Entertainment Music
Entertainment Entertainment Music

Bummer debuts video for 'Low' featuring Allison Scagliotti

Crowding four bandmates into a Ukrainan Village warehouse that serves as both living and rehearsal space can be, well, a bummer.

"It makes recording really easy," said vocalist/guitarist John Rossiter of the Chicago band Bummer, "but it makes you hate everyone in your band."

The quartet, which was formed in January and consists of Rossiter, Shawn Nystrand (bass), Eric Shevrin (keys, vocals) and Jordan Thomas (drums, vocals), on Tuesday dropped their new single, "Low," which will appear on the band’s self-titled EP later this year. It’s a minimal, ambient burner that Rossiter sears with his Bon Iver-ian coo.

RedEye is happy to help premiere the song's video, which was directed by Jordan Epstein, who grew up with the band around Northfield. It features "Warehouse 13" star Allison Scagliotti dancing on a Los Angeles rooftop at sunset. Scagliotti has known Rossiter and Epstein for a few years. "She was a fan of our old band, Young Jesus," Rossiter said.

Scagliotti, no stranger to filming either TV or movies, was surprised when working on the video, which features the choreography of Arian Winn.

"The process of bringing this music video to life was more fulfilling and inspiring than I could have dreamed," she said in a separate interview. "I learned that there is so little difference between acting and dancing, and I am immeasurably proud of Jordan, Arian, Bummer, and all the people who put their passion and sweat into this."

Speaking of sweating, Rossiter said the warehouse has a 15-year history of use by musicians.

"It's really ideal. It's hot as hell in there--like it’s 115 degrees in there right now--but it's a great spot," he said. "Apparently Billy Corgan used to play there, so we sort of imagine him in the corner saying, 'This is bad.'"

Tell me the inspiration behind the song.
Well, Young Jesus (Rossiter and Nystrand’s old band) was really aggressive, edging on emo sort of tunes. We thought the only way to convey sadness or anger or extreme emotions was through buildups and yelling and all that. I had sorta gotten fed up with trying to write songs like that. So Jordy (Thomas) and I went back in the garage and started messing around with electronic drums and playing keyboards.

I'd been listening to a lot of Whitney Houston at the time, and been thinking I wanted to write this poppy Whitney Houston chorus, and that's how that chorus came about. Sitting in that garage, trying to write something different, conveying something that's not super heavy handed.

I was trying to explore ideas and emotions in music that I wasn't able to do with other bands. Bringing Shawn and Eric into the fold ... it all came together in like three days--and usually songs are a pain in the ass. Or you get this feeling that it's really good, and we had that feeling right away.

How was the video borne of that?
Our friend Jordan Epstein is the director. ... He's out in LA now. He'd done some really wonderful stuff. We tried to use the video in the same way we use the song. The song is representing a vibe rather than telling a straightforward story, or hitting you over the head with exactly what's going on. So we started talking more in terms of conveying the video in colors and feelings, rather than the girl goes over and she kisses this dude and then pushes him away, or something super dramatic like that.

See Bummer at 9 p.m. July 26 at Empty Bottle (free with RSVP, $8 at door; 21+)
"Low" is available for download at bummerband.bandcamp.com.

Adam Lukach is a RedEye special contributor. @lucheezy

Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye's Facebook page

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Group to Park District: Build DuSable Park

    Group to Park District: Build DuSable Park

    Where Lake Michigan meets the Chicago River is three acres of overgrown weeds and shrubs. It is referred to by some as a "ghost park" because it is hidden in plain sight.

  • Rejoice! Adele's new album is rumored to arrive this fall

    Rejoice! Adele's new album is rumored to arrive this fall

    There's a fire starting in my heart and it's making me realize it's been kind of a while since Adele released an album. Her last full-length "21" dropped in 2011 and I barely remember that year it feels so long ago. But now, there's some good news to fill our recently Adele-less lives and it's...

  • Chicago rappers Probcause and Saba team up on 'M.I.A.'

    Chicago rappers Probcause and Saba team up on 'M.I.A.'

    Welcome to RedEye's "Song of the Day," an ongoing feature where music reporter Josh Terry or another RedEye staff member highlights something they're listening to. Some days the track will be new, and some days it will be old. No matter what, each offering is something you should check out. Check...

  • Trump vows never to eat Oreos again, citing move from Chicago to Mexico

    Trump vows never to eat Oreos again, citing move from Chicago to Mexico

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump repeated his claim Tuesday evening that he would stop eating Oreos, citing the cookie maker's decision to close a plant in Chicago and move it to Mexico.

  • Let's talk about this new Justin Bieber song 'What Do You Mean?'

    Let's talk about this new Justin Bieber song 'What Do You Mean?'

    Don't get me wrong, Justin Bieber is still really embarrassing. He's the young pop star who recently said something only a 21-year-old would say, "Now being 21, and going through some hardships, I think you can hear that in my vocals." This is a guy who, last year at a charity gala benefiting AIDS...

  • Illinois lottery winners have to wait for payout due to budget impasse

    Illinois lottery winners have to wait for payout due to budget impasse

    After years of struggling financially, Susan Rick thought things were looking up when her boyfriend won $250,000 from the Illinois Lottery last month. She could stop working seven days a week, maybe fix up the house and take a trip to Minnesota to visit her daughter.