Americana Highways is pleased to host this premiere of the video short film for Son of the Velvet Rat’s song “When the Lights Go Down.” The song is from their upcoming album Solitary Company, due out March 19 on Fluff & Gravy Records. Solitary Company was produced by Georg Altziebler and Gar Robertson, and mixed by Fabio Schurischuster.
Son of the Velvet Rat is Georg Altziebler and Heike Binder. The duo resides in both Austria (where they’re spending the pandemic) as well as in Joshua Tree, California.
The video was directed by Gordon Clark.
Foregoing a traditional music video, the team instead opted to craft a short film, for which the song already told the suspenseful tale. With long dark shadows and noir clown makeup and an ambiguous ending, this video leaves you craving the next episode in the unlikely affair. But this is a double delight, since Altziebler’s vocals provide a hypnotic frailty that’ll have you leaning all the way in. His vocals conjure the grit of Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits but with an extra dose of vulnerability.
This song is a film noir — murder ballad from the perspective of a patron sitting at the bar at Landers Brew, the local watering hole in the little high desert-community of Landers/California. It’s not clear who the victim is here, and who’s not. The only certainty is conveyed in the title: “We’re all the same – When the lights go down.’“ — Georg Altziebler, Son of the Velvet Rat
When Georg, Heike and I first met, the driving synergy between us was we all wanted the same thing, a gritty black and white film — Georg did not want to lip-sync the song on camera, this allowed more time to engage the viewer with a narrative story, time to isolate and define the characters that related to the lyrics “When the lights go down,” Georg and Heike gave me license to create a compelling story using local characters of the high desert. Paul West at Academy post in South Africa helped me create the transition effect between the scenes. —Gordon Clark, director
Find more information here: https://www.sonofthevelvetrat.com