A true story is behind “Billboard,” the final single from New Zealand rock troupe Hex’s latest album Hill Temple, and its accompanying video, which premieres exclusively below.
Singer Kiki Van Newton tells Billboard that, as the clip depicts, she saw an anti-choice billboard on the road as she was driving home from a friend’s house with her children in the car. “I just was having a bad day,” Van Newton recalls. “I had a lot of anger and just was, ‘Right…’ I pulled the car over and luckily had a crowbar in the back and just went and ripped down the billboard. My kids were just watching me and I was like, ‘I’m doing a good thing here!'” She adds that the bride-like white dress she sports in the video is a far cry from the “mum tracksuit pants and stained shirt” she was probably wearing at the time, however.
This is, of course, a resonant time worldwide to be addressing issues such as abortion and women’s rights — and “Billboard” carries even greater weight in New Zealand, where abortion is still illegal unless the pregnancy endangers the woman’s life. “It shouldn’t be a political issue,” Van Newton explains. “It should just be a health issue, but it’s been turned into an unnecessarily politicized issue for reasons we all know, patriarchy and capitalism. I wanted (the video) to be a bit fun, kind of like a celebration of the bolstering of one’s energies, that kind of thing.”
Hex returns to the U.S. on Sept. 6 for a final tour on the Hill Temple cycle, while a follow-up is already in motion with the group’s Jason Erskine again producing. “We’re just tracking it at the moment,” Van Newton says, describing it as “more cohesive and more mature in terms of the sound” but also “a very brutal break-up album” about a real relationship she declines to talk about. “It’s got some real highs and some real lows on it — more of the same, really,” she says with a laugh.