The Making of the Video: A Devil on Both Shoulders

This video was an idea I had in my head since I finished the recording. I will first start by explaining the concept of the song. This song was written at a time in my life when I was cold, heartless and basically fed up with relationships in general. I would not let anyone close to me whatsoever. I was tired of the 3 month relationships that I was going through time and time again. I knew that every time I looked to my shoulders to make a decision, there was not an angel on one side and a devil on the other. There was a devil on both shoulders. I was waiting for an angel to come along and change this perspective.

Now that the concept of the song has been explained, we have to see the underlying story in this video. The story with the guitars is a true story but it is also a metaphor for these relationships. I bought this acoustic guitar in 2006, an Alvarez acoustic-electric that I purchased online from the refurb center. It had a crack that was fixed in the factory and how I got it for half the normal retail price. The guitar sounded like crap, both acoustic and plugged in electric.  I sounded thin and cheap, not like a warm, full sound an acoustic is meant to represent. I played the guitar for several years because I had no other acoustic that plugged in and no budget to buy another one. In 2010, I bought a Taylor and absolutely fell in love with it. The sound of it acoustically, the electrical expression system and the ease of playability instantly made it my favorite acoustic I've ever owned. It is the guitar you hear throughout my new album.

So once we wanted to start shooting this video. I wanted to use this underlying story with my guitars the represent the feeling of the song. I also did not want to have to hire or find females to play the parts of the video that translate the song onto the screen. So we see this terrible "relationship" I am having with this guitar, that in real life I truly was frustrated with, that represents these broken relationships I was going through. The first two verses and choruses amplify this resentment in both stories. I am frustrated. I am angry. I'm fed up. During the guitar solo, you see me shoot, blow up and destroy this guitar, which in itself represents, getting the "devil" on my shoulders. During the last verse when I ask "When will my angel come and show me the way", you now see me falling in love with my new Taylor, skipping rocks across the lake, laughing, and having a great time. Overall the video has a literal translation of the story of these guitars, but represents what I went through to get to where I am today. I am in a relationship of almost 3 years. I am happy. I am content. And I am in love.

When I got together with Jay Saint, a rap music and video producer from Harrisburg, I had an outline and a plan for where to shoot each scene. Jay was excited that I had a concept and a story planned out. It helped make the shooting process and the editing process as efficient as possible. We shot at several locations, including Little Buffalo State Park, the North Hanover Grille in Carlisle, PA, and a few friend's houses with private property out in the country. During the day we shot a Little buffalo, the park was packed with people everywhere. We did not have permission to use the stage, but the people and even the park rangers assumed we did. People were smiling and waving at us, walking around us out of our way, and a park ranger even stopped us to ask how we were doing. It was a great fall day and we had a lot of fun. The North Hanover Grille was closed the day we shot on location. We hung out and drank beer while arranging and lighting each shot just perfect. You even see my guitar having a beer! The funniest part of the that day was while we were filming on the street, someone yelled "PENIS" while driving by. Little did the idiot know, the sound from the camera was not being used anyway. The studio version of the song is the soundtrack.

The day we went to shoot up and blow up this guitar, we went deep into the country. We used an explosive called Tannerite which has to be shot by a high velocity rifle bullet to explode. We tested a half pound of this explosive on a 5 gallon plastic bucket, which totally annihilated it. We knew we were good to go with the other half pund of Tannerite. We filmed that scene in HD slow motion so you could really see what happens. We used a modified M14 assault rifle to filmed the scenes where I shoot this guitar. It was a day of "man" fun!

The last scene we shot was the setting of the fire and the guitar solo shots, which we shot deep in the country at my friend Blumenschein's A-Frame. We poured lighter fluid onto it and when it went up, I damn near burnt my eyebrows off! We only had 1 chance of getting this shot right, so I had to totally remain calm and walk away into the darkness as this scene was intended to be. It actually start flurrying that day and you can see some of the snow flakes in the shots blowing around in the wind. It was cold! Very cold! So we were happy once that guitar was burning!

I have to give shout outs to where they are needed. First and foremost, I thank J. Saint for being a saint and one hell of a video director. It would not have been possible without his expertise. I'd like to thank Little Buffalo for unofficially letting us use their park. A big thank you to Chris Petsinis at the North Hanover Grille for letting us use his fantastic restaurant downtown Carlisle. Thanks to Derek Sweger for letting us shoot and blow stuff up on his land. Thanks to Jason Blumenshein for being a great shot with is rifle and letting use the A-Frame fire pit to sacrilegiously burn a guitar. And one final thanks to Todd Fisher for his cameo performance as another patron at the bar and Alicia Spanos for taking her Sunday off to let us in and serve us beer.

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