Last January, the Shiny Toy Guns, the Los Angeles synth-pop band that hit big in 2006 with their song "Le Disko," put up a countdown on their website. Below it read: “You’re waiting for a train. A train that will take you far away. You know what you hope is at the end of this timer, but you can’t be sure. And it doesn’t matter… because we’ll be together.”
The timer stopped ticking a month later and the big reveal was a short film disclosing that Carah Faye, the band's original singer, would rejoin the band.
As fans await the release of their third studio album on October 23, Shiny Toy Guns released a new single, “Waiting Alone,” which features Faye on vocals. In true Shiny Toy Guns fashion, an epic video was in order.
“We got all these video treatments from very talented and interesting producers but we weren’t really connecting with any of them,” says Jeremy Dawson, who plays bass and synth. “I made a comment to Carah and said, ‘What if you were just running through a field?’ She looked at me and said, ‘Yeah. What if I was just running?’”
Dawson, who considers himself to be a professional storm chaser, had been promising Faye that he’d take her on a tornado-tracking journey for years. The duo had a trip in the works, which they decided to incorporate into the making of the new video.
The band had an RV stashed in Manhattan that they needed to relocate and a homemade storm-chasing vehicle parked in Dawson’s hometown in Oklahoma, which just happens to be the epicenter of “Tornado Alley.” It was all too perfect.
“We developed the idea in 24 hours and left the next day. We went about 6,000 miles and passed 22 states,” says Dawson of the band’s 26-day production.
The video follows the story of Faye, a.k.a. the “Love Runner,” who has a romantic interest on the opposite coast of Brooklyn. “They want to be together and they can’t and the only way for her to do it is just to run to him. He sends her a text and says, ‘Where are you? Why aren’t you here?’ She gets the text, throws up her hood and runs.”
The story tracks the band as they journey from Faye’s Hollywood home through downtown Las Vegas, across the Grand Canyon, over Pikes Peak in Colorado, past the Alamo in San Antonio and around the Empire State Building.
“We wanted to go over the top with it because the song was so basic and simple,” says Shiny Toy Guns vocalist Chad Petree, who plays “The Chosen One” in the video.
“Basically Chad is a dark sort of misleading apprehension to prevent her [Carah] from getting to her love interest. He causes her to fall, cut her arm. Carah gets mugged. She nearly dies -- all these troubles happen because of him,” explains Dawson, who says that despite the struggle, Faye ultimately finds her way to her love. “Love conquers all!” chirps Faye, who admits that the video was left open-ended and that this New York mystery man might not necessarily be her true love after all…”Or is he?”
While the band wasn’t able to incorporate what Dawson refers to as “the money shot” -- their dream scene, which would feature Faye “running in the background of a monster tornado” -- into their clip, the Shiny Toy Guns did encounter several storms along the way.
“We shot a tornado by accident!” Dawson exclaims. “Carah shot it on her phone without even realizing it.” Between that and getting stuck in a giant hailstorm while filming, Faye got her fill of storm chasing for the trip. “It was a big rush and so much fun! It’s constant excitement and was like a constant fire drill,” says Faye.
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