New Album Out June 3rd
Freewheeling New York rock band THE SWEET THINGS on April 11 rolled out “Brown Leather,” their potent new single and action-packed video. The song is the title track of the band’s second album due June 3 via Wendigo Productions NYC/Spaghetty Town Records, an 11-song disc that’s rife with a sweet mix twangin’ bangin’ country blues, bluesy country and Southern rock and roll. Watch the video streaming below or at YouTube.
The “Brown Leather” video was filmed by award-winning director Video Rahim (Mastodon, Blackberry Smoke) and shot at the Boot Bar in Manhattan, with exterior scenes filmed shot at Chips Bar and Grill in Winder, GA. Read a Q&A with the band on the making of the video and what “Brown Leather” really means below.
Q&A with DAVE TIERNEY
–Where was the video shot?
DAVE TIERNEY: “Most of the video was shot at the Boot Bar in Manhattan, but the exteriors were shot at Chips Bar and Grill in Winder, GA.”
–Who directed it?
DAVE TIERNEY: “The video was directed by Video Rahim from Atlanta. We’ve been huge fans of his work for years, so once we came up with the concept and started discussing options to direct, he was the obvious first choice. We reached out to him with the song and the basic idea and he was super into it, so we just hit the ground running from there.”
–Who came up with the concept for the video and what are your thoughts about it?
DAVE TIERNEY: “Sam, my girlfriend Scarlett (she plays the orange haired skater in the video), and I were sitting around one night talking about what the video for this song should look like. ‘I’m seeing roller skates and butts,’ Scarlett said. We bullshitted the idea around for a couple hours and filled in all the blanks until the concept had materialized. The Brown Leather Roller Disco Bar in the video is basically the kind of place we would want to play or hang out at, but since it didn’t exist in the real world (that we know of), we had to create it. Hopefully nature takes its course now, and some of that life imitates art shit happens so that a place like this will open that we can actually hang out at and play.”
–Can you talk about your general excitement about the video and how it captures the essence of The Sweet Things and the band’s new chapter with the upcoming album.
DAVE TIERNEY: “We love the video. It’s fun to watch it now after months of it just being an idea we had dreamed up. We had a lot of shows cancelled in the Spring/Summer of 2019 (as did just about everyone), and now we’re finally relaunching ourselves as a full live band getting back on the road. It seems appropriate to kick it all off with a video centered around a live performance like this one. This video is very optimistic, it’s the world in which we want to live. Hopefully, we play lots of shows where brawls break out if anyone dares to show up not wearing roller skates. “
–The video has a strong feminist vibe. Can you talk about that?
DAVE TIERNEY: “The skaters are definitely the stars of this video, and they did an amazing job. From the beginning, we were trying to create a world inhabited by these women who were cool badass motherfuckers. Scarlett skates for the Bronx Gridlock in the Gotham Roller Derby league, and we hang out in that world a lot. We’re huge fans of what they do, so once the idea of a country and western roller disco video started to come together, asking other skaters from Gotham to be a part of it was a no-brainer. About ¾ of the skaters in the video are from the league. Within the context of the video, this is definitely their bar and we’re just playing at it. We’re very pleased that these characters we dreamed up are Sweet Things fans and asked us to play their bar.”
–With all the action taking place in the video, did anything particularly wild + crazy happen on the video set?
DAVE TIERNEY: “We had a lot of fight choreography planned out for the skaters and taught it to them before filming those scenes, but once the cameras started rolling, we realized that it was completely unnecessary. Each time Rahim called ‘action,’ every skater just went 100% nuts throwing themselves and each other all around the place. It was amazing to watch and slightly hard to stay in character while the whole room was going crazy. Stephen, who plays one of the line dancers, was talking after the shoot about how hard some of the skaters were going when the show turns violent, and he remarked that a lot of the pulled punches he got hit with weren’t really pulled. There’s a moment captured in the video when Danger (another Gotham skater) is punching Stephen repeatedly in the ribs and this appears to be some of those punches he was referring to. He may never dance again.”
–Focusing on the song itself, what inspired the lyrics?
DAVE TIERNEY: “In our world someone saying, ‘that’s very brown leather’ is sort of similar to saying, ‘that’s not very punk rock.’ It’s meant derisively in a way intended to criticize someone’s taste and even their cred a bit. It’s lighthearted, but also intended as a dig. The song ‘Brown Leather’ is basically us saying we don’t give a fuck what other people think, we’re just gonna do what we like and what we think is cool. The video itself is just an extension of that attitude, since we’re singing about doing what we like, we’re gonna make a video of what we’d like to see…we think other people will like it too.”