New Jersey’s Deal Casino has a rule about making videos. “We have all these ideas and we realize we have zero dollars to make any of them happen,” frontman Joe P tells Billboard. “So you’ve got to be able to say the idea of the music video in one sentence. If you can do that, we can mostly likely get it done for free.”
Evidence is in the clip for “French Blonde,” premiering exclusively below from Deal Casino’s upcoming sophomore album, LLC.
The black-and-white video, shot in a junkyard near Long Branch where Deal Casino has filmed before, focuses on P getting a tattoo, smoking cigarettes and grooving to the tune, with some extreme close-ups along the way. All with French subtitles. The choreography is minimal, but it works nevertheless.
“We had no plan when it came down to filming; The idea was for me to perform the song and just kind of lose my mind and see what happens,” P says. “We just kind of let the song take over and create the whole feeling of what I should do. We didn’t do too many takes, maybe five or six.” P drew a little blood at one point when he ran fast towards director Tony Yebra’s camera lens and hit it full-on with his face. The tattoo sequence, meanwhile, was a bit nerve-wracking for the frontman.
“Usually they write (the tattoo) backwards, but for the purpose of the video he had to do it in the right order,” P recalls. “(The artist) was like, ‘Oh man, I’m nervous,’ which kind of made me nervous, a bit. He kept asking specific things, like ‘Do you want it to be this big?’ and stuff, and I was like, ‘Man, it’s all up to you…’ But he killed it. It was pretty crazy.”
The “French Blonde” single and video are thumping the drum for LLC, which is due out Nov. 16. Though it’s the quartet’s second full-length, P says that “it felt like our first album in a lot of ways,” with a new producer, Eric Romero, and the group commanding more control and input than it had on its self-titled 2017 debut.
“Looking back on that first (album), we were like, man, (the producer) had a lot of control,” P says. “So when it came around to (LLC) it was like, ‘Alright, what can we do now that’s just us. Let’s be just us.'” Deal Casino and Romero repaired to a residential studio on North Carolina to write and record, and the results — more polished and crafted, with a greater use of synthesizers to both thicken and sweeten the sound — was in keeping with the group’s ambitions.
“We went away for 12 days and just did whatever we wanted,” P says. “There was a plan, but when we got there everything just changed, and it was truly us realizing what we wanted to do without any influence from someone older than us or higher than us talking about how, ‘You should do this, you should do that…’ It felt like we were let loose, and in doing that we discovered a lot of things we wanted to do without knowing we wanted to do it — and now we have a better idea of what we want to do for our next one, too.”
Deal Casino will begin touring on Nov. 10 — “Our first ‘real,’ tour,” according to P — primarily opening for the Wrecks, with a few headlining dates through Dec. 9.