Checking out this video was actually my first exposure to Cool Moon, so tell me a bit about the track "Nerve" and what made it the right choice for a video treatment?
"Nerve" is a song about someone in my family that has struggled with chronic pain for many years. After going through a myriad of specialists and treatments—both traditional and experimental—they are still undiagnosed with no relief in sight. The physical pain hinders their mental ability to cope, and I wrote the song to let them know their family will always be here to provide support and unconditional love. We chose it for the video because it's always been one of our favorites. It's soft and strong and a great representation of what we do.
What's the story behind the video itself—where and when was it filmed, what was the inspiration behind the approach, etc.?
The video was filmed in the Canadian Rockies over New Years 2022 - 2023. I have family from that area and, honestly, I don't think I've ever been anywhere more beautiful. I find the isolation, cold, and snow to be thrilling and moving in a way that I haven't experienced elsewhere. It seemed perfect for the song because of how vulnerable and isolated we can feel when struggling in life.
Listening to some of your past work, I noticed that the visuals from the new video not only tie-in to the Crossing the Finish Line album cover (and the fact that the opening track is called "Winter"), but also connect to the cover of your debut album, Postparty Depression, as well. I'm guessing that's not a coincidence, but does it reach the point of becoming some sort of intentionally recurring theme or aesthetic?
Honestly, I'm a generally happy person. However, I put a lot of my anxiety, depression, and overall existential despair into my music, and that's probably fairly apparent. A lot of the new record, however, is focused on getting older. "Winter" is a love song to my youth where I use my selective memory to mourn my younger self that—if I think long enough—I can remember was a fool. The cover of the album is a photo by my dear and talented friend, Ben Tankersley, after I said I wanted something to represent the futility of striving for a common type of success that sacrifices well-being and family for monetary gain. I think about this a lot in terms of what I am working toward and what will ultimately make my life feel worthwhile.
I might be a fraud because I somehow don't (yet) own the Reality Bites soundtrack, but as a huge fan of '80s and early-'90s soundtracks, I got a kick out of the portion of the Cool Moon bio that refers to, "Think of your favorite '90s movie soundtrack, the one that made you want to start an alternative band of your own..." So, to close out with a totally random but hopefully fun question, what are your Top 3 '90s movie soundtracks, and what makes each pick stand out/special to you?
This was indeed a fun question! The '90s were a special time where, as a teen, this was often how I found out about alternative and punk bands.
Angus is a heavy-hitter for us. Having the Weezer and Green Day songs that weren't released elsewhere made this soundtrack feel extremely special. Aside from the obvious bands, Tilt was one of those bands I wanted to be! And Smoking Popes, The Riverdales, The Muffs... what's not to love?
Speaking of Smoking Popes and The Muffs, the Clueless soundtrack is another solid '90s jam. This movie was so much fun, and having an alternative rock soundtrack made the mainstream film feel more special—especially with The Mighty Mighty Bosstones crowd-surfing.
The last one is Batman Forever. Honestly, I haven't seen this movie, but all of my bandmates said this is the ride-or-die one. I Googled the list and holy shit! It's an insane banger. Sunny Day Real Estate, The Flaming Lips, Nick Cave! I will say that singing "Baby, can I get a kiss from a rose..." is nearly a daily routine in my house (and, correct, those are not the right words).
Crossing the Finish Line is out now on CD/LP through Exotic Fever Records. You can also purchase or stream via Bandcamp, Spotify, etc. Keep up with Cool Moon using Instagram or Facebook.