It’s been a couple decades since MTV played music videos (right?), but thanks to YouTube, the music video as both an art form and promotional tool is more relevant than ever. The brains behind many of my favorite videos for bands like A Day To Remember, Blessthefall, The Devil Wears Prada, Beartooth and many more is Drew Russ.
What I love about Drew is that unlike a lot of “directors” these days, who are content to throw the band in a dingy warehouse or grassy field and call it a day, Drew always puts the concept first (usually a concept that involves an insane amount of time and effort).
Some of Drew’s best work imo, “City Of Ocala” for A Day To Remember. It documents the city and their history, an in typical Drew Russ fashion he did things the most painful, labor-intensive way possible: the video is made up of around 5,000 still images (a mix of film and digital) strung together to create the cool, stilted feel. An insane, absolutely masochistic workflow? Maybe, but I think it perfectly captures the vibe of the song and I don’t think you could have gotten this look any other way.
We chatted with Drew about the tough business of music videos, why he’s willing to go to such lengths to execute his idea, why a great concept is more important than a big budget, and of course his home town of Ocala and growing up with Andrew Wade.