The 2015 terrorist attacks on Paris affected French citizens and citizens of the world alike. Because an attack took place at the Bataclan, a music venue, it also sent a particularly severe shockwave through the world of the arts. The safe space of a music venue, once viewed by many as a kind of untouchable sanctuary, became wrought with threats and uncertainty. For bands in the alternative and heavy rock scenes, such as Being As An Ocean, it then felt like a personal responsibility to stand tall and united.
BAAO played a show in Bordeaux, France, just days after the attacks on Paris. That performance ended up being shot as the music video for “This Loneliness Won’t Be The Death Of Me.” Guitarist Tyler Ross recalls what it was like for the band to find themselves in the middle of an international crisis. “Everyone was kind of freaked out,” he says, “wondering if we were going to play the show, wondering if we should play the show—if it was safe. People were thinking about personally not going to Paris just out of safety. Ultimately, the only person who left was our old drummer Connor [Denis]. He actually quit the tour and just went home after that, so you can see him playing at that Bordeaux show, but he flew out right after that and we had Joe [Longobardi] from Defeater play drums for us.”
Despite safety concerns, the band decided that the Bordeaux show was too important to neglect. If anything, this was the kind of moment that this music scene was meant for. “This music scene helps people pull together after events like that,” Ross says. “I remember every show around Europe after we heard about the Bataclan attacks was in total solidarity with Paris and the Parisian music scene. We would have a moment of silence at every show and it was all anyone could think about. When you're in a scene, you're all the same. You’re music lovers, showgoers. And I think that pulls down all the barriers between people and just makes your heart go out to them. People still came out to the show in Paris, I think specifically to say, ‘No, we won't be terrorized. We won't live in fear.’”
Not only was the Bordeaux show special because of the emotional setting and circumstance, but also because of the French filmmaker who directed the video, Morgan Simon. Simon, an avid participant in his local punk scene and a rising figure in the film industry, even put the BAAO performance in his new film, A Taste Of Ink/Compte Tes Blessures. The film is Simon’s first feature-length project. It deals with complex family situations and the turmoil that can result from poor communication between relatives. And as a resident punk, Simon made sure to fit his beloved scene into the story. “Punk/emo/hardcore/indie music [has been] part of my life [for] more than a decade,” shares Simon. “It is very natural to me to talk about the scene; I am always writing with music in [my] head.
“The main character, Vincent, lives a paradox we all experience in different kinds of ways. He is a charismatic post-hardcore singer on stage but is unable to say a word in front of his father. This duality of being someone else at home and outside [of the home] inspired the film.” It is the character Vincent, played by actor Kévin Azaïs, that we see vocalist Joel Quartuccio heavily interacting with in the music video. The video stunningly captures the physical, emotional and even transcendent experience of being at a post-hardcore show as it keeps the watcher’s eyes fixed on Azaïs.
“Morgan asked me before we filmed what the essential image of Being As An Ocean was,” Ross elaborates, “and I told him it was, of course, Joel in the crowd, face to face with a kid. That's kind of what the words Being As An Ocean boil down to.” This is an encounter that happens at virtually every BAAO show. Go to one and you will be sure to see the vocalist wash into the sea of fans in search of a true and deep connection. “Being As An Ocean embody this idea of sharing,” the director concludes, “of being together in one moment, one place, as one heart.” Appropriately, the music video is dedicated to all those who lost their lives in the 2015 terrorist attacks on Paris.
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