Holding You Tight Notes:
The new Zan Zone videos are for the last song on our most recent album, 2022’s Start Where You Stand. “Holding You Tight” is the lone love song on the record. Most of SWYS explores difficult and dark themes and HYT actually has those elements as well. It portrays a situation where the singer is reminiscing about former times with their lover and is remorseful that they are not now, together. There is also the implication that there’s no certainty as to when - or if - they’ll ever be together again, or at least anytime soon. HYT, thus, continues the dystopian slant of the album but here, in a most personal way.
We decided to make two videos for the song. One is just a pleasant version of Angela singing happily, with the band backing her up. The other video shows two sides to the story: the happy side, and then the sadder, lonely side. The restaurant scenes are colorful and full of good feelings. The dystopian side is dark, almost black and white, and there’s a feeling of loneliness and heartache. We shot the happy side at a very cool restaurant in Brooklyn, NY - The Art Bar & Cafe. They actually also have a small boutique clothing store with amazing one-of-a-kind clothes. The dark side shots were filmed at a film studio - York Studios - in Queens, NY. Except for the Theremin shots (not a vaccine!), we actually utilized a dressing room and some outdoor space.
Pretending to be a Steven Spielberg or a Federico Fellini or someone, I was actually the de facto director! The more videos we do I find that I would love to do many more videos as I think I’ve now got the “film-makers bug!”. However, they require tons of preparation and planning and oh, a good bit of money to make them, unfortunately. Yes, you can make a video with a phone camera, and many folks do these days, but the Zan Zone projects really needed a bit more technical pizzaz. Our cameraman, David Tumblety is a veteran operator who has shot lots of things including complete feature-length movies. And of course he's done a fantastic job with our projects. Our editor, Richard Rosenbaum, is likewise a long-time industry maven who puts everything he’s got into putting together the raw footage. Both of them are also artists in their own right. David is a sculptor, and Richard is a visual artist. They’re a great team and we are incredibly fortunate to have them contributing to our projects.
The song, “Holding You Tight” was created just how it sounds. I was dating a woman a while back who I just did not get to see as often as I wanted to and that frustration was the inspiration for the song, simple as that. When the SWYS project was in the planning stages, I thought that HYT would be a perfect ending to the album. Below the surface, it’s not really a happy song at all, and that more or less fits in with the larger and dystopian themes of the rest of the album. It’s personal and it expresses love but also, there’s sadness and loneliness. Ok - so we weren’t going for a beach party record!
Clearly, there are disturbing elements to most of the songs, and I thought that a Theremin would add to those themes. Theremin’s have been used a lot in sci-fi and horror flicks, and its sound - thin with few overtones - creates an odd sort of edge to whatever it's applied to. It’s not warm like a violin, or even a synthesizer, and I think it contributes to an overall feeling of unease on the track. I own one, though it’s not a full-fledged model which has not only pitch control, but volume control as well which, of course, is all done by hand movements in the air. On mine your hands just control the pitch. They’re very tricky to use as the slightest hand movement changes the pitch.
There are YouTube videos of people playing Theremins in an expert manner. I am not an expert on the Theremin by any means, but by trial and error, I was able to make it work. I really like how it sounds - almost like a string section, but not quite. There’s just some element of strangeness to the sound which I think really works here. I also used it on another SWYS album track, the song “That”. The Theremin is a very cool instrument but you have to use it where it makes sense.
The guitar I used in the video, an Epiphone 339, was not the guitar I actually used to record the track. That was a Tom Anderson Drop Top, which is an awesome guitar. But the Anderson is a very modern, rock-type guitar, while the Epiphone has a more traditional look which I felt fit the visual much better. I also played a rather non-rock-like solo which I think worked well on this gentle reggae song. I also used an Elctro-Harmonix Octive pedal which I think sounded really cool on the solo.
I hope everyone who watches the video now has a better understanding of the underlying themes and ultimately enjoys it! Thank you!