Video Voyager: The Impliers’ “Lightning”

The Impliers are the psychedelic rock duo making waves with their oddly tuned guitars, superb production quality, and innovative musical techniques. Dan and Charles have known each other since High School, though they recently got together to create The Impliers when their lives seemed to mirror each others. It was fate.

Their recent music video is for their single “Lighting.” The song is seemingly about mental health and it’s effect on people. They perfectly and masterfully visualize what it’s like to suffer from a mental illness, stuck in a depressive state and suddenly, as if struck by lighting, you are in another place mentally. The use of quick shots and flashing lights aid this idea and show how fast things can change. They interchange the fast with the slow with a lot of shots that represent stillness, but stillness in a way that captures the inability to move.

We spoke with The Impliers about their innovate and powerful video:

1. Tell us the story of this song, why did you choose to visualize this song specifically in this way?

There’s a bipolar sense to what’s going on in this song, lyrically and in how the parts dramatically change in moods and range of feeling. I had always thought bipolar was someone who rapidly changed their mind or moods and was hot and cold, but it’s more of an exaggerated version of what everyone tends to go through – which is a longer arc of being down and then coming out. It was so interesting to learn that bursts of creative energy and motivation that most of us feel can actually be a symptom of bipolar, the mania specifically – that had never occurred to me that the higher highs were one of the poles. Charles and I have both experienced this through our own diagnosis as adults. I think this song shows some of that bipolar thinking in seeing different perspectives, with bursts of energy and some subdued elements while showing forward progress in diving within – it really compliments the broader story we explore on our record ‘cocoon coming out on August 19’ as it rounds out the first part of the record before there’s a change in atmosphere. The visuals really try to exaggerate these emotions.

2. What was the inspiration behind this video (visuals, storyline, etc.)?

We initially decided that we would not have any music videos for this album, as we felt the music and the experience that happens in the minds of the listener is the most important experience of the music, and we didn’t want to interfere with that, but one day the image came of the man in the bed that opens the video, and the rest of the video came like a string of pearls. There is an interesting duality that is explored both in the settings, ranging from the closed, dull inside scenes to the expansive colorful external scenes, but there’s an additional layer that shows a crossover of elements between the two landscapes and a hint of further duality in each of the individuals own consciousness. 

3. What was the process of making this video?

Well, from a technical execution standpoint, we handle our own filming, editing and everything from ideation to completion. Charles and I always vet ideas together, and that ranges from bouncing a full idea off one another to coming up with the idea together from scratch and riffing. And sometimes, we will get our hands on one another’s idea and try to send it back in the most surprising fashion. Lightning was an interesting approach in that I filmed a few scenes to understand Charles’ reaction and when we realized we were on to something and worked out more of the ideas, we booked time to film and I put together a few ideas that I wanted to film without giving context as to what was happening. When we started filming in the woods, Charles had a post-it note of hand-gestures which he executed on flawlessly. The beauty of our working relationship, is throughout the entire process, with the post-it notes,  while we were exchanging uniforms consistently throughout the day as we relocated filming locations, there was never the question of “what are we filming” and the complete trust that our ages old creative collaborative process would come through in the end, in a way that worked for both of us. One funny moment, though – my brother Bryan flew in to help operate our film gear that weekend and on the first night we filmed a scene with the foot and the man under the bed. He called our brother Sean that night and said “I landed, and next thing you know I was being filmed sitting on the bed with a gel dripping off my bare foot, while a grown man dressed in a white suit laid under the bed.”

Watch here:

Find and connect with The Impliers via:
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We Love Being Struck by “Lightning” from The Impliers

Dan Hartman and Charles Ingram began making music together at age 15 united by a bold desire to explore the outer limits of alternately tuned guitars. The pair had an immediate intuitive connection, and hunkered down in a storage shed to home in on its avant-garde aesthetic. They emerged as Phantom Zell, a weird indie-punk band that specialized in curious guitar tunings and abstract and abrasive musicality. “We played punk shows, but we were the only band in the scene that broke the punk rules by not playing that typically fast and aggressive sound,” says Charles. By age 17, Dan and Charles’s songs were earning placements on compilations alongside diversely popular acts such as Of Montreal, Fugazi, Jawbreaker, Dillinger Escape Plan, and Converge. 

Eventually, the band drifted apart, the scene changed, and Dan and Charles began to also go their separate ways. Though not actively creating together, the guys set out on parallel artistic paths finding inspiration in the synergy with films and soundtracks. And there were other uncanny connections. Over the years, they were bonded by unique correlating circumstances, including near death experiences such as near fatal car accidents, dying in a house fire, being struck by lightning, and escaping armed robberies. 

“I had a 10-year relationship end, and, out of the blue, after a few years of not being in touch, Charles called me and said his marriage had ended at the same time,” Dan recalls. “At the time, I had completely stopped playing and creating music.”

The eerily similar life circumstances, the guys’ parallel creative paths, and the telepathic musicality they once shared made a powerful case to continue the musical dialogue. Inevitably, Dan envisioned a cohesive project and sent Charles that fateful text to start the impliers. 

They just released their 3rd single, “Lightning,” which features their iconic experimental music with atonal sensibilities and playful nature. Their vocals provide a Beach Boys harmonic quality to it while their music provides a David Bowie meets Pink Floyd sound.

“Lightning” is chaotic in nature, with an ever changing tempo and a melody that’s just out of grasp. The music shares a story of the chaotic mind. They share yet another story with this song as they both were diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. The song is a beautiful reflection of that experience through their atonal music and gripping lyrics. “While ‘Lightning’ constantly shape-shifts in mood and genre, it has its roots in a part of a song Charles made in 2005,” shares Dan. “While writing the concept for our upcoming record ‘cocoon,’ the lyric from that old riff came to mind and surprisingly; the entire idea for the rest of the song came as if it was always there. In about an hour, the bones of the song were written and recorded (the verses recorded that day are in the final version). By sending recordings back and forth, we traded disarming forks in the creative road, sending the song down a meandering but distinct path and arriving at the final version in the following weeks.”

Listen here:

Find The Impliers via:
Website // Instagram // Facebook // Twitter // YouTube // TikTok // Spotify