In the spring of 2012, a Director of Photography friend, Eythan Maidoff suggested to me to take advantage of his recently purchased Red EPIC. Immediately I imagined a high wonderfully irresponsible video involving samurai swords and possibly a music video, but what band would I ask and more importantly where was I going to find samurai swords. A quick posting on Facebook asking if any my friends had a samurai sword, quickly came with results from my long time friend and neighbor James Sorrenti. Little did I know that he would have a plethora of awesome sharp objects. So, sharp objects were found, now to find some great music and a great fun band to be in this project. I contacted long time friend Casey Jost, who I worked at Maries Gourmet together when we were struggling for work, but eventually started working together on the hit show “Impractical Jokers” on TruTV. Casey has had a wonderful indie band named Les Vinyl who have opened for Ingrid Michaelson and played all over New York. They’re energy was just so much fun and have been friends with Jenny and Pat for a while now. So we set forth in assembling a wonderful crew starting with a great producer and AD. Keith Lambe saved my ass in the project as producer and Gena Mimoso , and my AD has been my logistical rock for years already. We rounded out the rest with these amazing people:
Associate Producer/Assistant Camera
Director of Photography
2nd Assistant Camera
Noel T. Jones
Casey use to swim at Hillside Swim club in Staten Island and so graciously allowed us to film in their parking lot. Anyways, using the EPIC i always wanted those great 180fps slo mo shots of destruction. And with this video, we were able to acomplish it. Everyone worked so hard on this piece and it was a great pleasure for everyone bring a rather silly idea to fruition.
I was able to snag an impromptu performance from Kevin after his appearence at “midevenings with jay miller” and had a great time just talking about being a musician on staten island. He spoke about his gravitation to Dock street during the popularity of Monty Love, jay millers band a few years ago, and his first exposure to people with various different opinions from his own. He talked with great affection about coming home and performing in staten island and the nervousness to perform well for his hometown. He spoke of his perspective on how his music might be perceived as sad, but in his mind his music is just honest.
I couldn’t help but feel so comfortable with his candor. He was humble and gracious about his experiences. It was so much fun recording Kevin. It was a pleasure listening to him and his music and look forward to his future albums.
I had heard that RJ from Pitchfork Media was interested in the Staten Island music scene. Skeptical of such a rumor, I dismissed it until a few days later, I heard that Pitchfork was filming Cymbals Eat Guitars on the roof of a friend of mine on Van Duzer St. This was unbelievable. A worldwide purveyor of popular indie music was right in my hometown of Staten Island. I had heard of Cymbals Eat Guiatrs through a couple of friends, but figured that they would be another great band overlooked by New York. I’m so glad I was wrong.
For those who might not be aware, many great bands on the island have been trying very hard to breakout of the negative stigma that Staten Island doesn’t have good music to offer New York city. Besides the rise of popularity of Ingrid Michaelson and the Budos, most New York music listeners won’t be able to hear some great indie music from Staten Island either because its a far commute or because many bands just aren’t able to get the radio play on alot of new york stations. The advent of having RJ come to Staten Island bodes well for the future of Staten Island indie music.
I filmed Cymbals Eat Guitars playing a show with other island bands Paragraph and the Great Unwashed.
Rory and Matt were recording their EP at the Welfare Line, Joe Brancato’s recording studio in Pennsylvania, when they came up with this song. The Welfare line recorded local bands around the Philly hardcore scene, leaving traces of their recording sessions such as discarded lyrics on crumpled pieces of paper. Upon the discovery, Matt and Rory decided to use lyrics from one of those sessions in a little sea shanty.