Brooklyn based Folk Punk artist Brook Pridemore will debut the video for his track “Brother Comfort” on March 14th. “Brother Comfort” comes to us off Pridemore’s fifth full-length record, Gory Details. The record has been over two years in the making. The incredibly personal project touches on a two-year period of Pridemore’s life during which some of his struggles and experiences left him unsure of which direction his life was going. The details, gory as they may be, can be heard and seen through both the album and the eleven videos created thus far.
The significance of each track on Gory Details has led Pridemore to create a video for each and every one. In his attempt to match an appropriate visual with each track, Pridemore has been quite busy. ”Brother Comfort” is the sixth video to be released off the album. The video was filmed at various locations around NYC and includes footage from the recently closed Death By Audio.
Directed by James Gates, “Brother Comfort” chronicles a downward spiral into self-abuse. The comical presence of a gorilla in most scenes throughout the video seems to serve as a representation of the characters’ problems, following him relentlessly. Due to the characters endless drinking, his female counterpart leaves him only to go home with the gorilla.
We caught up with Brook this past weekend to find out a little more about his new album, the process or writing it, and what he has planned for the near future.
1) Where did the idea for the “Brother Comfort” video come from and what are some of the themes throughout the video?
The lyrics to this song deal very specifically with my descent into self-abuse, and when I first started to realize that I needed to find a way out. The director, my friend James Gates, suggested that we do a video wherein we told the story of my bottoming out. While I liked that idea, I preferred a little personal detachment from the narrative. Luke Kelly, of Kung Fu Crimewave, was game to play “Brook Pridemore,” and from there it was an easy jump to get his brother, Neil, to play the ape-suited Greek chorus. We wanted to celebrate some of our favorite venues, so we shot at three shows; at Goodbye Blue Monday, Death By Audio and Silent Barn. I think the end result is supposed to look like “Brook Pridemore” is inspired to turn his life around by the Brook Pridemore show at Silent Barn, but I dunno. I’m definitely not trying to say my music will change your life. My songs are the story about how my life got flipped turned upside down.
2) Your latest album, Gory Details, touches on some very personal experiences of the last few years of your life. Would you say this album was any more difficult to create than your past albums?
I mean, the experience of living the events that led to writing the songs on Gory Details was difficult, but the truth is that the writing of the songs was actually pretty easy. I had a harder time writing my previous albums, because I would give myself, I don’t know, like mission statements, or something. I HAD to write THIS kind of album. And around the end of 2009, I’d gotten the album I’d demanded, and I was still miserable.
I’d used my ability to say a bunch of nasty things about people I was mad at, and I had to pretend like I’d made the album of my dreams, in order to sell CDs. The experience was miserable; I was in all kinds of poor health, had no real home, didn’t feel like I belonged anywhere. I decided to try and write honestly about what I was experiencing, hence, “Gory Details.” When I set out with no real agenda, I found the writing to be very easy.
3) Your goal is to create a music video for each song on your new album. Has it been difficult so far trying to match a visual with the theme of each track on Gory Details, especially because each is so personal?
About three years ago, I decided I wanted to make videos for all of the songs on the album. I thought it would be a month-long project. Little did I know I’d still be working on them, today. We’ve used a bunch of different media styles, puppetry, animation, Super 8, etc. We’ve finished eleven of them, each with a different director. It’s harder than I expected to get filmmakers to direct and edit a video for free. You end up waiting around, while the directors get paid projects and try and work in their spare time. I’m not complaining. I’m grateful for the product. Filmmaking is a much more painstaking and less immediately rewarding medium than songwriting, for sure.
4) Who are some of the biggest influences on the music you make?
The obvious ones, sure. Swans, Bob Dylan, Bill Callahan, Neko Case, They Might Be Giants. The Mountain Goats, The Beach Boys, Mazzy Star, Amen Dunes. But more important I think are the friend bands I’ve gotten to know over the years. Ghost Mice, Kimya Dawson, Thomas Patrick Maguire, Erin Regan, Kung Fu Crimewave, Pat the Bunny, Two Houses, Teenage Halloween, Mikey Erg!, Your Heart Breaks, Mischief Brew, Endless Mike and the Beagle Club. The mighty, beloved and lamented Huggabroomstik. The list goes ON AND ON. I’ve been so lucky to be surrounded by awesome people for so long, and pushed to improve my craft by the amazing songs of the people around me. No one’s music emerges out of a cipher, least of all mine.
5) Being in Brooklyn, do you have any favorite venues to listen to, or play live music?
Palisades is the best venue in New York since time immemorial. I will brook no disagreement on that matter, pun intended.
6) You’re still creating music videos for the remaining tracks on your album, but what else is in the near future for you?
We still have to finish video number 12, and then I don’t know. My next album is mostly written. I don’t really feel like doing ANOTHER album of music videos, you know? So I don’t know. Maybe make a road movie, like Don’t Look Back or a documentary like I Am Trying To Break Your Heart. That might sound lofty, but my attitude has become one of setting a goal and then achieving it. So, we’ll see.
7) Since we are Pancakes & Whiskey, we must ask…. What’s your preferred drink?
Black coffee in the morning, Kava tea at night.
Article by: Ashley Rodriguez