Double Grave is a band I, along with many others, became acquainted with in a way that feels completely natural to the Minneapolis music scene. Sometime in 2017, I descended some rickety stairs into an unfinished basement where a packed room of music fans nodded along to Double Grave’s distorted, shoegaze-influenced breed of punk.
That experience is one that, while common for many music fans for years, feels all but lost in the current moment. Something about Double Grave’s uniquely fuzzed-out sound and accompanying music video for their latest song, “Whatever,” directed by Jack Buckholz, puts the viewer right in the coziest corner of a local show without fear of a drink getting spilled on your shoes.
“In the past, when we have worked on music videos, it’s been a lot more structured,” Buckholz said. “But with this one, it was more like, ‘Okay, what do we have; Jeremy, come over, and we can record something in my backyard,’ and it sort of came together from there.”
“Whatever” opens with vocalist and guitar player Jeremy Warden sitting alone in a backyard, barefoot and masked. After just a few chords, the viewer is thrown into a shakey VHS-filtered capture of the band playing a house show. In a digital landscape where so many moments are recorded and immediately submerged into an endless camera roll or tapped through on an Instagram story, this video collages bits of media into a dreamy stream of nostalgia.
“Jack was supposed to come on tour with us. We wanted to make a tour video with this record,” Warden said. “Instead, we ended up reaching out to basically everyone we’ve ever played with and searching our Instagram story archives for whatever we could find.”
“Undercurrent was a great resource for that, as well,” bassist Bree Meyer added. “Shout-out to them for documenting so many shows.”
“The VHS aesthetic kinda helped everything come together,” Buckholz said. “It’s easier to make the quality of videos look worse, so by adding that, we were able to tie together a bunch of old cell phone videos and make it feel intentional.”
“While we had wanted to make a video of this summer’s tour,” Warden said, “it ended up being a kind of retrospective tour video.”
Now, nearly five months since live music was completely turned on its head, Double Grave have been forced to shift the way they operate as a band.
“It’s weird, it almost feels like the band barely exists,” Warden said. “Gigging and playing shows is like 70% of how we operate, so rolling out this record has felt really strange.”
The live-show limitations surrounding this record’s release allow Double Grave’s fans to become acquainted with the band in a new way.
“It’s definitely the thing we are most proud of as a band,” Warden said. “We really took our time making this record sound like what we sound like live, and I think that it represents our sound really well.”
“I’m excited for people to hear the way we sequenced this record,” Meyer said. “The whole album is strung together really intentionally, and it allows the singles to feel much more dynamic in the context of the whole thing.”
Double Grave’s sophomore album Goodbye, Nowhere! is out today, August 7th, on Forged Artifacts.
Every other Friday we take a behind-the-scenes look at a new music video from a Minnesota artist. Send submissions to fridayfive [at] mpr.org!