Michael Ian Cummings, frontman for New York City’s Skaters, says he’s definitely not into stalking. He might have written a song about stalking, and filmed a video about the song, which involves stalking, but he’s definitely not into stalking.
Skaters, who formed in early 2012 and base their sound on the thick post-punk of Mission of Burma and the Pixies, are set to release their debut LP, Manhattan, which is preceded by the track “Miss Teen Massachusetts.”
In the video, the band creeps up to and breaks into a Cuckoo‘s Nest-style institution for troubled girls. Immediately, they begin to treat the girls with unorthodox methods, such as trying to cure one girl’s agoraphobia with immersion therapy, which is really just the band showing her a picture of the outside. The young lady suffering from dementia is treated with music therapy, which involves her spitting on a guitar. Josh Hubbard, formerly of Dirty Pretty Things, provides layered guitar chords that are more waves of sound than riffs, adding to the video’s feeling of isolation. Meanwhile, Cummings’ detached voice adds another element of frost, further referencing the band’s post-punk influences.
“Some people have asked if this song is about stalking,” Cummings told Rolling Stone. “I guess that depends on your definition of ‘stalking.’ It’s just about wanting things you can no longer have.” To be fair, the case against Cummings seems closed until you see the video’s twist ending . . .