Monday, December 03, 2007

Shelf Life 'Endgame' video now online

'Endgame' is Shelf Life's first proper music video. As with the recording of the song, it was shot at Rubber Soul in Kokubunji, Tokyo, and features a cast of many. It also includes footage from a show we did in Ebisu in Central Tokyo, featuring cameo appearances from Ray Dorsey who has toured in a version of The Drifters and Tara Solheim of Taratula.

The song was written as a new anthem for peace, love and understanding in our troubled world. It was partly inspired by a meeting I had with a young Iraqi engineer. He had come to Tokyo to tell people about what was happening in his country and to show that despite all that was going on in Iraq, he still brought a message of peace with him. I was quite amazed that, even though he'd lost members of his family, his home and been taken hostage by both the Americans and 'Al-Qaeda', he was able to do that.

Borrowing vibes from 'Hey Jude' and 'We Are The World', 'Endgame' is a song that appeals to people to be the change they want to see in the world and to recognise their fellow humans as being part of the same family.

The lyrics were partly mine and partly pieced together from various other sources of inspiration, including 'To Kill A Mockingbird', Gandhi, Martin Luther King and some open source software.

The video was directed by esteemed Japanese music video director, Kazuyuki Akashi, who has also worked with the likes of Mika Nakashima and Kumi Koda.

It was quite a mad day, gathering everybody together at Rubber Soul for the shoot - my first time appearing in a pop video. While these things might sound quite exciting, they can end up being pretty tiring or boring too, as you hear your own song repeated ad finitum and you have to do take after take after take, to make sure the editor or director has enough material to choose from when cutting it together. It's all worth it when the finished article appears though.

The track also appears on Shelf Life's debut album release 'Best Before End'.

The video can also here at YouTube.

A huge thanks to everyone who was involved in the making of this film, many of whom gave up half of their day to be with us.


You'll never know a man,
Until you step into his shoes.
Won't see what's goin' on,
Unless you look through another's eyes.

A friend of mine,
Told me of soldiers on his streets.
Home and family gone,
Yet he learned not to hate.

I am what I am,
Because of who we all are.
An eye for an eye,
Will make the whole world blind – so blind.

We all seek,
Yet rarely find our peace of mind.
We're still building walls,
We should be building bridges instead.

In the end,
It's not the words of our enemies,
We remember,
But the silence of our friends.

I am what I am,
Because of who we all are.
We are the ones,
That we've been waiting for – so long.

I am what I am,
Because of who we all are.
We are the ones,
That we've been waiting for – so long.

You'll never know
Without standing in his shoes
You'll never see
Better look through another's eyes

Yes, he told me
'Bout the soldiers on his streets
His family was gone
He turned his hate around

All looking for
That little piece of mind
Newer, higher walls
But a bridge brings us together

It's not the words
Of our enemies that last
But the silence
Of our friends, so shout it loud