Gold Coast heavy hitters The Black Swamp have deservedly walked away with the coveted ‘video of the year’ award at this year’s GCMA’s off the back of their memorably idiosyncratic clip for the track Common Crows, one of the highlights from their debut album I Am.
The video follows the plight of two mysterious stubbies and singlet type grizzled blokes as they trek through rugged bushland on a mysterious quest to find… well I won’t give the money shot away, but suffice to say, it’ll bring a knowing laugh to anyone who’s had anything to do with the evolution of communications technology over the past 10 years. It’s also a clip where the journey itself is just as captivating as the final destination, the engrossing, slightly disquieting narrative and ambiguous, tense relationship between the clips’ two main protagonists perfectly framing the hard rocking sounds the band expertly channel.
The band were blown away to take the gong and I asked lead guitarist Jesse Kenny if the band were expecting to make it through to the finals.
“With our clip, I was hoping that people got it and could take something home from it. I guess it’s a pretty odd clip, it’s open to a lot of interpretation. The relationship between the two lead characters is quite ambiguous. They could be brothers, or anything really. I knew the cinematography was good and I think it’s pretty unique. Even the decision not to be in the clip ourselves, was a bit different. So I thought we were a chance of standing out and getting a nomination at least” explains Jesse humbly. Mission well and truly accomplished, and then some!
The clip was shot in the idyllic surrounds of Currumbin Valley (where Jesse grew up) and he explains that the tense vibe which oozes from the clip came about in part from the fact that the clips two main (and only) characters were actors who in fact didn’t particularly get on well in real life! Which made for quite a tense set, but worked a treat for eliciting the on-edge, uneasy undercurrent on display in the finished clip.
Watch Common Crows below:
With their debut record, I Am, still relatively hot off the press, and with the added momentum and exposure afforded by taking out ‘video of the year’, I ask Jesse how he sees the rest of 2017 taking shape and what playing music the Black Swamp way means for the band.
“For us, playing our music is a release from the day to day grind. We’d all love to be out touring all the time and that sort of thing, but we’re all super realistic about our expectations. We’ve got a lot of family men in the band. Really for us, the best part of it for us is just playing the music. It’s about our enjoyment, we just love being in the jam room. If that’s all we ever did we’d all still be stoked. We’re kind of the garage-metal band that could, in a way. In saying that though we have set ourselves goals, we’re not totally blasé. We’ll get busy writing again and really work at our songs, try not feel any pressure to release anything too quickly. We’ll also look to fit in a bit of touring along the east coast of Australia.”