Controversial British independent band WEAK13 are gearing up later this year to release their very anticipated debut studio album which fans of the band have waited years for but now a new previously unannounced single has been released on iTunes with a music video to accompany it that could raise the bar for unsigned bands. The three piece grunge industrial band is led by Singer and guitarist Nick J.Townsend with Neel Parmar on Drums, and Wesley Smith on Bass Guitar. They band pride themselves on breaking rules, surrealism and honest raw music and for doing so have been described as ‘badass’ (Kerrang) and just to prove how different and weird they can be, Andrew W.K. said this about them, ‘If aliens tried to make rock music, it might sound like this’! This statement applies not only to their sound but their music videos, as you can probably guess by now they are not ones to shy away in the face of adversity..quite rerfreshingly! The band have been known for their weird, wonderful and brilliant music videos. In the past their videos have featured frontman Nick Townsend dressed entirely in newspaper in ‘Prouder Than U 2’ and even a massive budget mini movie style video inspired by World War 1 trench raid with ‘Wakedown’ which won the award for ‘Best music video’ in the London Limelight Film & Arts awards (2010).
However with their latest self released visual offering they had no backing from a label, so it was done on a low budget but it could well be their ‘biggest’ music video yet despite this, due to the strong statements of empowerment for unsigned bands as well as the controversial theme behind it. I have kindly been given an exclusive first look/listen at the new video, which could potentially cause quite a stir..Here is what front man Nick J Townsend had to say on the matter..
“Music videos are dead. The majority of signed bands music videos we see released seem to be just a collection of cold money shots with no real storyline and quite a lot of unsigned bands music videos I’ve watched leave me thinking “Do they actually expect to get this on Television or watched by human beings?” because it’s shit. However I defend a lot of unsigned bands because most have no financial backing and have to do everything themselves and for some reason there is a great deal of pressure on them to be like their piers from day one in order for them to be taken seriously despite having no money or status. Our music video may not be expensive but it’s different to what a band in our position is expected to make; maybe it will encourage bands to be more creative and to think outside the box?”
The song appropriately titled ‘Joke’ is the first preview of a track from their upcoming debut album set to be released at the end of the year. The theme behind the video may be obvious at times, but there is more to it than meets the eye, which is thought provoking and gives not just unsigned bands something to think about but the general public equally….
“I think the point of a music video has been lost, it should be an opportunity to further say something about the song that you’ve already created. A lot of mainstream bands nowadays have a creative team step in who are basically a collection of executive ‘yes men’ with cameras (whose job it is is to ensure that what’s being filmed is suitable for VH1 or any music channel that’s mind numbingly boring) who arguably aren’t totally aware of what the song is actually about; a song which in some cases may not have even been written by the band that they’re filming. Noel Gallagher for example has been quoted many times slagging off the Oasis music videos he’s been in which suggests that he either considers them artistically separate to the song or has no control or say on the final look; or possibly even no interest in how they represent him which is sadder really”.
The main statement of the video is about authority figures and media generally fooling the public on a regular basis, and let’s face it this is quite true unfortunately! Nick confirms this..
“The music video to ‘Joke’ took just over six weeks, it started with an idea I had after reading a report on a Twitter news feed about the ‘Selfie’ incident at Nelson Mandela’s funeral involving President Obama. It highlighted to me how privacy has been invaded in the 21st Century and also the hypocrisy of it all seeing as the photo used in all the newspapers was a photo of someone taking a photo and not the ‘selfie’ itself. So for the WEAK13 music video I set about inventing a politician called Presley Dent and created a world where he is the President of the United States of America and basically poked a bit of fun on the whole ‘Selfie’ culture”..
“The song itself I guess is a statement about how some people are too eager to blindly follow powerful authority figures and as a result often accept information relayed by those in control as total truth even if the person or organisation representing their interests is somewhat of a joke; this domination is secured by consent. You get those that consider themselves rational and intellectual that still fail to grasp the basic concept of media manipulation and, for example, believe everything the news tells them without question.
Not being ones to be overly serious but still get their message across, the video although controversial is also light hearted and commical at times, and just damn right strange characterisally of them! They found a equal balance of serious and silly which is well thought out and important to them:
“The video we produced is satirical with a little exploitation here and there but it’s got something to say and hopefully will get people thinking and make them laugh a bit too perhaps. Lyrics to most mainstream songs are dumbed down and riddled with capitalist values whereas WEAK13 songs could be argued as swaying more towards Marxism/critical thinking in regards to lyrical content. The band as an alternative practice is very counter-hegemonic”.
This video should be very inspiring to fellow unsigned bands showing that you don’t need the backing of a label to create a powerful creative video which will grab people’s attention! This illustrates perhaps that some bands don’t think outside the box when it comes to promoting themselves or creating music videos on small budgets, but this video demonstrates you can and will hopefully inspire other musicians and bands to do the same! As Nick said himself on this matter, ‘If no one gives us a record deal then so be it but I see bands every week doing nothing creative and moaning that they can’t do anything without a record deal…we would like to think that this song and video shows you can’.
Watch the shocking and controversial video in question below (you know you want too!)
To Download single – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/