Dark but hopeful is the theme in this video for “The End” by Boston progressive rockers I Was Awake. The band officially released it earlier today, and I caught up with singer/guitarist and lyricist Chris Harvey to dig into the narrative a bit. The video follows three stories – a woman in an abusive relationship, a man abusing drugs, and a man trapped in a dead-end job. Each character is looking for the strength to escape.
“The song tells the story of both hopelessness and hope,” says Harvey. “It’s about people looking at their darkest moments, and consciously making a change to better their situation.”
The title has a double meaning here. “The end” might come if your problems overcome you, but it could also come if you manage to leave your negative past behind. “The song is heavy and dark, but is also an attempt at encouragement,” says Harvey. “It comments on assessing your situation and not letting shit drag you down. The idea of the lyrics are that often you either have the ability to let things be “the end of you” or you can make a choice to evoke ‘the end of [a past] you.’”
There seems to be a bit of a disparity in depth when considering the three storylines – drug abuse, domestic abuse, and a dead-end job. The idea, according to Harvey, is to reach out to anyone who might feel overwhelmed.
“Everyone has struggles they deal with in their lives,” says Harvey. “Whether it’s with relationships, physical or sexual abuse, substance abuse, depression – everybody has their own shit. The idea is that you can be strong enough to face them head on, before they take hold of you. With the corporate office job situation, being miserable is no way to go through life. A paycheck is a paycheck, but that’s all it is. Why go through life dragging yourself through each day? Also, I think its safe to say that a lot of times something like a draining, stressful job will lead to other situations like substance abuse, physical abuse, relationship issues, et cetera.”
The band shot the video locally around Boston with Dom Portalla of Door Eleven Productions, with Vin Pugliese handling lighting. “We were very lucky that he wanted to work with us on this, can’t say enough good things about Dom,” says Harvey. “We did it in four days of shooting: one live performance day in South Boston, a hotel scene on Route 1, an office scene in Boston, and lastly an apartment scene in Revere.”
“The End” is available on I Was Awake’s album Façade.