Exclusive: AJR Examine How Few Heroes We Have Left in “Role Models” Video

The track is off the band's latest album, The Click

Music News AJR
Exclusive: AJR Examine How Few Heroes We Have Left in “Role Models” Video

AJR take aim at America’s cult of celebrity worship in the video for “Role Models,” premiering exclusively here at Paste.

The song, off the band’s latest release The Click, out now, attempts to reckon with an increasingly fraught year for celebrity culture. The band makes no effort to hide from this fact—the very first line, “All my role models are on TV for the wrong reasons,” is a callout, both of said role models, and of the band for having had them as role models in the first place.

“I used to say, just what’s on my brain, ‘cause you always did / You used to be, so special to me, now you’ve taken it,” Jack Met sings, shortly before name-dropping Kanye West, who has spent most of this year seemingly trying to alienate as many fans as possible. There’s also mention of Louis C.K., whose misconduct came to light little more than a year ago. “2018 is a strange year to have role models,” the band say in a statement. “While our news feeds are plagued by #MeToo, trolls and political divisiveness, ‘Role Models’ is AJR’s take on grappling with separating our favorite art from the problematic artists.”

The video itself is sparse and simple: It’s just the three brothers, Adam, Jack and Ryan Met, sitting and singing alone in a warehouse. There’s something to be said about the simple repeated zoom of the video. We start in tight on Jack’s face, slowly zooming out to reveal more of the mostly empty tableau, the three of them becoming small figures in the distance. But at the start of every verse, we zoom violently back in on Jack, only to start the process again.

Is it metaphor? Is it a comment on how every new scandal gives us a brief, wide-scale view of the systemic problems of celebrity worship in America? And how that view quickly reverts back to the tabloid close-ups that afforded these celebrities all their power in the first place? Maybe. Maybe it’s just fancy cinematography. Check out the video below, and decide for yourself.

Watch “Role Models” here. You can stream The Click here.

AJR Tour Dates:

26 – Dallas, Texas @ South Side Ballroom*
26-28 – New Orleans, La. @ Voodoo Music + Arts Experience
31 – Atlanta, Ga. @ Coca-Cola Roxy*

01 – Raleigh, N.C. @ The Ritz*
03 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ The Fillmore Philadelphia*
04 – Pittsburgh, Pa. @ Stage AE*
06 – Toronto, Ont. @ Rebel*
08 – Chicago, Ill. @Aragon Ballroom
09 – Milwaukee, Wis. @ Eagles Ballroom
10 – Minneapolis, Minn. @ Myth Live
13 – Denver, Colo. @ Fillmore Auditorium*
15 – Phoenix, Ariz. @ The Van Buren
17 – San Francisco, Calif. @ The Masonic*
18 – Hollywood, Calif. @ Hollywood Palladium*

21 – New York, N.Y. @ Manhattan Center Hammerstein Ballroom

(* w/ Robert DeLong)

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