Headbangers Blog is proud to present the premiere of the new video from Agnostic Front for the song “For My Family.” The song, a celebration of family and a shout-out to New York City’s hardcore scene and the “Lower East Side Crew,” comes from the band’s new album, Warriors, which was released in November.
If this video seems like it has a lot of meaning, it was absolutely our intention,” frontman Roger Miret tells Headbangers Ball Blog. “This is a visual heirloom we’re passing on to the New York music scene about the history and future of hardcore. It’s a very personal letter for my family, acknowledging the love, respect, and honor we hold for NYHC and our families today, tomorrow, and forever. We personally felt a need to give back to our fans and followers with this video because they are the true founders of this video, which is truly made by us for them. This is their anthem and our dedication to their support.”
The “For My Family” video includes a cameo by Miret’s daughter, Havi, and features shots of various members of the New York hardcore community. The clip was directed and produced by Ian McFarland , who also coordinated all of the guest appearances.
“He gave our song a good listen,” says Miret. “It was his whole vision from listening to the lyrics and it came from his own involvement with the band and the scene. This is game recognizing game here at it’s best. My daughter Havi is a natural. Look at her. Give her an Oscar. She is a gem. I love her and my wife Emily and Nadia dearly. My family is my reason to live. I value family greatly, along with pride and honor. These are all strong elements in life and without family, pride, or honor, what is life worth living for? You can see the true love and bond our family holds.”
Breakdown of “For My Family” video by producers, Ian McFarland and Mike Pecci of Killswitch Productions:
On the live shots:
Ian McFarland: We shot the live performance stuff at Toad’s Place in Connecticut and then we shot the master shot of Roger, as well as a bunch of the portraits, in Brooklyn, New York at Hold Fast Tattoos. The rest of the portraits were shot in other parts of New York City and Los Angeles. As far as the crowd goes, they were amazing. There was a really cool vibe in the air all night that seemed to translate well on camera. It was a good mix of old fans, new fans, and people that had never heard of Agnostic Front.
Mike Pecci: We were adamant about capturing the raw energy and emotion and getting right into Roger’s face. The stage was extremely tight and with all of the band’s equipment on it, we had absolutely no room. I freaked out at first and told Roger that in order for us to do this right, we have to be on stage with them running around, throwing the camera in their face. Roger was totally cool with it. It was awesome! Ian and I became members of the band and our hand-held camera work became part of the performance. The audience that night was fantastic. As soon as Roger informed them that we were shooting a video, they exploded into an ocean of diehard fans. They literally became this raging sea of bodies that kept spilling on the stage. I had to try my best to avoid them and still get my shots. Roger was amazing with them. He really knows how to interact with his fans and get the most out of them. At one point I’m standing next to him filming a close-up and he says “Watch this,” and he walks to the edge of the stage and steps out onto the crowd. He starts walking on his fans as they hold him up, then turns around and waves at me to follow. I stood there watching him being tossed around by this sea of singing fans, then looked at my camera and yelled back, “I’ll get the shot from here.”
On tracking down the guests for the video:
Ian McFarland: Putting this together was not easy at all, due to the fact that I had to deal with musicians, and musicians usually have crazy schedules. It seemed like every person I wanted in the video was either heading out on tour, in the studio recording, or shooting a video of their own. Luckily I had a few guys I know and have worked with before (Neil Goss, Kevin Custer and Forest Love) shoot the stuff that Mike and I were unable to shoot. It was nuts and I can’t say that I was pumped during the whole process, but I’m glad that we stuck it out and kept pushing because the video and everyone in it mean a lot to the band and without them, it would not have the same depth.
On the art of shooting videos:
Mike Pecci: People in this business get caught up in the gear and forget the most important part of making a music video or a film. It’s all about what and who you put in front of the camera. The footage looks beautiful and emotional because we were filming emotional people. I spend a lot of time lighting my videos and that comes from my film and photography background. When we were shooting the portraits in New York, I worked closely with my electrician Aaron Tyburski to create a soft vignette type feeling that would serve as a heavy contrast to some of these hard-lived characters. One of the things I am most proud of in the entire video was the decision to have Roger [Miret] sitting during his singing part. He was really opposed to it at first but Ian talked him into it and I think that he understands why we wanted him sitting after he saw the video. I spent some time in prep watching all the old Agnostic Front videos, and in every single one Roger is always standing in front of the camera singing and jumping around. I thought that by controlling his movements and keeping him grounded on the couch, it made it more personal and gave you the feeling that Roger was actually singing to you at home in your living room.
Ian McFarland: I completely agree with Mike on this. Having Roger seated for most of the video seems like a small detail, but it really adds a tone of sovereignty that I feel does not come across in any of their other videos. Agnostic Front are the Godfathers of Hardcore and, in my eyes, always will be. Making this decision only underscores that.”
On why Killswitch Productions took the job :
Mike Pecci: When Ian first approached me about doing a live video for Agnostic Front, I was apprehensive. If we were going to do this, it had to be beautiful and different than all their other videos. This video is filled with emotional meaning and slight nods that only true hardcore fans will understand. I feel like each one of the videos that Ian and I do together are completely different than the one before it. Every time we get offered a video, our first thoughts are, “How can we make this different? How can we make this work for the band, appeal to the fans, but be completely new for the scene?” The music video market is so over-saturated today and most concepts are really weak. I take pride in the fact that every one of the videos that Ian and I have worked on has had concepts that come from completely original ideas.
Ian McFarland: Mike and I don’t pump out videos at the same rate that other directors do because we just don’t want to put out crap. We take pride in every video we do and love to do videos that not only the bands are proud of, but that we are proud of as well.