NEPA Scene Staff

VIDEO: Scranton indie rockers Tigers Jaw document DIY making of ‘Hesitation’ music video

VIDEO: Scranton indie rockers Tigers Jaw document DIY making of ‘Hesitation’ music video
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From a press release:

Following the release of their new single at the beginning of the month, Scranton indie rock band Tigers Jaw has been uploading homemade videos chronicling the fun creative process behind the music video for “Hesitation.”

Kingston native Dana Takacs, who compiled the footage into four episodes that are available now, was one of many friends who helped bring this crazy backyard magic show to life. Northeastern Pennsylvania residents may recognize the neighborhood they filmed in or some of the local actors and crew members as they build sets, record take after take on old camcorders, and goof off during some beautiful summer days.

“This video was a group effort by our band and our talented friends done in the most DIY-sense imaginable. A truly bright spot in a difficult year, the week we spent together making this video was special and memorable,” the band said.

“In addition to making the video itself, we documented the process of designing the set, achieving the camera effects, and much more.”

The original video, which is nearing 27,000 views on the Hopeless Records YouTube channel, was directed by Shane Moran, best known as the guitarist of Kingston punk/shoegaze band Title Fight.

“A huge thank you to [Moran] for devoting so much time and effort to creating such a vivid, compelling world within this video. It was truly inspiring watching him bring this idea to life,” the band continued.

“We come from a small corner of the world that is so full of talented and creative people.”

Ranging from 10-15 minutes each, all four episodes can be watched in the playlist below:

“‘Hesitation’ describes those sinking feelings of sensing that the person you love is beginning to drift away from you,” said vocalist/guitarist Ben Walsh.

“It’s subtle at first, but these small details can slowly pull apart the fabric of a relationship. When you hear the hesitation before a response or see it before an action, your brain fills in the blanks and can sense that something is over before it’s actually over.”

Both Tigers Jaw and Title Fight have produced their own music videos over the years, and their old school DIY styles blend together well.

“The video is a meditation on wonder and, in many ways, exists as an exercise in self-belief. Filmed entirely in a Pennsylvania backyard over the course of a few hot summer days, friends and family (safely) got together to aid in the construction of a previously unknown world – one shaped by the energy of the song itself. This video attempts to showcase the contrast between the physical and the ether, the concrete and the abstract, working as a side-by-side metric to help identify when something simply does not add up,” Moran described.

“I love how Shane conceptualized such a detail driven video for this song,” Walsh added.

“His style is so iconic and so recognizably his own that he can take a simple concept like performers at a birthday party and build an entire narrative around it that feels so interesting and fresh, with humor and mystery and a touch of the supernatural. I’ve always been a huge fan of his artistic aesthetic, so it was such a cool experience working with him on this video.”

“Hesitation” follows the singles “Lemon Mouth” and “Cat’s Cradle,” which earned early praise and support from the New York Times’ Playlist as “a confident step out of the shadow of the past and into the band’s future,” as well as from Pitchfork, NPR Music (New Music Friday Spotify/Apple playlist), Stereogum, Brooklyn Vegan, Uproxx, Under the Radar, and more.

All of these songs will be featured on their sixth album, “I Won’t Care How You Remember Me,” which will be released on Hopeless Records on March 5. Produced by the band and longtime collaborator Will Yip, the record finds the group at the height of their powers, fusing their collective skills with the synchronicity and energy they honed over several years of nonstop touring. Whereas their latest output, 2017’s “Spin,” was replete with several dense layers of instruments and vocals, “I Won’t Care” pushes the elements of liveliness and human connectivity forward. This back-to-the-basement approach resulted in a new songwriting dynamic.

While “Spin” found Walsh and Collins splitting writing duties, “I Won’t Care” marks the first time all four members shared songwriting input. The band’s most sonically ambitious and lyrically affecting album to date, “I Won’t Care How You Remember Me” sees a newfound freshness and creative freedom crystalizing the lush world of Tigers Jaw.

While at first the title track – featuring Manchester Orchestra’s Andy Hull on backing vocals – seemed to be an unapologetically defiant statement, it ended up carrying a greater significance for the band, who rallied around it as a sentiment of shared personal renaissance that sets the tone for the album, as well as the band as a whole.

“This album is a hopeful time capsule of a band who has been through a lot together. It’s about growth, self-reflection, and figuring out how to be present in the moment to really take stock of what’s important, without getting sidetracked by the opinions of others or things out of our control,” Walsh explained.

“Tigers Jaw can get through anything and be stronger because of it. We’ve endured lots of change over the last 15 years, but a lot of things have remained consistent. We make the music we want to make, we push each other to continue evolving and growing as musicians, and we are so proud of where we are now.”

“I Won’t Care How You Remember Me” tracklist:

1. I Won’t Care How You Remember Me
2. Cat’s Cradle
3. Hesitation
4. New Detroit
5. Can’t Wait Forever
6. Lemon Mouth
7. Body Language
8. Commit
9. Never Wanted To
10. Heaven Apart
11. Anniversary

Formed in 2005, Tigers Jaw have spent the past 15 years refining their sound – unconventionally catchy riffs, the melodic intertwining of male/female vocals, and timelessly relatable lyricism – while cultivating a passionate following with live shows and tours all around the world. “Spin,” released in 2017 via Yip’s Atlantic Records imprint Black Cement Records, cemented the band as a songwriting force, earning the band their NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert debut and critical acclaim from Pitchfork, Vice/Noisey, The Fader, Stereogum, Paper Magazine, NYLON, Billboard, Brooklyn Vegan, and many more.

They returned to their hometown area in 2019 to play a sold-out acoustic show at Karl Hall and co-headlined a massive drive-in benefit concert outside Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre in 2020, just a small part of the wave of critical and commercial success they’ve received since the release of “Spin.” As the curator of Black Cement, Yip chose Tigers Jaw as the first band to be featured on the label, overseeing the creative process with Collins and Walsh, who have kept Tigers Jaw going through various incarnations.

At the end of 2019, they finally toured with The Menzingers, another Scranton band that has broken out into the mainstream. While they were friends for years and played many local shows together, they had “never done a proper tour together” until their national run with Culture Abuse.

See NEPA Scene’s photos and a review of Tigers Jaw’s 2020 Wilkes-Barre performance here and watch an exclusive interview with Brianna Collins in Episode 109 of the NEPA Scene Podcast, where she talks about Tigers Jaw’s rise to fame, what drew her to local music at a young age, tour stories and meeting bands she grew up listening to, working with Will Yip on “Spin” and “Charmer,” songwriting and the evolution of Tiger Jaw’s sound, her favorite shows, their sold-out 10th anniversary show in Scranton last year, their current lineup, and more: