Photo by Yoshi Cooper
Mississauga's eminent emo darlings Peace Be Still have fully embraced the strange in their first music video for their song "Softy," in promotion of their upcoming 2017 EP Hoaxer. The clip sees the group's bassist and co-vocalist Maurice Jones going on a rage-filled rampage after having his brain scrambled with a power drill to the head. It's like what would happen if Roger Corman made a film with the Get Up Kids. The B-horror movie vibe of the video blends with the neo-psychedelia infused Midwest emo sound giving the whole production a fever-dream quality. We reached out to the video's director, Jonathan Hunter, to find out what in the hell he was thinking with this clip. Watch Peace Be Still's "Softy" video below and read on for our interview with Hunter and Peace Be Still guitarist José Mahase.
Noisey: What inspired the low budget horror aesthetic of the video?
Jonathan Hunter: The aesthetic was more of a result of the collaborators, rather than a defined aspiration. Hi-8 video creates a nostalgic space that is equally beautiful and off-putting but if one was privy to our brainstorming sessions, they would have drawn similar conclusions about us. We also had the benefit of an editor like Izzy Ehrlich who took our idea to the next level.
Why did Zombie Maurice kill the band members?
Jonathan: All we knew was that Maurice would bore a hole in his head with a makeshift trepan and enter a violent, green-screen nightmare. Retrospectively, one might say that playing in a D.I.Y. punk band can conjure mixed emotions toward your band mates.
What feeling were you hoping to give people with this video?
Jonathan: Elation and/or disgust.
The song by itself is so dreamy and oceanic. What inspired this almost surfy vibe?
José Mahase: This song was mostly inspired by our friend, Bryce, who played in some surfy bands on the East coast. At that time, he was really into Mike Krol and made us listen to his entire discography while air-drumming every part, rewinding back to certain parts to make sure that we were paying attention. It was pretty awesome, those records, those moments, they definitely stayed with me. Now when I write music, I sometimes ask myself, if Bryce would air-drum to this as much enthusiasm as he had for Mike Krol at 4 AM. I fuckin' hope so.
Daniel G. Wilson is a writer, musician, and photographer based in Mississauga. He's on Twitter.