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Chad Phillips' New Song Vibes with The Old West and AI

When The Earth Splits in Two by Chad Phillips
Chad Phillips
When The Earth Splits in Two by Chad Phillips

Formerly of the Southern Indiana band Grandaddy Short Leg, singer/songwriter Chad Phillips has been releasing singles from his forthcoming solo album called Inside. His latest is called "When The Earth Splits In Two". The accompanying video is dark and full of the Old Western imagery you might associate with a Sergio Leone film. There's a reason for that which Chad explains in his story about the song and how the video came to be:

"The song is basically a sketch about people who are stuck in a destructive cycle, but are incapable of escaping it. We all know and even love people who seem to be oblivious to the pain they cause both themselves and others. Obviously, there are strong spiritual and even apocalyptic connotations. I also feel like the song is an exercise in self reflection. Who have I hurt? What did I do to contribute to this poor outcome? What are the broader ramifications of my actions? How can I be a better human being? Sooner or later there's a price to pay for the evil we do in this life. The lyric "so heavy" is basically talking about the human heart. But it can also refer to the consequences of our actions.

As for the video, that's another story...literally another story. I felt the song had a strong American Old West vibe to it. So that was why I chose that imagery. But it's more than just a conventional revenge tale. I think the ideas of the song come across in perhaps a more visceral way, wrapped in a patina of old west mythology. Growing up with the so-called spaghetti westerns of the legendary Sergio Leone, I've had these motifs floating around in my head a long, long time. I've seen his movies probably hundreds of times by now. He was the inspiration for the style and over-all tone of the video, camera shots, etc.

As for how the video was created, what you probably don't know is that I've been in graphic arts for many years now. But I could never do animation. That's just way outside my skill set as an artist. Generative AI has changed all that. Now I can either draw or generate what I call principal photography for my ideas and then train the AI software on it, using text-to-video generative AI. It's a very hit and miss process and takes a lot of time and expense. But I think the results are well worth the trouble. I would have to hire an entire team of animators and pay them many thousands of dollars to create what I can create on my own, using generative AI."

You can find more of Chad's music on his bandcamp page.

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Laura is the afternoon host from 3-6 pm weekdays. Email Laura at lshine@lpm.org