Back on March 25, singer/songwriter Robby Hecht released his eponymous third album. It’s a stunner, in the grand tradition of perennial favorites like Paul Simon, James Taylor, and Shawn Colvin. One of the songs, “Soon I Was Sleeping”, steps a little bit outside of Hecht’s normal folk borders and into country ballad terrain. But, hey, the guy lives in Nashville, so it was bound to happen at some point.
The tune, a duet with Rose Cousins, uses alcoholism as the monkey on the storyteller’s back and the reason for his failed marriage. And the video, conceived and directed by Ryan Newman, uses Frankenstein to really drive the point home. On first blush, the connection might not be obvious, but as Newman explains, “It’s hard to make a video for ballads. The usual play is to make an on-the-nose, whatever-you’re-hearing-you’re-seeing type thing, so I wanted to find an angle into the story that would respect the track, but make you think of it in another, hopefully unexpected, way. Given how cold the Rose portion of the the song is — she basically tells him to go back and love the bottle — I felt there was a parallel to the Bride of Frankenstein storyline. Also, I felt like the obvious connection is that alcoholism is a monster. And he is a literal monster.”
Still, Frankenstein? Really?
Yes, really. Truly. And wonderfully so.
Brian T. O’Neill’s Frankenstein is a heartbreaker against the stoic beauty of Kayla Moore’s Bride.
So what did Hecht think when Newman first came to him with the concept? According to Newman, “I think his initial response was like, ‘What the hell? It’s a country ballad.’ But, after I explained what I was thinking, he took a day, and then I got a text saying, ‘I think we should move forward with the Frankenstein idea.’ Then we were off!”
Hecht recalls, “I thought it was a fabulous idea from the moment he proposed it. We’d already been talking about doing a video starring normal humans that was going to have pretty much the same plot, so adding the Bride of Frankenstein element had nothing but upside. Say what you will about Ryan Newman, the man can think outside of the box.”
“The story played out pretty much the way he’d described, only with more detail. The makeup was incredible, the acting was fabulous… I couldn’t have asked for a better interpretation of the song.”