Humble and hard-working singer-songwriter Joel Jerome is a staple in the underground indie music scene here in Los Angeles. In addition to fronting various bands like Dios and Joel Jerome and Babies on Acid, he’s also produced tracks by up-and-coming locals La Sera and Cherry Glazerr. With the release of his debut album Psychedelic Thrift Store Folk this past September on Manimal Records he showed us that he’s truly come into his own. The seven-minute long single, “Everybody Wants Somebody” is more than just a song, it’s a masterful musical journey and now it has the perfect visual accompaniment.
The video has a pre-digital, old-school filmic quality to it which brings some much appreciated grit and grain to the piece. It feels both fresh and familiar, especially amongst the modern bombardment of over-saturated and over the top visuals. The video transitions seamlessly between upbeat, day-in-the-life footage and dips into a psychedelic kaleidoscope of guitars, colors and nature, as the song dictates by its changes in tempo and lyricism. You will easily spot Joel in some highly recognizable places across Los Angeles where he is kicking it and playing his acoustic – Hawthorne, Elysian Park, Redondo Beach, Glassell Park, Echo Park, etc.
In the epilogue portion of the video we find Joel in a candle-lit rehearsal space and the mood becomes quite reflective and introspective. Complete with guitar and sax solos, this sparks the visual transition from Joel being primarily by himself throughout the first part of the video to being surrounded by friends and fellow musicians. It becomes clear that the song’s struggle and quandry of often feeling dissatisfied with what one has/doesn’t have (“I have all that I need / and now that I have it I don’t want anymore! / I don’t have what I need / and now that I want it I don’t have anymore! / ‘Cause everybody wants somebody too / And everybody wants somebody new“) has perhaps, been resolved by the end of the video and his friends and home were all he really wanted/needed all along, and all any of us really desire deep down.
We spoke with Joel to get the behind-the-scenes scoop on the inspiration and making of the video.
GG: Why was it important to you to include the various locations and friends from around Los Angeles?
JJ: Mainly because the video would be my introduction to many people and I like people to know where I’m at and where I’m from. Didn’t really have the patience to make some sort of narrative so I decided to do an homage to friends and hometown as stated above.
GG: Who directed and shot the video? What was it like working with them?
JJ: My very talented friends Jacquelinne Cingolani, Karri Bowman, and Amberlie Bankoff did the shooting and were great to work with because they’re super close friends and were open to all of my ideas. They worked super hard and put a lot of effort in making the visuals match the vibe of the song.
GG: I’m picking up on ’70s music vibes and ’90s video vibes…do you have any prominent influences from either era?
JJ: T. Rex/Bowie glam stuff is always swimming around my head. As for 90’s i was influenced by this video…didn’t come out quite like that but it was the initial influence. 90’s gangsta rap videos were also an inspiration because of all the shots of friends and hometown landmarks.
GG: About a quarter of the way through the video, the music and visuals change gear and go from “everyday” shots into a more psychedelic direction. Tell me about the significance of that.
JJ: That was done to follow the song and the change of mood that is the bridge. I imagined the feeling of being in a deprivation tank and floating so hence the pool scene.
GG: The single, “Everybody Wants Somebody,” was featured on an episode of the HBO hit show GIRLS. What was it like hearing your song on TV and experiencing it from that standpoint?
JJ: I actually haven’t seen the episode yet because my HBO GO is being weird. I also had a song on The OC and One Tree Hill back in the day and it’s always a trip when you hear your stuff on big shows like that, but I understand a lot of it is luck so I don’t get too high or too down about stuff like that anymore. I definitely appreciate it and feel very lucky to have more folks exposed to my music.
GG: What’s the dog’s name (in the video)? Did he have a tech-rider?
JJ: That’s Chuy, and yes he was SUCH a diva, but we kept him happy with his Trader Joe’s dog treats and belly rubs.
Watch the video now and then trip out to Joel Jerome’s sweet jams live when he headlines every Tuesday in March at The Continental Room for the Joel Jerome/Cosmic Bear Jamboree and a special show with Mark Sultan (The King Khan & BBQ Show) at The Continental Room on Tuesday, March 31st.
Joel Jerome – “Everybody Wants Somebody”