We’re not sure that it was against all odds, but Canadian rock group Goodnight Sunrise released their latest record, Against All Odds, earlier this month via Rejection Records. Now over ten years into their existence, the band members really feel like this is their definitive work thus far, illustrating a newer, more mature sound that is both honest and hard-hitting and has a way of really connecting with their fanbase. Against All Odds is the band’s boldest release to date, showing how they have grown as people and musicians, particularly in the sphere of production, arrangement, songwriting, and musicianship. The album is an ode to the rock n’ roll that the members grew up on, particularly acts like Foo Fighters, The Pretty Reckless, and Jimmy Eat World.
One of Goodnight Sunrise’s longstanding goals as a unit has been to capture in the studio what it feels like to be at one of their live shows. They accomplish this quite effectively with Against All Odds, with its hooky choruses, arena-rocking drums, heavy guitars, and gigantic solos. This effort was aided by Our Lady Peace bassist Duncan Coutts and drummer Jason Pierce, who both played on the record and provided some invaluable assistance and advice on how to achieve that stadium-sized sound.
For our latest Behind the Video interview, we recently spoke with guitarist and singer David Kochberg, in which we discussed the band’s latest music video for “Wait For It,” its concept, what the filming and production process was like, and how the clip matches the song.
Help us to understand the video’s concept in more detail and how it ties into the lyrics.
David Kochberg: “The lyrics of ‘Wait For It’ are a comment on the current state of social media and the pressures faced by not only artists/creatives, but by anyone who keeps getting the message that the only way to get ahead in life is going viral. The video depicts our fictional ‘label manager’ coming up with more and more ridiculous (and unsuccessful) schemes to go viral, from doing a TikTok dance to a sexy photoshoot gone wrong to selling our own crypto, only to ultimately come around to the simple idea that maybe we’ll be most successful if we shed the silly costumes and just be ourselves.”
Did the band have a concept in mind based on the song, or was the video creator given full reign to come up with a suitable visual companion?
“We had worked with director Erica Orofino on a more abstract/symbolic video for ‘One Pill,’ the lead single from our new album Against All Odds, but for ‘Wait For It,’ we chatted with her about being a bit more directly satirical since the lyrical message was so clear and confident. Through some brainstorming, we landed on the overall concept, and then Erica went to work coming up with the different marketing strategies ‘label guy’ would make us try.”
Tell us about any good, bad, or crazy director or film crew-related incidents.
“Only good; Erica is an absolute wizard and put together a phenomenal crew! Perhaps the most impressive sacrifice any of them made was the assistant director actually let us use his bachelor apartment for the ‘TikTok dance bedroom’ scene, meaning, the crew moved his entire apartment’s belongings out into the hallway for the shoot to set up the camera and lighting gear! The hallway was a total mess, and the hazer for the scene made it all smoky. We thought his neighbours were going to kill him! But everyone was cool, and that was just one of the ways the whole crew went above and beyond to make the most of our limited budget.”
How does the music inform the video in terms of visuals matching sound?
“Erica had the vision for the look of the ‘Wait For It’ video and wanted it to be very cinematic. The song is kind of poppy, but the production is still heavy and guitar-driven, so visually, she wanted to match that contrast between playful and aggressive. The resulting look is colourful, but also kind of gritty, with all the scenes looking a little otherworldly in their own way, betraying how fake and fabricated it all is in the end.
“As well, a centrepiece for the whole video aesthetic was the incredible costume design by Kayleigh Choiniere. She handmade the crypto jumpsuits and ‘MET Gala’ inspired costumes! The two of them together really brought the whole concept to life.”
Any mishaps on set?
“There was a minor guitar incident; in the final scene where we rip off the ridiculous costumes, I threw one of the fabric pieces to the side, and it knocked over my Gibson SG, which landed right on the high E tuning peg, which snapped right off. I tried to play it cool, but was pretty stressed, but when I looked it over, thankfully, there was no damage beyond that, and I popped a new tuner in the next day, and it was fine. Phew!”
If you could have any guest appear in your video, who would you have?
“Quebec actor Stephane Tremblay was perfect as ‘Howard the Label Guy,’ but if we had the budget for an A-List celeb, a short list could have been George Clooney, Liam Neeson, or Bryan Cranston. They would make pretty intense Howards and fit the job description/stereotype.”
How important are music videos in terms of increased exposure?
“Honestly, and this is not a cop-out answer, but we have no idea. So much is so random, both with releasing music and releasing videos. You don’t know what will catch on, what the YouTube algorithm will smile upon and suggest to people, same thing with the streaming services. We look at it as another creative outlet, but definitely hope that it will serve as a marketing tool to get more people to hear the song. This definitely was the case with ‘Wait For It’ on YouTube, as we did see a lot of new subscribers after its release.”
How important a role does social media play for sharing videos and increasing exposure?
“This question is especially ironic given the topic of this video… with that said, it is undeniable that algorithmic platforms like TikTok and Instagram reels have a real power to introduce you to new viewers, so we try to find a balance of sharing videos that we enjoy making and feel reasonably good about without just chasing trends for the sole purpose of gaining followers. That kind of stuff isn’t really in your control; all you can do is be real, and as clichéd as it sounds, authentic and hope that it reaches the people out there that will connect with it.
“Since we had so many great visuals from this video, we were also able to repurpose a lot of it so that the full video lives on YouTube, but short clips of it could be shared on the more short-form socials.”
Do you think YouTube (or ‘online-only’ platforms) is a good enough platform by itself to justify creating a music video?
“It seems like the key to any platform is finding your niche, and that’s perhaps the good thing about sites like YouTube or streaming services like Spotify/Apple. There are all sorts of music fans out there, and before social media, an independent band with minimal resources wouldn’t be able to reach a fan of their genre across the world very easily. Now it is possible, so it’s a matter of figuring out how to get your video to pop up in that fan’s feed; that can be with strategic hashtags, clickbaity titles, straight-up advertising, or just getting lucky.
“These days, artists can’t just focus on any one platform for success; they all sort of feed into each other, and YouTube does seem to remain a powerful platform for music discovery and worth including in the overall promotion of a band’s music. And at least online, you have the power to publish your work to a potential audience, compared with trying to get through the gatekeepers of traditional media.”
Is a well-made DIY video just as good or beneficial as a professionally-made/directed video?
“In many cases, it could be! A classic one is ‘Americanarama’ by Hollerado about ten years back. Apparently, they made it for 1,000 dollars, but it took weeks of work to pull off the one-take timelapse or that classic OK GO treadmill video. As long as there’s a great idea at the core, both low and high-budget videos are worth considering depending on the available budget.”