The sets were built, the cameras set up, the director flown in and the spotlight put on Deer Park when Houston-based band Pale chose a warehouse on Fourth Street as the site of its newest music video.
The concept of the video for "That Sinking Feeling," the first single off of their second full-length album "In the Time of Dangerous Men," incorporates the struggle between corporate greed and an artist's creativity.
"Basically [the video is] a high-concept visual approach to the struggle and suppression of art versus the business of art," said Calvin Stanley, Pale's lead singer.
The video has an industrial feel, making the warehouse the perfect location as it features leaking pipes, metal walls and sparks flying behind the band. The sets took three weeks to build before shooting could start.
The concept came after Blake Barnes, president of A-Blake Records, and Stanley listened to a rough cut of the song.
"This song, like 'Catastrophic Skies' talks about Texas artists," Barnes said. "It's been a long time since a great rock 'n' roll band came out of Texas and the song talks about how the big corporates of Los Angeles and Nashville kind of hold Texas artists down."
The idea was a corporate office crushing the band as they played. Soon after, the office blew up and the band returned from the ashes.
"At the end of the day you have a great idea, but when it gets on video, do people like it?" Barnes asked. "This one's got some very unusual stuff when people catch it."
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Though the video is a separate entity, it compliments the video for Pale's previous song "Catastrophic Skies," a mini post-apocalyptic movie with a Mad Max feel also filmed in Houston.
To bring the concept to life, they flew in director Jason Konopisos from Los Angeles, who directed the band's first two videos.
"Where 'Catastrophic Skies' is a tight narrative, this is a looser narrative," Konopisos said. "'Catastrophic Skies' is a post-apocalyptic world and this [video] is sort of at the point where artists begin to be oppressed. It's sort of a prequel, but also loose enough where people can make their own interpretation, so it kind of goes both ways and leaves it up to the audience."
Making a special appearance in the video is poker champion Sam Farha who by 2010 had earned more than $2 million in winnings. Farha appeared in the 2007 film "Lucky You," starring Eric Bana and Drew Barrymore.
Pale released its first full-length album in 2004, "Here," garnering media attention for the band. Soon after, they set off on a solo tour to support the album, also touring with Depeche Mode.
In 2009, Pale moved to Los Angeles and was approached by a representative of the "Twilight" movie franchise about the opportunity of having one of its songs featured on the "Twilight: Eclipse" soundtrack. After advancing to the final stages, executives ultimately chose a track from Thom Yorke, lead singer of Radiohead.
After playing top venues in Los Angeles, Pale returned to Houston permanently signing with A-Blake Records in 2011 as its flagship artist.
Sent off to seclusion at Barnes' beach house in Crystal Beach the band, working with Grammy-winning Producer Steve Christensen, recorded its newest album, "In the Time of Dangerous Men."
"Like when The Beatles or Zeppelin would make records, they would go to a location, completely isolate themselves, and live, eat and breathe music," Stanley said. "It's a rare thing for any band to get to do that, but for us was amazing. It made all the difference in the world.
"That Sinking Feeling" has already been released to college radio and alternative stations. Once those stations start to play the single, Pale will begin playing shows in those towns. Barnes hopes by the end of 2011 or beginning of 2012 the band will be on the road full time.
A-Blake Records is also looking to send Pale to Europe to play festivals.
"Their music is really more European," Barnes said. "There are some songs that really, may eventually come over here like Muse did or Kings of Leon did."
The CD, "In the Time of Dangerous Men" will be released June 21 and can be purchased on the bands website, palerocks.com or through iTunes.
"I like what comes back when people hear it," Stanley said. "Their interpretations are always close to where I'm coming from, but I'm not going to lead them. That's what's beautiful about music. It's clear enough, but everyone gets something different from it, but still the same story that we're all sharing, the listener and the artist."