Chris Stapleton: Execs ‘Thought I Was a Crazy Man’ for ‘Fire Away’ Video Idea
Chris Stapleton won a CMA for Music Video of the Year in early November, for the video for his song "Fire Away" -- and with good reason. The powerful clip shows the dangers of untreated mental illness, with a devastating ending, as well as the effects that someone's suffering can have on their loved ones. However, the idea took some coming around to at first.
"The label kept asking me if I was going to do a video for this record, and they kept asking what we wanted to do," Stapleton recently recalled to The Boot and other reporters. "So we’re in this meeting hall at the label, and I said, ‘Here’s what I want to do, and here’s the idea,’ and we got dead silence out of it, and they thought I was a crazy man for a minute. They went back and thought about it, and everybody really got on board with it."
Tim Mattia directed the video, which stars actor Ben Foster, best known for films such as Lone Survivor and Hell or High Water, among others.
"I had this crazy idea to get Ben Foster, and I didn’t know him at all at the time," Stapleton remembers. "He was kind enough to do it, and he brought in the actual reason for doing it, to raise the awareness. I had the idea for a storyline, but everything happened very organically with that video."
At the very end of the clip, viewers see information about ChangeDirection.org, the aim of which aim is to "change the culture of mental health in America so that all of those in need receive the care and support they deserve." Having that tie-in was key for Stapleton.
"It became something hopefully that has value beyond just being a video for the sake of being a video," the singer notes. "That’s what I liked about it."
Although Stapleton makes a cameo in the clip, he wanted the focus to be on something -- or someone -- other than himself.
"I didn’t want to be in the video," admits the singer. "I wanted to make it about this uncomfortable subject, and I wanted to get real actors and not spend a lot of time making it a promo video for me. That was how I wanted to make a video because I felt like that was more artful and meaningful on the back end.”
"Fire Away" is available for download on iTunes.
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