Following the release of their acclaimed 2016 album Zone, JEFF The Brotherhood are premiering a video today for the album’s lead single, “Punishment,” with NPR. Shot on location in Bathinda, Punjab, India, the video was made by the duo of painter Jen Uman and film maker and Hindi/Urdu translator Grant Davis, who the brothers, Jake and Jamin Orrall, gave full creative license to craft a fitting visual accompaniment to the track’s hard-driving psychedelia.
The video features Harpreet Pappu, the self-proclaimed “World Champion Reverse Driver,” who has found local acclaim due to his skill at driving in reverse, which he does regularly around his hometown reaching speeds in excess of 50 mph. Discovered on a night out in a nearby town when the gearbox on his Fiat Padmi got stuck in reverse, Pappu has honed his skill over the years, being granted a special license allowing him to drive in reverse in most of India’s Northern states and founding a driving school where he preaches the importance of proficiency in reverse driving.
It was shot primarily from the roof of a moving car, and sees Pappu driving through town and around the local nuclear powerplant, while images of the band members’ dogs hang in heart-shaped key chains on his rear view mirror, and the mask that appears on the cover of Zone is worn by an assortment of Bathinda locals.
“Grant (Davis) and I have been good friends for a long time and with a common interest in India’s subcultures we do a lot of digging to uncover extraordinary people living ordinary lives,” says Uman. “When we learned about Harpreet Pappu and his ‘Back Gear Driving Academy’ we immediately wanted to meet him. On the surface Harpreet himself runs a seemingly run of the mill driving school, but he also has pretty radical ideas. He’s adamant about his students learning reverse driving, saying it’s a skill that can save one’s life. When someone is trying to kidnap you, for example, he says all you need to do is skillfully reverse your car and save yourself.”
“JEFF The Brotherhood gives us a lot of flexibility when we work together. They understood our concept of moving backwards being just as dynamic as any other form but staying true to the way we see what a car driving backwards sounds like. Our approach to making a music video relies more on the song itself and seeing through our ideas simply without leaning on flash or trend.”
“The band gave us full support to shoot the video in Bathinda, Punjab where Harpreet is a local celebrity. Bathinda police behave as if his driving is business as usual even when he comes cruising down the road followed by some foreigner on the roof of a car filming him.”
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