UK metalcore band While She Sleeps recently completed an Asian tour including dates in Chinese speaking areas such as Taiwan, China and Hong Kong as well as a date in Thailand. While on the road they brought along Singapore-born filmaker Ryan Chang along for the ride to document the journey. Today the band has released a phenomenal music video compiling that footage into one emotion-heavy video.
We had the pleasure of hounding this outstanding man behind the video who provided us with the following information:
“The band always had an affinity with Asia, judging by the amount of shows they play on the continent as compared to other English bands at their level. I think it was already established for some time that they were going to film a music video there.”
On the actual concept of the video, Ryan revealed:
“I actually co-directed this with Mat Welsh, a member of the band. He sort of had this idea of juxtaposing the innocence of mother nature and the beauty of culture, with the sins of humanity and all the chaos that comes with it. I think cinematically, filming this in Asia was perfect for me as I was born and brought up in Singapore and I felt like I knew where to find the kind of shots we were going for. There’s always a certain charm in Asia with the street lights, road-side stalls, neon signs, places of worship and even down to the small details like the texture of food.
On the other side of this spectrum, there are things that sort of charms you in another kind of way, almost like putting you on the edge, with things like it’s intense traffic, wet markets, industrialisation and new-found consumerism. And I think holding this plethora of details together are the people, young and old. The disillusioned businessman finding salvation, the disenfranchised youth, a mother and son, families on their day out or individuals working quietly in workshops. We decided not to include much of the band but focus on their fans and the people we met on our journeys instead, hence relying on them to sing the lyrics on camera.
As we watched the video we were blown away by the logistics of such an intense video that was shot not only on the road, but also had an extreme element of coordination with local fans at each stop of the tour to be included in the video. What an extraordinary feat to pull off!
“It was a massive challenge filming it as we hardly had any day offs on that run, which meant limited time heading to locations or filming with fans. As much as it was exhausting, it was the most fun I’ve ever had while producing a body of work with a band. I have a basic command of Mandarin so it was nice for me to help translate the ideas that Mat and myself had to the fans while filming the scenes in certain Mandarin-speaking regions. It was also a chance for me to reference my inspirations from Asian cinema, films like Chungking Express (1994) and Infernal Affairs (2002) were very much what I had in mind for the video’s atmosphere, along with twisted narratives from films like Fight Club (1999). Ultimately I wanted to create a rollercoaster of visuals and emotions that blurred the lines of yin and yang.
As fans of our Asian family traveling the world over proudly do their thing, we have to include background information on Ryan Chang so you too can become a huge fan of his work. Do make sure to hit up his website at the link below to check out his entire catalog of work including this awesome Bullet For My Valentine European tour video:
“I’m a 26 year old photographer and director, born and bred in Singapore and residing in London. I’m currently a full-time crew member of Bullet For My Valentine, working as their tour photographer and director. When I’m not on tour, I’m in the London office of Raw Power Management, as I work with a lot of the bands on their roster as well.”
PS: Not to be outdone, members of the Thailand metal community have informed us that remnants of the Thai scene also do appear in the video. Look out for a turtle and cockroach. 🙂