5 Seconds of Summer put the old-school machismo of Japan’s Rockabilly culture at the center of their new video for “Youngblood.” The anachronistic clip follows a gang of Fonz lookalikes through Tokyo. They smoke cigarettes and sport shellacked pompadours. Strutting to the propulsive beat, the gang take over a main square, West Side Story-style, pouting at their female Rockabilly counterparts in polka-dot dresses.
The concept for the video came from director Frank Borin (Angel Haze, The Script, Tinashe), who became fascinated by the country’s improbable rockabilly scene during a previous trip to Japan. “Walking through Yoyogi park, I came upon this huge group of Japanese rockabilly guys and girls,” Borin said. “Every Sunday, they were dressed to the nines in full rockabilly gear, doing their hair out in public, taping up their decades old boots, and dancing the day away to Fifties music blasting on their boom-box.” A decade later, this real-life scene was the inspiration for the “Youngblood” video.
When Borin linked with the Australian pop-rock band, the members were similarly transfixed. The band spent time hanging out with a rockabilly crew around Tokyo to better grasp the unique culture and generation-bending subculture. It was a humbling experience for 5SOS vocalist and drummer Ashton Irwin.
“The Japanese Rockabilly culture is that of a renaissance,” Irwin said in a statement. “And a beautiful flare of passion for everything old and new and that makes this particular subculture so interesting and amazing to us … Thank you for allowing us to be explorative with the concepts we choose to visually express our songs to you.”
“Youngblood” is the title track on 5 Seconds of Summer’s third album to enter the Billboard charts at Number One. 5SOS is embarking on their Meet You There Tour in North America. The headlining trek begins August 27th in Toronto, ON.