Brand new band Aliens Don’t Ring Doorbells are crossing boundaries of geo-locations and genres with their latest single Story, a song about cherishing your time on earth and celebrating all stages of life. We caught up with the band to find out more, including their writing process, themes and the single’s accompanying music video, which was filmed in the Ukrainian countryside.
Can you give us your quick elevator pitch on this track? Why does this one standout for you as a band?
This is one of the songs we truly loved recording; it’s the most acoustic song on the album. It’s a stirring and powerful piece of music with the track celebrating both loss and renewal. The song Storystands out for us as a band because it’s relevant today; global events have given us a chance to reflect on our lives, families and what is really important.
Story has met with a level of interest that has really surprised us as a debuting band just over one month ago, and the feedback we have gotten from so many around the world in such little time suggests to us that people very much continue to cherish the instrumental, as well as the vocal music experience.
How did you tackle the writing process for the song? Was there anything unique about this track compared to your usual/previous approach?
Musically it started by trying to discover yet another way to re-invent Travis finger picking on guitar and it sounded like a nice hook so I thought, why not? So that is the genesis – a picking pattern. The chord progression is a simple one for the verses – which allows us to leave room and develop the main vocals and other parts. The chorus, however, is a variant on the typical diatonic chord movement through the song’s key; which is D by the way. The difference is that instead of going to the 5 chord (A for this song) – which is almost always major, it goes to a minor chord and this works as a transition and a mood change for the song. So that was the essential foundation musically. Once I brought Story to Adam and Christian, we started to adjust it to our sound and as a result included a lot of new dynamics into the composition. What’s unique about this track, is that this is the only track on the album that actually has some instrumental tracks from the demo recording. I could say that this was because it was such a great take but, in truth, we got a bit stuck. The music video was in production using the demo version of the song, so we expected to simply record the new version to the same click (beats per minute, bpm), but the demo click was turned off during demo recording and it is slightly variable. It’s a small detail but someone might find it interesting; it was fixed, by the way, by using the demo percussion and piano tracks as the first tracks laid, as we recorded the final version.
Can you tell us how the song’s theme came about?
I wrote the song Story for Aliens Don’t Ring Doorbells, and I had my young son and dad in mind, as well as the span of time between us. It celebrates all stages of life because they all have meaning. We have some fans that have taken the time to listen again and again and find their own message in our songs; really proud of that. It is a positive message of life, which is to cherish our time while we are here.
Tell us about the video, do the themes of the single transfer to the video?
The Story music video was shot in the beautiful countryside of Ukraine. The music video tells the tale of a young boy who dreams of becoming a pilot like his father. Tragically, the young boy loses his father (a World War II fighter pilot) in the war. The video then jumps forward in time and the young boy is now a grandfather sharing the dream of flight with his grandson. In a moment of celebration, the grandson’s father reveals his handmade glider and, with his son’s help, launches the glider to celebrate both the grandfather and the boy’s love of flight.
We worked with the film’s director, Viktor Maslyaev, to develop the theme and vision for this dramatic music video. Viktor listened repeatedly to the song and his vision of what the song meant to him became the Story music video. He wanted panoramic vistas to support the film. He shot using a unique anamorphic lens and camera for a cinematic feel. Victor had a real passion for Story and the cast was really enthusiastic as well. He storyboarded his vision – which we all loved – and then we flew to Ukraine in summer 2019 to shoot it.
Do you have any behind the scenes stories from the video shoot?
Well because of listener interest, we will soon be releasing “The Making Of” video, which was produced as a present for the band by Victor and the film production team. We liked it so much we asked the guys to get it ready for upload, so I hope your readers will check it out at aliensdontringdoorbells.com or YT, etc. There are lots of interesting themes and good times.
Anything else you’d like to add for our readers?
We love performing and we want to let our fans and listeners know that our music is 50% of what we have to offer them, the other half is performing for them and as soon as we can do it safely, we will; we’re ready! In the meantime, we will be looking at how we can engage our audience with virtual ‘play at home’ renditions, as well as looking into other media which would allow us to each film separately, say on green screen, and then combine us like we normally are when we play live.
Aliens Don’t Ring Doorbells is also a visual band and we’re very aware that music today has a greater effect when it is accompanied by strong visuals. I’m talking dramatic and performance videos and creative lyric videos. As we continue to release material from our new album, each song will also feature a stylised video which often tells a story; we like doing that. The Story, Consummation and It’s Your Night music videos are the first of a number of exciting upcoming videos we want to share along with our music.