Raccoon Fighter are the sort of down-to-earth, garage-y NYC rock band you would expect to find in Manhattan's dingy rock clubs in the '80s and '90s. That's not a bad thing, though. It's good enough to entice Locally Ampedto premiere their new video for "Street Urchins," off of their 2013 debut album ZIL (via PaperCup Records).
Playing off of their raucous, ragged-at-the-edges sound, the new video features recorded footage of lead singer/guitarist Sean Gavigan in a green suit, causing havoc on the subway platforms. The three-piece then tied together this footage with retro clips of the MTA and other iconic NYC scenes, including the Lower East Side's Cake Shop.
Ahead of their new EP, Spiral Flag, later this year (also via PaperCup), we spoke with Gavigan and bassist Gabe Wilhelm via email on the track and filming the video in NYC's most popular — and grimiest — place.
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Locally Amped: What was the inspiration for the video?
Sean Gavigan: It was supposed to be B-roll footage for a video we shot of a car ride gone wrong. The other footage didn't really come out the way we wanted, so we rolled with this instead.
Locally Amped: What is "Street Urchins" about?
Gabe Wilhelm: It's about wanderlust, but in a naive way. Young people want to feel like they're part of something bigger than themselves, and escaping your hometown is the best way to realize how mediocre you are. But it's not totally cynical about it. It's hopeful. I think.
Locally Amped: How was it filmed?
Sean Gavigan: It was just Ryan [Adams] and I. He had a DSLR and I wore the green suit. Neither one of us knew it before that night, but people love the green man.
Locally Amped: It definitely looks like a fun time. Any particularly funny stories about filming?
Sean Gavigan: I spotted a buddy of mine (John [Watterberg] from Dead Stars) while I was dressed as a green man and snuck up behind him. I wanted to creep him out, so I put my silky green fingers over his eyes. When he turned around, he was excited to see green man, even though he had no idea who it was. I gradually got creeper and began massaging his shoulders until he backed away and drew the line. He stated his appreciation for green man and offered me $5! I gave him his money and removed the mask. He was shocked. It was incredible!