Raised on a farm in Missouri but now based in Berlin, Americana singer-songwriter Ian Fisher released his latest album Nero last month. He’s put together a video for his gorgeous and plaintive title track, which you can see below.
“I wrote the song ‘Nero’ on a lonely guest bed in the 16th District of Vienna, Austria, in the autumn of 2009,” he tells PopMatters. It, like myself and the city in which it was written, is drowned in a type of hopeless nostalgia. A type that is aware of its own fickleness, but persists in spite of its futility. My personal brand of nostalgia that found its way into the song comes from two common themes. The first being youth and, more specifically, that slow climb down the side of the fence that separates it from adulthood. The second being the destruction and subsequent reconstruction of the idea of home. I suppose those are two pretty natural themes for a 22-year-old expatriate.
“This is a special video for me. I made it this summer with some old friends in the city where the song was born, Vienna. It could only have been made there and only with those specific people. It was directed by Jakob Kubizek and filmed by Valentin Wanker. The star of the video is the Austrian comedian Hosea Ratschiller. The three of them were some of the first people to hear the song soon after I wrote it back in 2009. After hearing it one time, Hosea had already given the song its current title and Jakob had come up with the concept for the video. Little did we know then that it would be six years before I’d release the track and we’d make the video. Fortunately, the concept aged well with time. I’m proud to watch it now and see just how deeply the actor and director understood the song. It feels like they made it their own and there’s nothing more beautiful than writing a song that is no longer only yours.”