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Looking Deeper Into DRÄGER's, "Part II - No One Knows"

What a thrilling and engaging visual experience you've captured with your latest music video, "NO ONE KNOWS." What inspired you to switch the narrative from the first part of the series and create this chilling tale of revenge? Thank you! Well to be frank I love revenge tales. I love the idea of brutal payback and we all love an underdog-type tale. It’s a music video so obviously there are limitations, but the song’s lyrics “Don’t you fight what's in your heart, you know what no one knows” had this kind of triumphant feel to it. Whereas the first video for Villain You Need was more laid back and cool. I love movies like “Killing them Softly” and films by Tarantino. Again it’s just a music video but I wanted to try and bring a little narrative than the classic Brooklyn don’t care attitude so many have. We are so stuck on being honest and candid in portraying ourselves with a video but I wanted to try and create my own world and do something larger than life. But I honestly had no background in the film world; it was just an experiment in my head. What was it like working with your team of co-directors, the cast, and stylists for "NO ONE KNOWS"? How did they help bring your vision to life? It was seriously a dream but not a cakewalk. I couldn’t have done it without the team I had. Even though I wrote it, directed it, produced it (finding locations, cars, scheduling everyone and assembled a team) and then edited it—the people I worked with helped me out so much and mostly for free. We had like a tenth of what many would say was required. Kirra Hughes did all the hair and make-up as well as acted and in the first video for Villain You Need she helped produce so much in story boarding and drawing up the characters. My stylist Alexander Thompson pulled all these looks and brought Kirra’s sketched details to life. I owe him huge. My friends Rochee and Atilla both helped me out and are both incredible musicians themselves as well. But my DP, Jason Augustine, seriously went above and beyond and I couldn’t have done it without him. He brought on Scott who basically was wearing more than one hat in executing Jason’s and my vision. Without this tiny team we accomplished more than everyone said was possible. I met with a few different DPs and everyone’s managers and they thought I was naive to think I’d pull off so many shots in 3 days. But it’s important to stick to your guns, do research and know there’s always a way. Could you expand on what inspired you to create the overall two-part cinematic series featuring "The Villain You Need" and "NO ONE KNOWS"? What sort of story did you want to tell through this series? I honestly just have bursts of ideas sometimes like in a manic way. I wrote both videos in ten min on my phone in an uber off the simple thought of just a guy going to do a deal with a briefcase. I love simple stories about people dressed well doing bad shit. That’s rock n roll. The real irony is within all the violence on tv you can’t play videos like this on a mainstream level. A music video is more about the ambiance than the story due to lack of dialogue and time and so I mostly tried to focus on the aesthetic of characters. The story isn't highly original but in connecting the videos No One Knows and The Villain You Need I could show the flawed perspective of a character. I write a lot of songs about the duality of people and how we are all flawed and imperfect trying to live in a black and white world. So In Part I “The Masked Man” is a hero for rescuing Kirra’s character but then becomes the Villain in Part II when his story of shooting “The Elusive Man” in Part I comes to light. Part I is The Villain You Need, so essentially Kirra’s character needs the Masked Man to save her making him the hero, though he’s truly bad. Perspective is everything and I basically loved making Part II a comeback for the villain’s actions and telling the other side of the story. Both characters die because in the end they just wanted to save the girl they loved and that in itself is the sacrifice of love. But hey I bet no one got any of that hahaha it’s just about looking cool in a music video. The narrative usually gets lost and that’s ok, I’m not trying to make a film. Again, it’s the overall aesthetic that tells my story as an artist. How do cinematic series' like the one you've recently released help us get to know you better? Do you often tell such conceptual tales through your visuals and music videos? I just felt like it. I don’t know if I’d go all out there on the next one without more of a team. But honestly I used to be incredibly jaded about the way entertainment in the modern age was going which led to some deep depression about my life. I broke up my last band because I was angry at how little anyone really was trying to do something meaningful. I was surrounded by successful people that were going places off just sampling the flavor of the week and they knew it too. I was bogged down by what it meant to be successful and it’s hard enough committing to an artistic life and I just wanted more. Then I started Dräger with the intent of just trying my best to do what I loved without being a slave to the industry side of it. I wanted to put myself 100% into every aspect of it all and fulfill whatever crazy idea was in my head to keep my whole aesthetic pure. I think we live in this voyeuristic century of showing rather than telling. Everything needs a visual or to be posted visually to render as “released.” And so to be a musician you’ve gotta actually be some type of director or video creator as well. It’s just the reality of where we are. That’s why I try to do more with videos and will always try to do more with videos. I just need some more money now!


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