn't catapulted them into being one of the voices of the generation. Watching the video makes us yearn for a few days of unproductive bliss, but its bleak ending on a broken down truck reminds us that such days are treasures only because they are not the sum of our lives. See for yourselves below.
We caught up with Eric Earley to ask him a bit about the vid. Mosey on over to page 2 for the interview.
Rocks Off: What exactly do you think it is that holds people to a small-town existence instead of taking hold of their lives and really living them?
Eric Earley: Sometimes ignorance, sometimes upbringing, mostly just fear of the unknown I guess.
RO: Do you think there is an urban equivalent to this lifestyle? Some kind of city-based geographic entropy?
EE: Not really, the city by its nature is a communal reality, it deals in people and their interaction and tends to be ironically a much less self centered environment by necessity, but that said I think everyone deals with entropy in different ways all their life.
RO: The best part of the song for me is that you have a guy who can't even be bothered to get off the couch to go waste time with the rest. Is there any hope for someone like that?
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EE: Sure, I think being drawn down into a really dark place sometimes can wake you up, but generally it takes some serious tragedy or upheaval to bring people outward from a place of self centered reality.
RO: Was this how the song looked in your head when you wrote it?
EE: Yea, pretty much what I was seeing in a lot of ways, it helps to shoot in your childhood haunts, too.
Blitzen Trapper's current tour brings them nowhere near Houston, but American Goldwing is now available.