By Chantal Dunn
Local rock band, The Unfortunates, just released a new music video featuring the songs lyrics displayed in ASL (American Sign Language). This video (available to view here); “Love Was Right”, was released January 18th of 2019. The song was released on their self titled fourth album.
This concept was originally brought up by director Scott Steele who asked lead singer Tanner Gordon if sign language had any meaning to him.
“I’ve known Scott for a while but he didn’t know that I grew up with a hard of hearing mother and so sign language has always kind of been in my life,” admitted Gordon. The lead singer explained when this was brought up to him he loved the idea of “love as a universal sign or love spoken through different ways in a physical theme”. The Unfortunates have always felt that “music is a feeling, not a sound” and really wanted to ensure the new single accomplished that concept.
The video features ASL students using simpler signing instead of full professionals, in an effort to make the video more broad and understandable for a wider audience. The hope was that if any viewers wanted to learn ASL, or starting to learn it’s easier to follow and recognize. Hopefully encouraging people to further pursue ASL. It was important for the band to showcase this topic that isn’t discussed or heard about on a day-to-day basis, but that some people have to use their whole lives. The video was filmed alongside an interpreter who provided clarity in ASL while making sure to keep the message behind each and every line of the song. Midway through, Gordon and the ASL students are painted to add variety to the scenes in the music video. There are characters painted, like the skull figure, who represents the past that we often struggle to overcome. The skull figure is followed by women painted as strong warriors representing taking back love and the fight of moving on. With the help of many volunteers, the signing, makeup and filming of the whole video was finished within a single day.
Gordon mentioned that the band was very grateful for the time contributed from the local community as well as the emotion that resulted from the video.
“It was the first song off the new record that people were singing at the shows and going crazy,” he said.
The band’s journey as The Unfortunates has gone from forming in 2009, being a Sonic 102.9 band of the month, opening for other bands such as Mother, Mother, and touring cities they’d never been to. Throughout ten years of progressing as a band, The Unfortunates have always felt the need to integrate their music with an important feeling or social issue. “Brick By Brick”, a past video that touched on bullying included mention of the kids help phone. Now after four years they have released this self-titled album, specifically this single that focuses on love and rising up from the past.
“It’s kind of a reboot as a band. That’s why we went with the self-titled album, it’s a full reboot of who we are.”
Photo provided by The Unfortunates