American Football Dreams Of Japan For 'My Instincts Are The Enemy' Video

May 22, 2017

Apart from from Buddhist temples, parts of Japan sure do look like Central Illinois. At least that's the story sweetly told in director Chris Strong's video for "My Instincts Are The Enemy," where Japanese and Japanese Americans sing along to the song while bowling, making noodles and getting tattooed.

American Football's return to the studio last year still yields quietly glowing rewards, an emo band making sense of its time away and what's been learned and left behind. The video, directed by the same person who's done all of the band's artwork, takes that theme across the globe.

I was initially asked to think of some ideas for videos on November 14, a week after Donald Trump was elected president and the same week the first trailer was released for the new Ghost In The Shell movie. There was a lot of talk in the news around that time about the new reality for foreigners in the United States. There was also a lot of discussion surrounding the mostly white cast of Ghost In The Shell and the depiction of Japanese people in American film. Since the first American Football video ("Never Meant") had so many Caucasians I thought it might be interesting to do something that used exclusively Japanese and Japanese Americans.

This video imagines a Japanese character temporarily living in small town Central Illinois missing his home. Mike [Kinsella] and [manager] Chase [Iglori] gave me the names of eight people they knew from previous music tours in Japan. These people then helped to connect us with people in Japan who were interested in taking part. In Japan, we filmed in various parts of Tokyo, Matsumoto and Nagoya. In the U.S., we filmed in Toluca, Illinois.

American Football (LP2) is out now on Polyvinyl. American Football is playing the Sasquatch and Pitchfork music festivals this summer, along with tour dates across Japan and Europe.

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