The 71s are a Christian rock band, but don't let that distract you from the fact that they are completely awesome. Trust me, when a former Satanist is a Christian band's biggest cheerleader, then that band is a band to be reckoned with. And a stunt like the story behind the group's "Start Again" video is exactly the kind of thing that shows why The 71s is an act that is definitely going somewhere.
Guitarist and vocalist Keeton Coffman is best friends with Justin Kling, a cameraman and director who has worked with our own Slim Thug and Val Kilmer, among others in his diverse resume. Kling had just wrapped up working on a commercial for a national car company when he called Coffman to let him know that he had $50,000 worth of camera equipment in the trunk of his car, and would Coffman like to shoot a video while he had it?
Coffman jumped at the chance, but there was one problem; the rest of the 71s were out of town. So Coffman loaded up a Stratocaster and a pair of sunglasses and went out to fulfill his dream of being thrown out of a Wal-Mart.
11:45 p.m.: Kling taped an iPod with speakers to the camera, Coffman donned shades and strapped on his guitar, they cued up the track "Start Again" from their album We Are Locomotive, and they headed in.
"Hi," said the greeter, eyeing the equipment, "Can I help you?"
"We're here to return these," said Kling.
"OK, go on in."
With the security breached, the music began and Coffman rocked through the aisles, drawing both stares and adulation form the late-night patrons until, as hoped, a manager swooped in near the end of the song to escort the duo on their way. The result is one long take of guerilla filmmaking and rock-and-roll ballsackedness. Enjoy.
The 71s will be releasing a trio of EPs, Rock and Roll Reaction Parts 1-3, beginning this July.
In the meantime, make sure you download "Start Again" free at the band's Web site.
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Jef Rouner (not cis, he/him) is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.