If you are a fan of local art rockers Fairy Bones, there is no doubt that you've been eagerly awaiting the release of their newest video for the final track from last year's Dramabot, "Notes From Wonderland." It is the group's best video since the creepy house party that was "Waiting," and it may well be the best local video so far this year. It's certainly the best local video since 80/20 Records label mates Captain Squeegee released "Seek." The video was written and directed by artist and body painter extraordinaire Brandon McGill and lead singer Chelsey Louise Richard. Photographer Jim Fury Hesterman shot it, Rachael Smith of Ray² Photography edited, and Kelly Gordon Sahr did wardrobe. Local music scene fiends Patro Gaston, Katherine Cronn, Bryan Preston, Victoria Bee, Sheri Amourr, and many, many more also make appearances.
This isn't any normal take on the Lewis Carroll classic Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. It's taken some liberties with the story, including the gender-bending portrayal of Alice by Seth Powers, disturbing portrayals of all of your favorite characters by the band members, and a fascinating study of the Red Queen.
"We didn't want this to be just another song about heartbreak and another video about Alice in Wonderland, so we put a twist on things," Richard says. "We created a new relationship between Red Queen and Alice and let Brandon McGill have free rein with his character visions. We wanted to feature as much Arizona talent as we could muster and showcase it alongside the music."
The story within the video could nearly be a new book or movie unto itself, using the vivid characters of the past to tell a new and completely different tale.
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"The song is pretty dark in all the right ways, and seemed like a natural fit for my creative universe," McGill says. "So after a number of meetings, we basically boiled down the story to this: Alice and the Queen are former lovers that were in a deeply toxic relationship. The problem is, he is so enamored with everything that he cannot see what was broken. In an attempt to find her, the heartbroken Seth goes on a journey."
Hesterman seemed pleased about the entire project.
"I think first off that [Fairy Bones] is one of the more talented bands leading the music scene," Hesterman says. "The video though, was an amazing collaboration between a very talented group of people, and I am thankful to have been a part of such genius."
Ultimately, McGill had this to say about his directorial debut: "Kind of a complex story for a music video, but I wanted it to be more than just, 'Look, pretty images!'"