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Singled Out: Pound of Flesh's Believe

02/23/2016
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Pound of Flesh recently released a remix album called "Refills" and to celebrate we asked Darrel James and Steve McIntosh to give a little story behind the song and video for "Believe" which is the first single off their latest effort. Here is the story:

Darrell James: When I wrote the song I was having one of those days where everything that can go wrong did. So I decided to put it to music to get it out of my system. I wasn't really happy with the lyrics so I wrote some different ones and played it for our keyboardist/co-writer Steve McIntosh and he was like, "I love the music but what's up with the lyrics?" lol So I played him the original version and he loved it. I wasn't really a fan of the song until Steve reworked it-that changed it for me completely. Now I absolutely love it and It has become one of my favorite songs to play live.

Steve McIntosh: The video tells the story of the band, and a couple others, who are ghosts in their home when paranormal investigators come to check it out. The ghosts decide that they are going to scare off the investigators and drive them out of the house.

The concept for the video is one of several that we had worked up. The lyrics aren't entirely clear as to the exact meaning except looking for something more to believe in, and we wanted to provide a fun alternate meaning to the song. We had come up with part of the concept while hanging out with friends and talking about what we would do if we were ghosts trapped in a house and that none of us were the subtle type, and would have to go full crazy with anybody messing with our home.

When we had finally decided on a concept, we starting scouting for locations and couldn't really find anything that would work until friends of ours told us they really wanted us to shoot the video at their home, which was great, but to meet their timeline we had to do the shoot in two weeks. At that point, we didn't have much except for a concept, so we spent the next two weeks getting everyone scheduled, storyboarding, sourcing costumes and props, testing out effects that we needed to use, and putting the shot list together. The day of the shoot was crazy-we had two videos that we had already done for One-Time Offer and Everybody, but we were totally unprepared for the chaos of keeping 20 people on schedule when we didn't know how long the shots would take. We had to scrap about half of the shots at the shoot, and some things that we had planned and were excited about ended up on the cutting room floor-like the dry ice fog.

We got all of the footage and spent the next week working out where the holes would be, what shots would work and what had to be stripped, and decided that we were going to need a small 2nd and then a 3rd shoot. The 2nd shoot was back at the original location and the 3rd ended up needing to convert our dining room into a green screen set.

We wanted the video to be fun, and we've never taken ourselves too seriously and needed that to be reflected in the video. So, there's a lot of things that we added just because we thought they were funny, and we honestly don't care if people don't find them ALL humorous as long as they enjoy the video.

Some things were completely added in post for the hell of it-Spud the squirrel was one. Another big add-on were the cats in the video. We had been told to make sure that we added tags to the video when it was released for things like "cute cats" because that would drive more views, and we just don't play that way and weren't going to be deceptive about anything just to get views, but they were insistent so I decided that our way out of it would be to go ahead and add cats to the video. We setup the green screen again and tried, in vain, to get them to do at least something we could use! A few hours later and we had about a minute of usable footage, which was enough to be able to add them into a few scenes.

Tamale Sepp, a Chicago comedian and performer, was gracious enough to be our Valkyrie for the video. She was such a trooper while I was at her feet pointing a leaf-blower in her face for an hour.

The other ghost in the video, Helen, is based on the ghost that is believed to live in the house that we used for the video.

Being completely independent of a label allows us to have complete control over what we put out there, but that also means that everything is out-of-pocket-photos, artwork, music, videos… it's all us.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song and video, listen for yourself here() and learn more about the album right here!

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