Published Oct 10, 2019Ahead of delivering new album Warrior Down next month, London, ON's WHOOP-Szo have shared a new video for LP cut "Gerry."
The song centres on the murder of bandleader Adam Sturgeon's cousin by a Saskatchewan RCMP officer. "While the circumstances surrounding his death are unclear, there has only ever been one side to the story, that of the RCMP," Sturgeon wrote in a statement. "No external investigations took place and our family is left without answers."
The accompanying video features family home movies recaptured and archived by Travis Welowszky and projectionist Sebastian Di Trolio.
Sturgeon adds of the clips, "It's interesting coming from a mixed background because these films are that of a privileged experience; family vacations, golf trips, happy go lucky parties from the 60s and 70s set to the backdrop of an emotional firestorm and intense subject matter that has only just begun to reveal itself in our cultural history. History innocently projects itself back on the modern era."
As Sturgeon reveals, Gerry also gave him his first guitar:
I remember getting a call from Gerry shortly before he died. He was angry about a broken system, slurring his words through the distant telephone line from his home in Saskatchewan. He had taken to calling our house, connecting with my Mom for some much needed love and comfort, my Dad to address his issues with alcohol, and to converse with me about music and art... and to question my passions for my 'Dad's culture'. I'd change the subject, letting him know that the guitar he had given me, my first guitar in fact, was the passion and release that he had offered me and that I wouldn't trade it for anything. I'd be late for work or some other engagement and have to let him know several times that I needed to hang up the phone. He'd get angry again and start ranting on and I'd have to remind him there were places to be. He called me a sell out and I'd tell him I loved him. I promised I'd visit on tour sometime. I'd tell him he could teach me some more chords.
Warrior Down arrives November 1 via You've Changed Records and follows the band's 2016 album Citizen's Ban(ne)d Radio. WHOOP-Szo have a series of Canadian dates lined up in support of the new album, and you can see all those here.