Caught Up: Scott Sullivan

 Talk about the video, where did the inspiration for the video take place, who made it, where was it filmed?

Scott Sullivan   photo,  Lucas Debari at the Mt. Baker Road gap
Scott Sullivan   photo,  Lucas Debari at the Mt. Baker Road gap
Scott Sullivan   photo,  Lucas Debari at the Mt. Baker Road gap
Scott Sullivan   photo,  Lucas Debari at the Mt. Baker Road gap
Scott Sullivan   photo,  Lucas Debari at the Mt. Baker Road gap
Scott Sullivan   photo,  Lucas Debari at the Mt. Baker Road gap

 For me the inspiration was born in the music at the very beginning of the song where the high piano note hits and my eye opens. I always pictured the image of myself passed out on the piano, and then jolting abruptly awake to the note with my eye being the focus. I talked about making the video with my friend Eric Brandt and shared this idea with him. He expanded on the idea and we came up with a concept that we felt lent itself to the elements of the “drunken” piano, and the country-ish feel of the song. A sort of dream state I would be experiencing in a hybrid 1850’s saloon style/silent movie era meshed with settings from the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s- In the end all coming full circle to the modern day.

We began working on the storyline for 6 months prior to shooting anything. The process was kind of the exact opposite of the experiences that Eric and I both had with shooting snowboarding where a lot of times you just go out and hope you get a shot. Eric has been one of the key contributors to Absinthe Films for years. Lately, he has been branching out and expanding into a more narrative style. He’s ruling it. You can check out his reel and some of his other work here

We shot it right at home on the Olympic Peninsula, in Washington State, with the help of some great friends providing acting skills, filling key roles, and hooking up locations. Also, my wife, Natalie Murphy, who is a clothing designer for Roxy and Lib Tech, helped us with the costuming and styling for all the ladies in the video. We did the whole thing pretty guerilla style as far as budgets and sets were concerned, but the planning and prep that we did allowed us to come together and shoot the whole thing over a 4 day span. Eric then went to town and did the edit, using his ideas to create a different visual feel for each scene.

Are you planning on going on tour to support the record?

 I am more interested in playing regional shows, instead of an extended tour. I am pretty down right now to combine my love of photography with my music and make some more videos. It’s the perfect combination for me and it’s rad how much visibility you can access by creating within the realm of music and imagery, using the wonder web as a tool to get it all out there.

Nicolas Muller. PHOTO: Scott Sullivan

Do you think recording the record in Seattle had a big influence on the sound of the record?

Yea. I had access to amazing coffee every morning. Mainly though it was the experience of working in a new studio for me. I worked with Pete Remine at Dubtrain in sunny West Seattle. Pete is so connected to a wealth of great musicians in the Seattle area. I was able to bring in different players for different songs if I needed to on a hire basis. On past records it’s been a bit more fixed, but this was a good opportunity to craft every song individually. I played most of the stuff, along with Pete, who’s a great multi instrumentalist, but when we needed to, we were able to bring in some precision players to fit the song.

 How long did it take you to grow such a kickass mustache.

It’s been a while for sure and it has gone thru several stages of different kickassness. A lot of it was ramping up for the video, and now it’s just like another one of my kids.

 What’s next on the horizon?

 Deciding how long the ‘stache remains.

I’m also going to be writing some new songs, finishing my home studio, I’m going on a Chile photo trip with Volcom, chasing surf while at home, and enjoying this amazing life.  I once read a quote somewhere, and it still resonates within:  “Live every day like it’s your last … and one day you will be right.”  That’s the truth.


PHOTO: Kevin Zacher

You can find Scott’s album, Cracks and All, on iTunes right HERE!