Surfer Blood’s video for “Say Yes to Me,” off 2013’s Pythons, was filmed just after the band was dealt some bad news. The band, who root their sound in post-Nirvana alt-rock, spent 2011 and 2012 building the group, signing to Warner and even the opening for the Pixies. Then, after the release of Pythons, they were dropped by their record label.
“For the video, we had just been dropped from Warner Brothers and knew we were doomed financially. We would have no budget and very little time,” frontman John Paul Pitts tells Rolling Stone. “Our plan was to shoot the entire video in one night at a diner called Howley’s in our hometown, West Palm Beach. Howley’s was a frequent hangout for our dinner breaks during recording of the demos for Pythons. We managed to get the all the shots we needed in one night. We worked with our friends Bobby Keegan and Lucas Marchesani. They both worked with us on the ‘Floating Vibes’ video off of our first record and we were looking to do something with a similar charm, but spookier.”
In the song, Thomas Fekete’s guitar whips out cheerful, airy chords while Pitts pens a love letter to a paramour. But despite the song’s bubbly nature, the video reveals the band’s dour mindset at the time. As the rest of the band orders food, Pitts, playing the part of a devilish waiter, doses their Tater Tots and smiles wickedly as his fellow band members go on a trip. Just when it seems that things can’t get any worse, the Grim Reaper appears, but instead of slaughtering the bunch, he delivers solace and consolatory backrubs.
Surfer Blood are on tour right now.