Irish alt-rocker Tadgh Billy King (pronounced like “Tiger” without the “er”) is a multi-faceted an actor, writer, director, a composer for theatre, and an award-winning classical singer. He didn’t set out to re-create the sound of frustrated punk rock in his song “sit and wait,” instead he’s unapologetically adding to the conversation through a modern lens with this new release. The result is a blistering, blunt and rousing ride through noisy hardcore, math-y punk and gazy walls of sound. At times brash, at times sublimely ethereal.
Tadgh’s immersive artistry speaks to its conception during times of deep introspection. His cathartic musicality spans post-punk, goth, noisy hardcore, and math-y punk, and is inspired by such artists as Bauhaus, Drive Like Jehu, Fugazi, Joy Division, Nirvana, Radiohead, and contemporary Irish bands such as Fontaines D.C., The Murder Capital, Gilla Band and Just Mustard.
The video for “sit and wait” depicts Tadgh’s blunt outlook on the world that surrounds with us bright colors and moving images over stagnant objects that reveals the subtle undertones of confusion and frustration that sits with a lot of younger people today.
We got the chance to speak with Tadgh about a more in depth look into his music video. Watch and read below:
Tell us the story of this song, why did you choose to visualize this song specifically in this way?
The song is trying to encapsulate a feeling, which seems to be pretty rampant among late-teen to early-to-mid twenty year olds. It’s a sort’ve existential dread that is hard to articulate. I think it comes from a recognition that there’s a lot of problems in the world today and there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of clear, viable ways to fix them. So it can feel like people can find themselves sitting and waiting for something catastrophic to happen. While, at the same time, they’re just trying to figure out their own lives. The song is about that frustration. We are left discussing the things that disappoint us, but some of these things are completely out of our control. And then, sometimes, these discussions we have with each other can cause internal rifts within friendships and relationships.
With this video, I wanted to try and capture these feelings. I felt that by filming people in their late teens and early twenties moving through their own emotions and navigating relationships, while also projecting some weird, beautiful and disturbing imagery that falls within the themes I’m talking about in the song onto them, I could capture and convey this strange feeling we all have for our collective future.
What was the inspiration behind this video (visuals, storyline, etc.)?
I always thought that projection onto a body was really cool. There’s a really interesting theatre/dance company in Australia called Chunky Move and I remember watching a video for this piece they did called Mortal Engine and just being completely enamoured by it. My video is very different to that piece, but it sparked my interest in using projection onto people. I got a hold of a little projector and thought “this is perfect.”
I also really enjoy art that on the surface is really colourful, vibrant, attractive and interesting to watch, but if someone was to look deeper or read into it more they could start discovering multiple layers or narratives to the piece. In this video, try following the couples and seeing what narratives you put onto them from just the emotion you see on screen. What overall narrative or storyline jumps out at you when all the elements (the couples interacting, the emotional expressions from the performers, the lyrics and music, the images being projected) are combined? I know what I was trying to say with the song and video, but that doesn’t matter anymore. What’s really interesting to me is how my intention with the art isn’t important after a certain point. What really matters is what the audience or the viewers pick up and what they project (haha get it) onto the video.
Late in the process came the idea of adding the first scene of me coming into my room and the last scene of me waking up. This is part of a larger narrative that will unfold across my music, but you’ll just have to follow along to see where it goes.
What was the process of making this video?
When I decided that I wanted a lot of people for the video I just started asking my friends. Everyone you see in the video (all credited in the video description) are artists themselves who are either studying or working (or both) in Dublin and Ireland, creating work that helps to make the city and country more vibrant every day.
For the background video that was projected onto the performers I compiled footage of anything that was interesting to me and fit the vibe of the song. Then I messed around with the colours to make them more vibrant and built the video around the song.
I wrangled as many people as I could together and did a few takes with them in front of the camera and projection, trying out different things that I, or they, thought could be interesting. I directed them through different emotions, asked them to just stare deadpan into the camera, asked them to debate a few different things with each other (nothing incredibly serious), took them to extremes and just kinda had fun with it. Once everyone else was recorded I filmed myself singing the song. Ultimately, I wanted to let the imagery and people in my video do the talking. Editing it took a little bit of time, just because there was so much footage, but it was a very fruitful experience that allowed me to create something interesting to watch.
The lasting message I want this video to have is that despite life’s challenges, building a positive community and creating art that inspires you is the way forward. The making of this video itself is an example of that. I hope this inspires others to make cool art with the people around them.
Connect with Tadgh Billy King via:
Website // Instagram // Facebook // Twitter // YouTube // TikTok // Spotify