Los Angeles rockers All Souls have a brand new music video for their single “You Just Can’t Win” and you gotta check it out. The song (which you can stream/purchase via various platforms) is an intense criticism directed at the populist inspired racism and violence that is plaguing modern Western society. To create the song’s music video, the band teamed up with director Marcos Sanchez who conjured up the highly original clip consisting of hand-drawn animation mixed with old stock footage to really drive home the song’s point of view.
If you enjoy the tune, you can find more on All Souls’ new album Songs For The End of The World, scheduled to be released later this year. You can almost feel the fury and contempt of “You Just Can’t Win,” with its angry vocals overtop of some very menacing guitars. The track fits in very nicely with the rest of the All Souls discography which has established them as a group that always has something to say. Their songs are lyrically dark and infused with their own unique style and perspective on the current state of global affairs. What has helped motivate the band’s lyrical point of view are the experiences of singer and guitarist Antonio Aguilar who writes from his own perspective of being a brown man living in the modern United States. Having to face continuous discrimination ever since his youth, Aguilar has developed a well-informed view on what life is really like for minorities trying to establish their own path to success. “You Just Can’t Win” is brimming with emotion, anger, sadness, and compassion all at the same time.
I would probably be best to actually check out the new music video for “You Just Can’t Win”:
Songs For The End of The World will serve as the follow-up to All Souls’ 2017 debut. It’s been a hell of a ride since its release, with the band embarking on some very successful tours with legendary acts such as Tool and Meat Puppets. It may be hard to believe, but the members of All Souls have all known each other for over 20 years with each of them crossing paths as they tried to make their way in the music industry. It wasn’t until 2016, though, that All Souls would finally come together.
To further discuss the “You Just Can’t Win” music video, and the song itself, we spoke for a few minutes with singer Meg Castellanos about how the video was created, how the band came to work with filmmaker Marcos Sanchez, and the song’s origins.
The music video for “You Just Can’t Win” is composed of a lot of old black and white, early colour TV footage with animation incorporated into some of the shots. Where is the old footage taken from?
Meg Castellanos: “All the footage was taken from the Prelinger Archives. This is a huge collection of amateur home movies and educational films from the U.S. founded by Rick Prelinger. Most of it is in public domain so the director is comfortable with using this as the backdrop from which he can add animation to.”
That is quite the dance those two are having. Check out the cover art for All Souls’ new album Songs For The End of The World:
You may not have been directly involved in this but was it a difficult process to gain permission to use a lot of this footage? Or is much of it old archive footage not necessarily owned by anybody?
Castellanos: “This particular archive provides thousands of films available for download and unrestricted reuse.”
You worked with the well-regarded Chilean filmmaker and artist Marcos Sanchez to create the “You Just Can’t Win” music video. How did Sanchez become involved in creating the video?
Castellanos: “I am a huge fan of Kim Deal. After seeing the Breeders’ latest video ‘Walking with a Killer’ which he also did, I hunted him down. I loved his style and his way of making you feel sad and uncomfortable; of showing you the things that lie under the surface. I reached out to him by email actually. He was a bit late in his response due to the social and political upheaval in Chile at the time. We connected over the state of our countries, the rise of fascism and the out of control greed that has taken over. Maybe he agreed to work with us because of the message in our music. It’s an important time in history to express yourself as an artist.”
To hear how All Souls have evolved, check out the band’s debut music video “Never Know,” released in 2018:
Did Sanchez come to you with a concept after reflecting on the song or did you work together with him to at least develop a rough conceptual background for the video?
Castellanos: “Our original concept for the video was to somehow portray the anger and sadness experienced by most Americans; dead-end jobs, rampant gun violence, and if you are a person of colour, white privilege. We didn’t want to have the visuals match the lyrics directly, but give the song a new life. Marcos did a tremendous job with elevating the song to great new heights. The animation is haunting and incredible. He is a visionary. We are so honoured to have been able to work with him.”
Now the song itself is somewhat of a protest against the violence and disorder that has befallen modern society. What motivated the tone and subject matter of the song? Take us through the writing process.
Castellanos: “Antonio, our singer and main lyricist writes from a brown man’s perspective. We are all born into the skin we wear. Depending on the colour, one may be subjected to discrimination or oppression. There is a history of minorities being downtrodden in the U.S. through legislation enacted by rich white men. They have long used race as a wedge to divide society and achieve power. Then they blame immigrants for their problems, pitting poor and uneducated people against them.
We are seeing this xenophobia on the rise; angry whites showing indignation to anyone different from them like they were guaranteed dominion over all by legacy of skin. This song was written with that in mind and also as a response to the mass shootings in the nightclubs, churches, and schools, our supposed safe spaces. We are becoming numb to the violence. Hate crimes are on the rise. It is impossible for us not to reflect on what is happening.”