Nothing But The Facts
The men of Sawyer Brown took the challenge of creating a video as ground-breaking as their "Mission Tenple Fireworks Stand" to heart. Given the lyrical power of "They Don't Understand" -- a song about compassion for the truths and trials one can't see in others -- Mark Miller and company decided to scale everything to the smallest, closest perspective.
"We've always taken chances," says the frontman/writer/producer, "and when my gut tells me something, I try to listen. After you do something as huge as 'Mission Temple,' you can't compete with that ... we didn't even wanna try. Instead, I thought it was important to do something that wasn't so literal it would destroy other people's movies they hear the song come on, but still offer some pretty powerful imagery and feelings. beyond what they see inside their own minds"
To that end, the Academy of Country Music and Country Music Award winners tapped Lark Watts, an independent rock artist whose work has been on the fringe. Marked by a gritty, DIY sensibility, it caught Miller's eye.
"A friend of mine had given me this DVD, saying, 'You should check this guy out...'," says Miller of how he found the below-the-radar-director. "So I was looking at him as this cool artist whose music I wanted to find out about, but the more I watched, the more I went, 'Whoa, this is EXACTLY what I want this video to look like. EXACTLY. It kind of freaked me out, 'cause it was not only the last thing I was expecting, it was something I hadn't even been able to explain to the people who work with me... Then BANG! there it was.
"It might seem a little risky, using someone unknown, but this guy has so much heart --and so much soul -- and such a great eye. And he really gets the song. You know, when you go into 'indie cred world,' you never know how they're going to respond to something like Sawyer Brown, or a song that's so sincere, though Lark and his team totally got it. It makes me even more excited to see the impact this message has on all different kinds of people."
"They Don't Understand" is slated to shoot in Morehead and Winchester, Kentucky, where Watts and co-producer Jason Epperson were born and raised on April 25-26. Among the people populating the stark clip are Watt's own grandparents, who've been married 63 years, and a preacher who doesn't wear shoes.
"This particular song requires authenticity -- actual people who've shared a life. You can't fake that with a song this real," says Watts. "I played the song for my Mom, and it's so powerful, she cried. Everyone I play it for is like that... and the word has spread about this song and this message up where we're from. I'm hearing from people who haven't called me in years, saying, 'Hey, you better use me in your video... I wanna be part of this song...' And because we've got a scene on a creekbed, we're gonna need all those folks who've been part of my life."
"I've never done anything like this before," says Miller. "But the ideas are amazing, the song is powerful and I'm game. It's kinda cool to get out on the edge, and try something this different -- especially when you've already seen the work, and understand the passion that's being brought to this incredible song."
"They Don't Understand," written by Dean and Teresa Johnston, Steve Miller and Jeff Woods, arrives at country radio in early May. It's from the band's upcoming Keep Your Hands To Yourself, due in August.
Check out the lyrics to "Mission Temple Fireworks Stand" And here is a picture of Robert Randolph
Check out the lyrics to "We Belong Together" (Tarzen and Jane)
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In answer to the large number of questions asking why Sawyer Brown does not have any concerts in a specific area: Venues and fairs book the groups. If you want Sawyer Brown to appear in your area, ask your local fairs and venues to book them. There is a growing list on Koko's Universe of contact information for venues and fairs.