A good day is one in which you get to premiere a Deadbeat Beat video. "Baphomet” is the lead-off track from the just-released How Far, an album that is excellent in the same way that an unexpected thunderstorm on a clear blue summer day can be.
Filmed by their friend Jack Schmier — who also shot the band's "You Lift Me up" video — this one was shot out in Monroe County in a big open field. The sky pulses a not-quite-cloudless blue as Alex Glendening and Maria Nuccilli approximate frolicking, while the Fermi Power Plant generates nuclear power behind them.
Guitarist/vocalist Glendening expounds on the video by saying that he’s always been struck by the way the Fermi plant looks ever since he was a little kid. He’s also recently become more interested in drone filming and the ease of accessing new angles and crane-style shots that were once very difficult and expensive to create. (Fun fact: All but one of DBB’s videos to date have incorporated a drone shot, but this is the first to be exclusively shot via drone.)
“Drones themselves are very scary when they fly by you,” Glendening adds. “That’s kind of what a nuclear power plant and a drone have in common: They’ve changed the way in which we are able to do things as a society, but they are both very terrifying and extreme.”
This commonality is definitely present in the video: with its sky-high shots and the drone’s ability to zoom around, it makes me feel as small as nuclear power does.
The music itself is bright and beautiful, a near-perfect example of the pleasant negativity, or anxious camaraderie, that Deadbeat Beat excels at — probably at least in part because Glendening and drummer Nuccilli have that near-psychic musical connection that forms between people who’ve been playing together for over a decade. It fucking sucks to feel sad or troubled or confused, but doesn’t it feel a little better to share those feelings with someone? Maybe it doesn’t even feel better, but at least in the sharing, you get an opportunity to feel something else.
To Glendening, the song is his version of “Everybody’s saying that hell’s the hippest way to go/ well I don’t think so/ but I’m gonna take a look around” from “Blue” by Joni Mitchell. “It’s like my updated millennial interpretation of that lens,” he says. “Not only did we never get ourselves back to the garden, but we’re actually actively just burning it down to farm monocultures of soybeans or whatever. So, everybody’s been doing hell or whatever for so long that this is what’s left. Hell’s not extreme enough, so now it’s ‘Baphomet.’”
Glendening makes one last point in our brief chat, which further reflects that camaraderie I mentioned earlier: “Also we are sad Zak [Frieling] couldn’t be there the day this video was shot, but I am so glad he plays bass for us and that he plays on the record. It couldn’t have been made with anyone else.”
Deadbeat Beat is about to head off on a West Coast tour with Detroit’s own tireless guitar experimenter Shells (Shelley Salant), but they’re back in October for a very exciting hometown show in which they are opening for post-punk goddess Chandra. You can watch the video, check the dates below, and tell all your West Coast friends.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.