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Exclusive premiere: Virgin Forest “Don’t Be Afraid”

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“The song was written when I was afraid,” lead singer Scott Stapleton confessed. “I was terrified of losing people, commitment, all that stuff. I was afraid that people would get the wrong idea about me. I wrote the song to talk myself out it.” Virgin Forest is four of the five members of Phosphorescent — minus Matthew Houck — who still lent his talents on mixing and production on the band’s forthcoming “Easy Way Out.”

The guy with the sword is director Matthew Walker’s friend, Mason Chambers King, whose preparations for going out on the town are probably more common in New York than one may first imagine. He’s also a mutual friend of Stapleton’s, who wanted him in this decidedly Gotham-set video. “He is a musician, artist, model, and a good friend of mine, and he’s only 21 if you can believe that. Mason is a genuine, down-to-earth dude in reality, and the song is a very honest one; he responds to that kind of thing,” Stapleton said. “He fits the aesthetic of our ideal for this record — he’s a non-denominational ‘genre’ character. Also, this is a very New York City video and we wanted a real New Yorker to star in it.”

Virgin Forest cut their teeth over the years touring as members of Castanets, before glowing so brightly in Phosphorescent. The well honed group follows last year’s debut, “Joy Atrophy” with “Easy Way Out,” out January 31st on Partisan. The video for “Don’t Be Afraid” was knocked out in two hours. “We went to St. Mark’s so it would have an uber NYC vibe, and we also wanted it to be where kids still hang out,” Stapleton said. “We have some awesome Goth kids in the video and wonderful people we met on the street — I want to give a shout out to “Batisha!!” (the African American woman throwing a goat in the video). None of it was planned out, just the basic idea and the neighborhoods. The Satanic shit is my room; that’s my bedroom.”

“I also picked Mason because I wanted the character to be androgynous; I wanted the record to be as well,” the singer confided. “I like the fact that in the video he’s trying to do things — he’s trying to go to clubs, he’s trying to hang around with people — but at the end of the video he realizes that he can do all these things himself and that he’s already at his own party and we see him dancing alone.”

 

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