Almost any band will tell you that being on tour is tough. Spending your days on the road, falling asleep in one city and waking up in another, and all the while you’re trying to keep up enough momentum to get through one show and be ready for the next. It’s a wonder that bands are able to keep it together, let alone muster the strength to do it continuously for years on end. Life on the road can put a band through the wringer, testing each member’s patience, devotion and physical and mental will power.
Alberta Cross conceptualize the stress of touring in their first official music video, “Crate of Gold.” In it, lead singer Petter Ericson Stakee is kidnapped and tortured by a femme fatale, actress Drea de Matteo of Sopranos and Sons of Anarchy fame. “Our last U.S. and Europe tours really wore us down,” Stakee tells me. “It’s not so much the length of the tour that killed us but the fact that we were constantly moving, constantly in a state of unrest. Towards the end, we all started having some pretty bizarre nightmares about being hunted and chased down, so we thought it’d be funny to put a literal spin on that experience in this video.”
The video is a chaotic and visually jarring dream sequence, which climaxes with Stakee being crushed to death inside a crate of gold. The lyrics expose some of Stakee’s inner demons, “Get it straight now, I’m not a saint,” he confesses over a screeching guitar. Stakee felt a bit apprehensive about making his acting debut, that is, until he had some professional help from his co-star Drea de Matteo: “I met [Drea de Matteo] on the set and our first scene was supposed to be her choking me. So she comes up to me and is like ‘hi, I’m Drea. I’ll be choking you today!’ Funny thing is she was actually choking me at one point in order to help me get into character, ‘this will be a lot easier if you let me choke you a bit,’ she assured me. Not sure if it made my performance any more convincing but I definitely had a lot of fun filming it.”
The video is a first for Alberta Cross, who released their latest album entitled, Songs of Patience last summer. Unlike their previous albums, this one took over three years to produce, during a time in which the band went through a lot of frustration and personal anxiety. Their experiences informed the songwriting process much more this time around, as Stakee feels he’s gotten out of his comfort zone on this record, “We weren’t afraid to try some new things out on this album. Bands tend to think of themselves as one genre or think their music has to sound a certain way but that’s never been the case for us. The music on this record isn’t the same as it was on our first record because we’re not the same people we were back then. We’ve experienced a lot, some good, some bad, but ultimately we’ve grown as individuals and our music reflects that. I think we’re going to continue to push the envelope and make the music that we love, whatever that sounds like.”
Listen to Songs of Patience on Alberta Cross’ website : http://www.albertacross.net/listen.html
Albert Cross will be playing their next show at DROM in NYC (85 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009) on March 21st as part of the #ChooseInteresting Music Series hosted by Grolsh and TurnStyle Music Group. Tickets are available here.