Back in 2003, I performed at a music festival that included a band called Arrogant Sons of Bitches, who absolutely blew me away with their energy and songwriting. The lead singer, Jeff Rosenstock, went to form a collective (for lack of a better term) called Bomb the Music Industry! and, more recently, has branched off into a solo career.
Rosenstock's last four solo albums (which you can download for free on his website, or purchase through his label) all feel like one continuous outraged chronicle of the modern era. In fitting with Rosenstock's reputation for confessional vitriol-spitting poetry, his latest music video, for the song "Scram!," takes advantage of the coronavirus quarantine to tell a socially distant story with his backing band — in the form of 90s PSAs. This not only fit the subject matter, but also made it easier to shoot.
As Rosenstock explained in a press release:
I started writing "Scram!" after being inspired by the kids from Parkland High standing up to the behemoth that is the gun lobby. The last four years (and let's be honest, my entire life) have felt like we are up against an unconquerable force of evil that thrives on violence and inequality. It was a rare bright spot to see thousands of people say. 'Hey, we're gonna be able to vote in the next election, and we are going to vote you the fuck out.' It was also inspired by the other side—the politicians and lobbyists who promote regressive policies that perpetuate the consolidation of power to the super rich at the expense of everyone else's lives—having the audacity to demand "civility" from students who have watched their classmates get murdered and are tired of going to school in fear.
Fuck that. Capitalism is the root of greed is the root of violence. You have bought your control, but more and more people are starting to see through that. I wanted to write a song that felt like a "Fuck you, your days are numbered" to the powers that be.
While the video is a retro quarantine delight without that context, the context definitely makes it pop even more.