The Band Explains: Blue Light Bandits - 'Mess You Make Me' (Video)
Who: Blue Light Bandits is a four piece groove band from central Massachusetts. They are: Dan DeCristofaro (keys guitar vox), Ethan Bates (bass cello vox), Mike Braz (drums guitar), Ricky Duran (guitar vox).
About The Track: Blue Light Bandits’ dual-song release of 'A Little Love' / 'Mess You Make Me' follows a complimentary recording session at Q Division Studios in Somerville, MA courtesy of Converse RubberTracks.
Combining pop, rock, and r&b, Side A’s 'Mess You Make Me' opens with balmy guitars and a chilled out drum rhythm with the lulling hiss of a cymbal. DeCristofaro's vocals are warm and soulful. The arrangements are groovy and full of summer. The vocal harmonies are reflective, intriguing and the lyrics are emotive, personal, real. This is a great track that is full of sincerity with arrangements so tight, so strong and so pleasurable there's no self pity here. This is a heartfelt and thoughtful track that is matter of fact in its delivery.
Blue Light Bandits Explains:
1.Who produced the video? Where was it filmed?
The video was produced by our good friend Ryan Schaefer from Boston-based SNDBVX Media Group. He has been blowing up the hip hop scene and his animation work has gotten him work with Beats and many other notable companies. We were both excited to work on this project together because we were the first band he has made a video for.
The video was filmed in and around our humble abode. We wanted to go for a “this is where we are right now” feel for our first video, so we filmed all of the live performance shots in our favorite space, our basement jam room. The outside shots and aerials were all filmed on Badluck Pond which we are very lucky to have in our backyard.
2. How does the video compliment the song?
'Mess You Make Me' is a song about love and the battle of perspectives. As in most of our songs, the song is about a specific relationship and situation, but the lyrics are kept simple and relatable. The plot of the video paralleled this approach, allowing viewers to take in the vibe but create their own story. Additionally, the video served somewhat of a biographical purpose. Before we filmed, we placed a mannequin, a giant stuffed banana, and other quirky objects throughout the room, all of which were relics of personal memories. We wanted to create something that we could look back on several years from now and see who we were and where we came from.
3. Any behind the scenes stories?
The guitar that was smashed in the dock scene was Dan’s very first guitar. During college, the guitar collapsed in on itself and became unplayable. Instead of throwing it out, he decided to save it for a guitar smashing scene in a music video someday. 5 years later, that day finally came!
4. Tell us about the ideas/ themes/ imagery used?
The song speaks to the pressure of a relationship and how challenging it can be to balance doubt, trust, gratitude, and expectations. The sections of the song flow between heartfelt emotional space and tense movements combined with themes of doubt. We used a lot of blues and oranges in the same shots to portray opposing perspectives and give off the idea of hot and cold, often combined in the same shot. In the same vein, we chose a winter sunset for our outside shots which created a feeling of both warm and cold.
When I began writing, songwriting was a very personal experience for me. When I would play the songs with my bandmates, I was very particular about arrangements and making everything sound a certain way. As I have grown as a writer and a band member, I have tried very hard to surrender that mindset as it was only limiting the creative potential of the entire group. 'Mess You Make Me' is perfect example of this transition from its original creation to its current arrangement.
The acoustic guitar in the video was the guitar I had when I wrote 'Mess You Make Me' in 2011. Before the guitar smashing scene, I am sitting alone on the dock with my guitar, which in a way symbolizes my young pop singer-songwriter view of myself. After the smash, we stand together. The imagery here shows where we came from musically and where we are now.
5. What is the message the video is trying to convey? Interested?
In summary, life and love are difficult, but worth it. We are always trying to find the best way to improve our situation, but we are so quick to throw away everything we have at the glimpse of something “better”. When we get used to something, we fail to recognize the value of it and how blessed we are to have it. So many times we leave something because it isn’t perfect and we end up falling back in love with it once it’s gone. Nothing on this earth can make you feel completely satisfied and nothing is perfect. So before you decide to throw it away, make sure it’s not something beautiful that you are taking for granted. - Daniel DeCristofaro
Feature by Karla Harris