Relatable, meaningful, and just plain catchy, WESSON has been gaining a lot of supporters lately. Beyond individual tastes and preferences, the most important element of being in a band is the sheer feeling of a need to make music. That would describe this British alternative rock band led by singer-songwriter Chris Wesson. The quartet formed under a simple circumstance: four men who needed to make music as part of their everyday lives. They each individually have their own partialities, but passion is what is the motor behind WESSON. Their sound is a mix of pop, punk rock, and indie rock with a gritty rock undertone.
WESSON has been enjoying some breakout success over the last year with a string of successful singles. Fans really began to take notice of the band upon the release of their “Voices” single last year. This was followed up by “Made Me Happy,” an infectious indie rock anthem inspired by personal life experiences. It’s those everyday life events which WESSON successfully are able to tap into. They take a very organic approach to songwriting, which gives their music a very honest twist. Wesson’s ultimate goal is for you to feel inspired to be true to yourself, live the way you want to live, and not be scared to be yourself.
Part of what helped make “Made Me Happy” a hit for the band was its rather original video. We spoke with drummer Dale to discuss the video, the ideas behind it, the creative process, how it came along, and more.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever had to do or seen being done during the making of a music video?
“For ‘Made Me Happy,’ we were all wearing black Morph suits and had to do funny disco dance moves. We didn’t choreograph the dance moves; everybody just did whatever they felt like. Also, we were wearing these big masks with the smiley faces on, which was a pretty strange experience! We seem to have a habit of this, as we were also wearing gas masks while performing our video for ‘Breathing In.’”
Was there anything during the making of this (or any other) music video that happened unexpectedly, or you were surprised to learn?
“Chris didn’t realize how the black lights would work with the fluorescent strips. So once everything was set up, and we turned on the black lights, he was really impressed to see how vibrant they were.”
What’s your favourite thing about music videos?
“We love seeing the end result. When the first draft comes back, it’s always a lot of excitement to see how it turned out. We love how filming is like a band day out. It’s an experience, it’s good fun, it’s team building! It’s something that people don’t normally get to do.”
Which genre do you think makes the best music videos?
“We love videos with energy, that are just fun. Pop/punk bands like Green Day, Blink-182, and Sum 41 have videos that are silly and entertaining. They are clearly just having a good time and enjoying themselves.”
Any mishaps on set?
“During the ‘Made Me Happy’ video shoot, the fluorescent strips weren’t sticking to our outfits. Luckily we had a different type, and that just about worked!
“The dry ice machine in our video for ‘Breathing In’ didn’t have a power cable wired in, so we had to do it on the day.
“We borrowed a motorbike for ‘Stay Or Leave,’ and it wouldn’t turn on. We had to wheel it in, instead of riding it in.”
Any concepts where you started and midway through thought, “What the fuck are we doing?”
“Basically all of them. Especially for Callum and Jimmy. I remember hearing Jimmy once literally saying the words, ‘What the fuck are we doing?’
“The whole band doesn’t always know the full extent to a video concept until the day and so they are sometimes very surprised.
“We were planning a music video recently for our single ‘Second Chances.’ We very nearly all ended up in fruit costumes, dancing around on a greenscreen. In the end, we scrapped this concept, just in time!”
If you could have any guest appear in your video, who would you have?
“Sting and Kevin Costner.
“We basically love Sting and The Police, so would love to have him involved one day. We have a song called ‘Call the Police’ which will be on our second album. Sometimes, we joke about how we’d call Sting and get him to come and perform it live with us.
“We’d love to do a big budget music video and have Kevin Costner as the main character. We just think he would fit in with our aesthetic.”
Do you prefer writing a video around the theme of a song or just going to a warehouse and banging out a live performance?
“They are both great and it’s hard to choose.
“Writing a themed video is great because it’s fun to explore the storyline and imagine how it’ll look in the end, then seeing that come to life. It’s good to mess with ideas and it’s exciting to see the possibilities and push our limitations.
“Doing a live performance is easier because it’s less stressful generally, giving us a better chance of having something usable afterwards. Doing a video like ‘Unhappy Ever After,’ ‘Made Me Happy,’ or ‘Breathing In,’ which have some cool visual elements, are a mixture of the two. Which I think is the best thing for us.”
What is your favourite childhood music video, and do you have any secret nods to it in your catalogue?
“‘Take On Me’ by A-ha. This was such a groundbreaking video at the time. I was very excited watching it for the first time at maybe 10 or 11 years old. It was so futuristic!
“‘Money for Nothing’ by Dire Straits. It was cutting edge technology and also looked futuristic. We are just generally inspired by these videos, but haven’t tried to give a nod to them.”
Is a well-made DIY video just as good or beneficial as a professionally made/directed video?
“Absolutely, if you know what you’re doing. What we are seeing at the moment is that a more natural and organic video sometimes seems to inspire our audience more than the bigger budget videos, which creates a separation and makes us seem like something we’re not.”