The Bay Area has been haunted in ways unknown ever since Evil Eyes released their recent album Borderlines. Taking their psychic sound back to the setting of the Golden Era, "Shake the Dust" becomes the soundtrack for a period piece produced by Rebecca Ahn and Blair Kelly, carefully captured by Steve Griggs with direction from Tylor Bolhman. Starting with the dressing room onset of co-eds, greasers and rockers getting ready for the big dance, the bold black and white roadhouse rock and rally conjures up an air and atmosphere larger than their Latvian church locale.
Shaking a leg and kicking up some dust, Evil Eyes take the stage as choreographed dances from Ashleigh Kenny set off the romantic exchanges between the video's protagonists played by Jonathan Stoddard and Jana Molder. Under the hypnotizing bright lights, rocking rebel Jonathan finds his own slow-stepping routine to bring back his beloved Jana to return to him on the dusty floor. While the dances are largely taken from the 1950s foot and hand step routines; musical interludes create moments of abstract interpretive pauses belonging to future ballet motions. Through the cloud of dust shakes, the hootenanny continues until the star crossed dancers are once again reunited after the numerous interruptions of know-it-all suitors. The visuals grace the band with their dusted trail sound echoing in an old fashioned town hall style-church dance soirée, where couples square off in dances to the timing of those guitars that continue to stir and haunt long after the music has stopped.
Evil Eyes' Greg Mabry and Joe Fabrotta talked with us a bit about everything from Borderlines to their beautiful new video for "Shake the Dust".
What's the connection between shaking the dust and cutting a rug like in the video?
What better way to shake something off than to get rowdy at a 50s swing dance? For real though, that kind of dancing just made sense with the song, even though it’s pretty different from an Elvis track or something.
Is shaking the dust like shaking yourself off the shelf?
Hmm. It could be.
What brought out the whole 50s theme? It makes for quite the cinematic setting.
When we wrote the song and started talking about a music video, the image of a 50s era dance just popped into my head. We brought the concept to Tylor (the director)—he loved it and ran with the idea. We tracked down some talented swing dancers, told all our friends to dress like greasers, and bought a bunch of beer. It was a blast.
What drew you all to San Francisco's Latvian church for a setting?
Aleks, our bass player, happens to be Latvian. He mentioned the church might be an option, so one day we went and scouted it. It turned out to be incredible—super pretty and it felt preserved from the 50s.
Like the title of your epic new album Borderlines, what do borderlines mean for Evil Eyes?
For us, Borderlines is all about the grey area of life. On the edge of things. Buy the ticket, take the ride.
Evil Eyes' album Borderlines is available now via Bandcamp.