Twang-seeking Oakland rockers Half Stack took their time to channel the rugged spirit of classic country music into a crooning album titled Quitting Time, released by label Processional Cross last year. Since then, they’ve been working on a new full-length record and have played a considerable amount of local shows, including a spot on the recent Noise Pop festival. The trifecta of guitarists, lazily shuffling beats, and wholesome vocals recall the comforting tunes of the Flying Burrito Brothers and the Grateful Dead, performed with the intimate authenticity of sheer adoration.
Luckily, we’re honored to present a new music video for the track “Quitting Time,” which embodies the bright and thoughtful ebullience with which Half Stack approach their craft. We caught up with guitarist and singer Peter Kegler and “Quitting Time,” director Han Hale to get the details of their new music video.
The Bay Bridged: Why did you choose this song? What are some of the themes from Quitting Time that you feel represent the band here?
Peter Kegler: This song is the title track for our recent album. Musically, it goes well with the idea Han had for the country variety show. The video is really fun and the song goes with that with a kinda classic country chord structure and lead line. From a thematic standpoint the song embodies some of the main ideas from the record. The song talks about the escape you get from the monotony of your job or your life when quitting time comes around. and some of the feelings of loneliness and isolation that come from working and getting older and how you deal with that. which is a big theme on the record.
TBB: What was your inspiration behind the video? Did your vision change from the planning stage to the final stage?
Han Hale: My inspiration behind the video was a mix of The Porter Wagoner Show and public access television. I’ve always admired kitschy television set designs and I wanted to emulate that. My vision for the video was pretty ambitious for a small budget, so my biggest obstacle was finding all of the appropriate props. It ultimately took about two months of me scavenging on craigslist to make it all come together. So luckily my vision didn’t change much from the planning stage.
TBB: Who all worked on the video and how did it come together?
HH: Well, the video couldn’t have been possible without my main collaborator, friend, and cameraperson, Dean Snodgrass. More often than not it’s just the two of us behind the scenes. But this time we were fortunate enough to have people volunteer their time to help us out.
TBB: What are some plans for the band this year? Do you have any releases or tours on the horizon?
PK: Oh big plans! Right now we’re working on a new full-length record, can’t wait to share some stuff. We’re gonna do a big US tour this summer. We also just signed on as Willie Nelson’s full-time backing band! (editor’s note: This was a joke.)
TBB: How do you feel about the record you released last year versus the material that you’re making now? Are there similarities or differences that have taken shape in the new stuff?
PK: I think our music is still evolving from what we put into Quitting Time: trying to make a sound that’s more cohesive but embodies our different tastes as a band. We’re really excited to share some new recordings soon!