Rich Howells

VIDEO PREMIERE: Scranton bassist Grant Williams reaches for the stars in ‘Alpha Centauri’

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When Scranton solo bassist Grant Williams plays, he takes the listener on a journey as he gets lost in the music himself. In the case of his latest music video, that trip is just over four light years away.

Alpha Centauri is our closest neighboring star system, and while the video takes place right here on Earth, the song that shares its name is inspired by reaching higher than your personal atmosphere. With the help of Baltimore, Maryland-based Springwood Productions, the single from Williams’ debut album, “Suspended Animation,” comes to life in this exclusive video premiere as two kids learn to grow new opportunities on their own.

“The album, ‘Suspended Animation,’ is about wasted time – showing up, accepting your fate, just going through the motions. I wrote this song as a reminder of how capable you are of breaking away from that cycle,” Williams began.

“There are ups and downs to everyone’s life and career paths, but it’s a real dramatic game of chutes and ladders when it comes to music. Despite the slow crawl of a music career, there can be rapid jumps in both directions. A band or project you’ve been pouring your heart into can be gaining a degree of success, can ‘make it,’ and be swept out from under you in under 24 hours. Auditions, networking, social media, etc., can rocket you forward or backward faster than you expected/prepared for. I remember one month where I had no prospects, two auditions for New York City and Philadelphia-based bands, a booked and public U.S. and Canadian tour lined up when I passed the NYC audition, and no prospects again when all of that disintegrated.

“All four of those realities existed in the span of 30-40 days, and such fluctuations can be cripplingly discouraging if you let them. The song ‘Alpha Centauri’ serves as my reminder that losing a promising opportunity or long established project isn’t a death sentence. If you lose all the warmth and energy of the sun, cosmically speaking, Alpha Centauri is right next door.”

The “Alpha Centauri” video, shot in Northeast Music Center in Dickson City and a local backyard, was filmed over two days, with Williams accompanied by drummer Chris Langan, who also plays on the album.

“Our young heroes are inspired by their trip to a local music store. While there, they buy a handful of guitar picks and run home to plant them in one of their yards. Watering and caring for them causes the instruments to grow. They harvest their crop and set up shop on the street, to much success. A younger boy and his mother buy another handful of guitar picks from the boys, and he plants them in his own yard. Despite a goal that should ultimately be impossible from where they are, they pull it off with what should be impossible means, inspiring others to do so in the process,” Williams explained.

Persevering through the ups and downs of the music business he described, Williams is on the upswing again, recently joining Scranton metal band Behind the Grey as their permanent bassist, a group that is on the rise after signing a management deal with the Inner Light Agency, run by former A&R reps for Roadrunner Records out of Los Angeles. He still persists with his own solo work, though, slowly accomplishing his goal to make music videos for all his songs, like last year’s “A Single Step” video.

“This video required two locations and two full days of shooting to accomplish, and the team at Springwood Productions hit a home run with every scene. It was great to shoot with them, and I’m very proud of how this turned out,” he said.

“I also cannot give enough thanks to Jason, Michael, and Niko for their performances and in helping all the grownups play make believe for two days, as well as their unbelievably patient mothers.”

Read a full interview with Williams on his solo bass album here and see photos from his CD release party here.