It’s one of those nights that you hear about, but you never really see: Friday night at Tradewinds on Davis Street, miles away from the hustle and bustle of the Bishop Arts District, and The Infamists are playing to a house filled with bar staff and the other bands on the bill: Powder Room and Mean Motor Scooter.
Watching The Infamists play, though, you’d never believe that there was such a low turnout, even on the eve of the release of their first video, “Withered On Your Vine.”
“That's what The Infamists is,” says singer and guitarist Riley William Rogers. “We’re a little bit notorious, but we’re also about being professional, showing up on time, not being a dick and playing our notes right. But, you know, not taking yourself too seriously either, which I think in the video you can definitely tell.”
Founded in 2012, The Infamists came together through a Craigslist ad that brought together Rogers and bassist Spencer Douglas Wharton. After just four shows with their first drummer, Craigslist brought them their current drummer, Ryan Weiss.
No matter the turnout, playing live shows is just part of the band’s work ethic.
“If we don’t play a show at least every three weeks,” says Wharton, “what are we even doing?”
And it is with that same spirit that their music video came together.
The video, from the group's album Champagne in the Killing Field (releasing independently Nov. 9), showcases the band doing what they do best — old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll, with lots of sex and booze.
“The Champagne is about having a good time,” says Weiss, “you'll get through it. And the killing field is representation of the bad times. So, we’re smiling through the shit basically.”
In this song, the “shit,” as it were, is the story that many people share, as it describes the way in which working stiffs are generally overworked by their employers. Acknowledging the drudgery of withering away for years while at jobs we don't care about, the video reminds us that there's no better way to escape than letting go.
“We were like, man, we're not going to be good if we're trying to be like some Miley Cyrus actress, actor playing a role,” Rogers adds. “So, what are we best at? Playing and partying. So we just got as many of our friends that would come and got all the booze and all the pizza we could afford.”
Friends, beer and pizza makes it a party for sure, but what really gave the video its NSFW status came through yet another Craigslist ad.
“It started out as just a cool spot the band found on Craigslist, but the studio ended up being owned by Kurtz Frausun, who happens to be a fetish photographer,” director Andrew Sherman explains. “His space started inspiring the theme to go from a simple band video to a raunchy rock 'n' roll party.”
“It was a blast, probably the most fun I've had shooting. The video is just a crazy party you wish you went to. I feel like it ended up being a modern rock version of The Benny Hill Show, and I’m OK with that.”
Within the first 25 seconds of the video, the party really gets going when actress Chelsea Blubaugh exposes her breasts to the audience with her nipples covered by the band’s stickers, followed by a series of scenes with an ever-present dildo.
“The dildo got used a little bit,” Rogers says as he stares down at the floor with just a bit of shame in his eyes. “I mean we worked with whatever we had and what we had was all kinds of, uh, adult theme props. Sorry, mom.”
Ultimately, there isn’t a whole lot to interpret when watching the band's video, and everyone involved is happy with it that way. It’s a raunchy video for an absolute jammer of a rock song. Turn on, tune in and drop out.
“The point of the video might've been ‘have no creativity,’” Rogers continues, halfway questioning his and the band's decisions the day of the shoot. “In the words of Jim Lahey, ‘The liquor did the talking,’ and there was quite a bit of it.”
Watch "Withered On Your Vine" (NSFW) below: