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Video Premiere: "Brilliant Failures" by the black watch

The Black Watch
28 January 2020

John Andrew Fredrick of -the black watch – Photo Credit: Brendan Holmes

Veteran musician John Andrew Fredrick (acoustic & electric guitars, bass, percussion, keyboards, vocals) heads up LA-based indie rock band the black watch and he’s joined by Andy Creighton (guitars, bass, drums), Rob Campanella (keyboards, melotron, guitars, bass), and Scott Campbell (bass, keyboards) on upcoming album Brilliant Failures.

Brilliant Failures will be released on March 27th via A Turntable Friend Records. About the meaning behind upcoming LP’s title and songs, Fredrick reveals, “I have always felt like a brilliant failure of a person, so the title fits. I was only good at one subject in school—English Literature; and despite having a doctorate, I kind of failed (thank God) to become an academic. I quit every single sports team (football, basketball, tennis, track, baseball) in prep school, and I had to beg my way into graduate school at UCSB…”

“I think failing’s a fantastic thing—everyone should try it! Haha. I failed to write my first novel: 500 pages of failure. I failed at being a long-term boyfriend after being a failed husband. In American terms, I’m a financial failure, for sure—especially as money just seems such a vulgar pursuit most of the time. Is that, ironically, success? Being happy with some books and some guitars and a lot of records and a coterie of brilliant friends—plus a son who is wonderful and happy and making great music himself? Maybe I’m not the failure I think I am!”

And so goes the title track, as well as its accompanying video, which The Big Takeover has the pleasure of premiering today. All sorts of things go terribly awry in the clip that rummages through a bunch of found footage, from real-life accidents to movie and cartoon mishaps. It’s a colorful and many times funny patchwork of fumblings, bumblings, and stumblings, especially the bits of classic comedy with Charlie Chaplin and Laurel and Hardy.

Fredrick gives some details about the video’s creation, explaining, “I absolutely fell in love with label mate Paul Den Heyer’s debut LP, Everything So Far. His (and now my) chum Ian Holmes did a cracking video for the single off it, and Ulrich, the president of A Turntable Friend Records, asked Ian to interpret the second single off our new record.”

“Of late, the black watch have been all about letting our allies and associates just run with it, as it were; and we were just really pleased at the motifs and images Ian came up with for the theme of Brilliant Failures—which is what the entirety of the album is about!”