Returning to the big screen since unveiling their toe-tapping video for “M. Connolly” back in October, Semiotics shed some comedic light on their own personal experiences of being a part of the New Brunswick basement scene over the years in their new video for “Cheers Me Proper.”
Personally dedicating this visual installment as a tribute, and a send-off to their beloved punk-house, Naner Manor (formerly known as The Banana Stand) — Semiotics will be bringing their heartfelt sound, and their DIY spirit to Philadelphia when their New Brunswick lease ends this summer. Here’s what guitarist and vocalist, Nick Rapon had to say about the video:
“The video is us poking fun at Naner Manor, the New Brunswick scene and what we’ve seen, and experienced. We love this place, but between people texting in the front row, having your sound person making out with people on the job (true story), and people not bringing money for the touring bands while bringing in excessive beer — you can find a few reasons to roll your eyes.
We’re leaving New Brunswick in June to move to Philly, where we will be throwing shows again. We dedicated this video to the 3 years we’ve been throwing shows in New Brunswick under the monikers, ‘The Banana Stand’ and ‘Naner Manor.’ Thank you so much for reading, and taking the time to share our video we worked really hard on”
(“Cheers Me Proper” was directed by Seth Blissenbach and Natalie Betty James, and edited by Nick Rapon, and Seth Blissenbach. Cinematography by Brendan Jenkins)
Friends in bands, I’m sure at one point in time, you’ve had the grueling experience of playing a bad show every now and then. Even if you’re pouring your hearts out in a basement to ten or fifteen uninterested show-goers, while all the cool kids are smoking cigarettes outside — rejection and apathy can still find a way to kick your confidence down into the dirt. In this case with “Cheers Me Proper,” I couldn’t think of a better way for a band to look back and laugh at these past experiences by making of them in the most epic way possible.
Crafting the video’s storyboard themselves while teaming up with a star-studded cast of friends, Semiotics play the leading role in “Cheers Me Proper,” as the house band who’s playing the most uncomfortable show of their lives. Throughout the video, you could easily cut the tension of the room with a knife while you’re watching the band awkwardly struggle to win over this crowd.
As you hear the lines, “But I have to thank you. It’s humbling to know, I’m not loved by everyone,” compliment the tone of the protagonist’s performance, vocalist and guitarist, Seth Blissenbach is finally fed up with their scathing rejection and starts to shove multiple concert-goers around in retaliation. It’s in that moment where the band starts to suffer through an onslaught of tomatoes being chucked their way, like a cartoon comedian getting booed offstage.
When the final scene fades out, the video ends with a black-and-white center shot of Rapon and Blissenbach both cleaning up the mess to the backdrop of a somber piano tune, and a lower-third send-off that reads, “The Banana Stand/Naner Manor RIP 2013-2016.”
For someone who’s been a longtime supporter and friend of Semiotics since the very beginning, I was welcomed in with open arms by the New Brunswick community ever since I first started attending shows at Naner Manor throughout the last year. While I’ve only been to a few shows up in the area here and there — there’s no doubt that I’ve made many friends, and have some fond memories at the Naner Manor that I will always cherish. With that being said, it’s been real Naner Manor — I am definitely looking forward to seeing Semiotics take over the Philly scene by storm.
Semiotics’ debut EP, For How, is available now via iTunes, Spotify and Bandcamp. Be sure to check them out on tour this month with the Philadelphia-based quartet, Brackish on select dates.
April 14 – Philadelphia, PA (Girard Hall)*
April 15 – Ronkonkoma, NY (Death Castle)*
April 16 – Brooklyn, NY (Suburbia)*
April 17 – New Brunswick, NJ (The J House)*
April 24 – Phillipsburg, NJ (Warehouse)
April 27 – New York, NY (The Bitter End)
*Tour dates with Brackish