Dead Army get by with a little help from their friends and a $10,000 grant from Telus’s Storyhive project. The brand new all-original modern rock band have just begun filming their first video with assistance from local filmmakers Charlie Christensen and Nick Bohle.
“We weren’t even a band six months ago and now we’re doing a video. Even six months ago I didn’t even think I was a very good drummer,” said drummer Ken Paul, putting on his acting hat and coffee shop apron to play a barrista serving a coffee to Victoria Officinalis, playing a soldier with PTSD in the video for Dead Army’s song “Back From the Dead.”
The band also includes bassist Chris Sarazin and guitarist/vocalist Rob Murach, who used to play in a band with producer Charlie Christensen.
“‘Back From the Dead’ is about someone suffering from depression and PTSD. It’s the feelings involved with that,” Paul summarized, noting he pitched the idea of a counsellor dealing with PTSD to Christensen and Bohle, who expanded the concept into a multi-person narrative about a counsellor, a discharged solder, a little girl with cancer and a school principal who approach the concept from their own individual perspectives.
“I just had the idea of the counsellor, but they made it so much better,” Paul added.
“Dead Army is a radio-friendly hard rock band,” Paul summarized, noting the band formed last year, and videos of them just playing in the basement have already received thousands of views on social media.
“It’s more of a short movie than it is a music video,” said director Nick Bohle, noting he and Christensen put together the idea and and grant application 48 hours before the deadline.
“I had just finished a gig and we put it together,” Bohle said, adding everything happened very quickly.
“Over 200 bands applied for the grant and 20 bands from Alberta got it and 20 from B.C.
Dead Army have also been collaborating with the Lethbridge Legion.
“We have a show there on Feb. 16. They offered to put us in touch with veterans who have PTSD,” Paul said, adding that has helped them understand the issue a lot better.
“We got a lot of support from the Legion. And we have had a lot of support from the community,” Bohle said.
“We even shot some scenes at the Canadian Mental Health Association in Lethbridge and got David Gabert (who works with the association) in the video,” he continued.
He is making the $10,000 grant stretch as far as he can.
“I’m not even paying myself. I’m looking at the future,” said Bohle, who studied sound engineering in Vancouver and has a drama degree from the University of Lethbridge. He has performed at the University of Lethbridge and with Shakespeare in the Park.
“I’m also a musician,” he said, adding he hopes the video will let people know about Dead Army and the Lethbridge music scene.
The project must be submitted by April 9. It will be available for viewing on a variety of streaming platforms May 27.