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Piqued Jacks – Photo Credit: Betty Bryce
Tuscany is known for sweeping landscapes from the Apennine Mountains to the Tyrrhenian Sea to Chianti’s olive groves and vineyards, and world’s most recognizable Renaissance art and architecture, but what’s really taking our breath away is Tuscany’s alternative rock band, Piqued Jacks. Their music sounds like The Killers, Biffy Clyro, and Incubus made a supergroup in an Italian villa, and all you could smell was their mom’s homemade meatballs while they recorded, and the wholesomeness infused into the songs.
They’ve opened for Interpol and Atoms For Peace, worked with Grammy Nominated producer Michael Beinhorn (Soundgarden, RHCP), Dan Weller (Enter Shikari, Young Guns), toured the US and UK, and won “Best Arezzo Wave Band – Tuscany” — just to name a few accolades.
Today, The Big Takeover is debuting the world premiere of their music video and new single, “Wildly Shine,” which will be available everywhere on Friday, June 19th.
“Wildly Shine” is a delicate song about a dramatic event: a slow ballad that evolves into a forceful ending, where the mourning of a sudden loss of a friend turns into the celebration of a meaningful person.
Describing the message behind the song, the band says, “‘Wildly Shine” is meant to embody the soul of our friend Hannah, an incredibly kind and positive girl who hosted us in Beaumont, TX, while we were touring the US in 2015. It was just for a day, but we connected so well that we promised we’d meet again in Italy. Sadly, two weeks later, Hannah was killed in a car accident by a drunk driver.”
Shocked by the news, E-King sat at the piano, and a melody started flowing naturally; a bunch of words followed it, then the whole band joined in. “But we wanted the song to be really special, so we entrusted Grammy Nominated producer Michael Beinhorn (Soundgarden, RHCP) with the pre-production process, who helped us taking the music and the lyrics to the level that Hannah deserved.”
“Self-engineered and produced, recorded and re-arranged a thousand times, started by our former drummer ThEd0g and finished by the current one, Holy Hargot, “Wildly Shine” – out of all our songs – struggled the most to come to life. But now we can proudly address it as our most powerful ballad.”
Telling us more about the video, the band adds, “Our friend Hannah used to practice acro-yoga, so the first thing that came to our mind was a video focused on something related to that. The closest one was contemporary dance.”
“The style of the two dancers Francesca Moroni and Emanuela Puzio is a blend of various backgrounds so their interpretation of the song came out as a very unique piece of art. We sat down, we talked about Hannah’s story and they made it theirs.”
“We knew we wanted to shoot the video fully in Tuscany, in order to keep showing our beautiful homeland to the world – which we did in several videos such as the “Romantic Soldier’s” video clip and Aerial Roots’ album teaser”.
“The marble quarry and the beach weren’t our first choice. We looked for lighthouses in the middle of the sea, small islands and old theaters. The three locations we eventually chose are all abandoned places; we thought this helps the message of the video to stand out: one’s brightness “wildly” shines “forever, and everywhere.”
“The video doesn’t necessarily follow the lyrics, yet it completes it. The idea of following the cycle of the light from a dawning atmosphere to the sunset above the sea – with the night in the cinema in between – was another interpretation we gave to the song.”
“The story of the making of the video would deserve its own video. We didn’t sleep for three days. We drove miles to get from one location to the other, facing the freezing and rainy weather. Oh, and the whole project got canceled a few days before the shootings by its original director.”
“The dancers and Francesco Terranova – the director – were our heroes and still are. While in the video clip you see them concentrated, off-screen they were shivering non-stop and ended up having chilblains. Along with us, they truly put their whole heart in the making of this video.”
“Not to mention Alessandra Lari’s – the body painter – job, who did the dancers’ make-up in no time (she probably set a new Guinness World Record). Twice.”
“We shot the band parts in the middle of the night in this old ass abandoned cinema in a small village up in the hills, and we made a hell of a noise when shooting drums. We still don’t know how we did not get arrested.”
“The whole place was covered in dust; it was literally everywhere. And breathing dust for six hours straight was not fun at all. At least our moms cooked some tasty meatballs for us.”
“After almost a whole day shooting at the marble quarry, we had to rush to the seaside to get the last shots with the sunset (picture that: the clock was ticking, the road was super narrow and slippery because of the rain, and it was November, so the sun was going down fast and early). The first car reaches the beach and sets the cameras, but the sky is heavily cloudy and there is no sun on the horizon. When the second arrived with the dancers, the magic happened: the clouds on the horizon started moving and left a little room for the sun to “touch” the water. It was truly emotional, it was like seeing our friend giving us a hand when most needed. An unforgettable moment.”
Check out these unforgettable moments and more in Piqued Jack’s video for “Wildly Shine”:
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