You don’t have to work too hard to see the ways in which being a touring band is a lot like being a prisoner: you’re trapped in a confined space for days at a time, you’re not sure where you’re next meal is going to come from, and sleep is a luxury you can’t afford. The Philadelphia/Brooklyn band A Sunny Day in Glasgow have taken that idea to its logical, gleefully absurdist conclusion in the video for “I Can’t Live Without Your Love.” In it, the band members are taken hostage by some true-crime style goons and forced to play their music across the country. We asked the band to “relive” the experience that led to the creation of the video.
In a letter to the press, you’ve said, “As the world and members of the press know, we played four shows in the Midwest/Northeast this past winter. What you don’t know is that we were forced to do so against our will. Each of us were apprehended using musical force, taken to a dark, noise-insulated room and made to practice for hours and hours.” Care to elaborate? Where were you when it happened? And why do you think they came after you?
The details are hazy. We had decided to take the holiday season off to spend time with our families. I guess that’s just not what he wanted. Or what they wanted. None of us can agree on how many there were, or even how tall they were. We all have disparate reconstructed memories of the abduction. We were taken to Schuba’s in Chicago, Johnny Brenda’s in Philly, Rough Trade in New York and Comet Ping Pong in D.C. You can see these locations in the footage of the incident, which was later made into this video.
Was it traumatic for you, your abduction being caught on film? What do you gain by making the footage into a video, and does it bring up painful memories when you watch it?
At this point it feels more like metaphor than memory. The event is never really that far from our minds. Every time we pick up an instrument or eat food from a gas station, we re-live it. So watching the footage isn’t traumatic—it’s comforting now. It’s a ritual, like making coffee in the morning. It helps us piece together what happened. We’re lucky there was a camera rolling. I’ll bet Heather, Joshua and Mike (whose archival footage was made into the Blair Witch Project) feel the same way.
If you could say anything to your kidnappers right now, what would it be?
We never miss you and will always love you.