Charleston, SC native Frank Hartman is all about fighting corruption and deceit. By day, he works as a personal injury lawyer, suing big corporations on behalf of the average American; by night, he writes scathing songs that eviscerate corrupt people in power as frontman of his band Honeypot. The very name “Honeypot”, borrowed from a type of cybersecurity program that attracts and deflects potential hackers, aptly fits a band whose songs and videos are sometimes shocking, often political, frequently irreverent (think WEEN), and never apologetic. Hartman, a lifelong student of classic rock and progressive rock icons like RUSH, Tool, and Alice in Chains, brings a uniquely Southern twang to the prog world. Honeypot’s fans, affectionately known as Honeypotheads, are prog nerds, film buffs, and comic book lovers. We spoke with Frank regarding the new video for “Shut Your Mouth” which you can dive into below!
- Tell us the story of this song, why did you choose to visualize this song specifically in this way?
I have an entertaining story on that one. As you know l love observing the peccadilloes of people. I heard the “shut your mouth or I’ll shut it for you” line from a friend. His drunk wife was giving him a hard time for his sarcasm as he tucked her into bed. She said it even though it was an empty threat.And I started thinking about cognitive dissonance. Making the listener anticipate one outcome and then showing the wife as the abuser, dark humor, I will grant you.
Add the fact that my friend looks strikingly like Chevy Chase and you can see where I am headed. So the opening scene and the subsequent one in which Chevy Case is asleep at the wheel of the car in the original National Lampoon’s Vacation are a given. I am a huge Prince fan and learned when Doves cry so the petals reference is covered. Homages to The Big Lebowski and The Naked Gun are appeals to generational humor that only Americans would get. My personal favorite is the Buffalo Bill scene ‘ concealer on my eye.“ My position is The Silence of the Lambs is one of the funniest dark comedies ever made. I am in the minority on this opinion.
2. What was the inspiration behind this video (visuals, storyline, etc.)?
The inspiration is the paradox of the American Dream. From inception, you are told you are exceptional and there is an implied path everyone should take. And if you follow the path, then you achieve the ever elusive concept of Happiness. It equates accumulation of money and things with happiness. And yet, there was a 64% increase in the use of antidepressants between 1999 and 2014. Something doesn’t add up. No, I am not and have never been a member of the Socialist Party. But I do recognize there is a disconnect between the messaging and the outcome. I want the listener to identify with what I am saying and apply critical thinking about what is truly important in life.
3. What was the process of making this video?
Well, we had a green screen version that acted out the entire thing, but it was not good. So I took over the primary creative process and started thinking of cultural references reflecting my vision. It led me to gifs that best represented the emotion conveyed in each line. I have a very dry sense of humour, gallows humour. I have to spell it out in order for everyone to get that I am joking. We all go through the vicissitudes of life, acknowledging it, and then mocking it takes away some of the pain and the power that difficult moments in life pose. I choose laughter. Laughing hysterically can be another form of crying. Hell, a lot of people can laugh and cry at the same moment. Because it is existence that we all share and there is so much commonality in the human experience. An artist’s job is to find those common touchstones and help people to feel less alone.