Matthew E. White has long played with the rudiments of gospel, R&B and rock. On his 2012 solo debut, Big Inner, the Richmond, Virginia-based songwriter teased together slinky bass grooves, bright harmonies and breezy rhythms for songs that bob and strut with a well-tempered grandeur.
White's latest video is for the song "Rock & Roll Is Cold," from his sophomore album, Fresh Blood. In it, the vast beauty of the natural world becomes a metaphor for the soulful sounds behind his music and the ways these bedrock genres are often turned into caricatures. "Rock and roll it don't have no soul," he sings while strolling across a frozen tundra. "Everybody knows rock and roll is cold."
"The images I wanted were John Ford's America, part Bad Lands, part Bonnie and Clyde," White tells us via email. "To that end, I used a team in Salt Lake City [Camp4] known much more for shooting spectacular outdoor shots than any music videos. That was really fresh for me, not to mention extraordinarily physically challenging at times (mostly cut out because of my un-gracefulness in the waist-deep snow of the Rockies). But these guys are world traveling, mountain climbing pros and brought out the tremendous beauty of the landscape we shot in — not to mention the extraordinary beauty of my lady, Miss Merry George. Mirroring the family involvement of the Fresh Blood album cover (shot at my Grandma's house in Alabama) the final scene of this was shot at my Aunt's house. It's nice to keep the family involved when you can."
Fresh Blood is due out on Domino on March 10.