For bands that write their own material and travel the road playing gigs, a raucous room full of adoring fans is usually the only thanks they need. But, every once in a while, it’s nice to know your peers notice your excellent work.
That’s what happened a couple weeks ago to local Wetaskiwin band Punch Drunk Cabaret, as the band earned the Video of the Year award for the song “Beard of Bees,” from the band’s third album “Electrik Steam Show,” at the Edmonton Music Awards June 29.
Randy Bailer, singer/songwriter, who also wrote the video’s storyline and co-produced the video. “It’s the first of its kind,” said Bailer by phone July 6, noting it’s the band’s first video award.
“It is a nice nod. I think at the end of the day I’m a wanna-be (movie) director.”
Bailer said the band had already been musing a promotional video to spread the word on the trio’s unique sound, a powerful and energetic blend of rockabilly and swing. He said videos can have a huge impact. The band’s own drummer, Sean Watt, began his percussion career by watching videos on TV.
With the emergence of online resources like YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, audience s are easier to reach than years ago, and the price of video equipment has dropped, while the quality has risen.
The singer/songwriter said the idea for the video germinated while preparing their third album. Bailer said the band was traveling to Hanna, past Drumheller, and he said the big sky country, sweeping and epic, really made an impact. Bailer said he wanted to help craft a cinematic video, a short film almost. Alberta is such a diverse landscape, and he said he wanted to capitalize on that. Plus, Bailer had to give a nod to pop culture influences like Tim Burton and David Lynch.
Picking “Bear of Bees” for a video was relatively easy, he noted. While writing material for their third album, the band hit on this mixture of blues and rockabilly that summed up what PDC is all about. “I always felt like we sound like ourselves on that song,” said Bailer.
After releasing the video, plenty of buzz circulated around it and the band, then being nominated for best video, boosted it even further. “More people were watching the video,” said Bailer.
The band was on the road during the awards ceremony, so they weren’t able to attend, but director Mark Remple and camera man/ photographer Larrie Thomson accepted on their behalf in Edmonton.
Bailer said he knew something was up when he checked his cell phone and had a pile of congratulatory messages. “I thought I was dreaming, that I wasn’t fully awake,” he said.
“We’re so used to being independent, being the underdog all the time. (After winning) people look at you in a different light.”
To find out more about PDC’s music, check their website at http://www.punchdrunkcabaret.com.