Philadelphia sextet The Wonder Years have built a career on an intense and intimate connection with their fans that no other group in today's pop-punk scene can replicate. This was true when the band played basements shows to 50 fans, or opened gigs in 5,000-strong arenas. And Jeremi Mattern—drummer for the Wonder Years' labelmates Driver Friendly—understands the importance of that connection, which he highlights as the director of The Wonder Years' new music video for "There, There." Watch above.
"There, There" opens TWY's latest full-length album, The Greatest Generation, and the track stands out as one of the most calm-sounding songs the band have written. But in terms of intimacy, connectivity and relatable lyricism, it fully represents what The Wonder Years have made their calling card.
"I wanted to show the band up close so there was no other place for the viewers to look," Mattern tells Fuse of the concept behind the clip, directed with his Austin, TX-based video company Danger Films (Mattern runs the studio with Driver Friendly bassist Chris Walker when the band isn't on the road).
"The song starts so intimately, and it's a departure from most TWY songs," Mattern explains. "Cutting between all of their faces at the beginning, to me, represents how their band and music is bigger than one person. But it still manages to communicate to listeners on an extremely personal level."
As lead singer Dan Campbell drives home the refrain—"I'm sorry I don't laugh at the right times"—the clip's visuals merge from a close-up of the band members' faces to a performance video. The video later culminates in an intense, broken-up effect that Mattern says is meant to imitate the insanity of the band's live shows. Campbell belts, "Is this what it feels like with my wings clipped? I'm awkward and nervous," while the video seems to break down around him.
"At the end, I wanted to do the exact opposite from the beginning. I wanted to show everyone what it's like to see that band on stage going crazy in front of thousands of fans," Mattern says. Shot in only six hours between tour dates at a microbrewery in Austin, the urgency of trying to pull together the video in a time crunch seeps through during the fervent performance.
The Wonder Years are currently on tour overseas in Europe and will wrap up their 2013 with four intimate acoustic shows in the Northeast in mid-December.