Today, progressive post-rock masters Final Coil have unveiled their brand new video with Distorted Sound Magazine. ‘The Last Battle‘ is the second video to be released from the band’s imminent second album, the breathtaking The World We Left Behind For Others.
Final Coil’s frontman, Phil Stiles, spoke to Distorted Sound about the ideas explored within ‘The Last Battle’ and its place within the concept of The World We Left Behind For Others…
“The World We Left Behind For Others is a concept album detailing the lives and struggles of two people who lived in the shadow of World War II. If you listen to the album as a whole, it’s quite clear that different songs are being sung from different perspectives and, when taken together, they form a narrative that explores how the social divisions now rife in the West have their roots in the complicated social changes that took place in the post-war era.
‘The Last Battle’ is written from the perspective of a demobbed soldier, returned to find a society that seems indifferent to his struggles and focused on an internationalisation that seems at odds with the conflict that has just ended. The natural human reaction in such a set of circumstances is a mixture of fear, bewilderment and anger; and that comes across as he relates his story in tones tinged with bitterness and confusion. His initial reaction leads, as ‘…And I’ll Leave’ (-the first video release from the new album) suggests, to alcoholism and a battle to cope; so the battle referred to in the title is both a reference to the actual end of the war and to the battle that the protagonist has to overcome to adapt to a society that seems to be changing rapidly around him. It’s a battle he’s destined to lose and, as his attitudes harden, so living with him becomes increasingly difficult.”
The video itself was filmed on location at an abandoned military base and Phil also shared the story of the video and his memories from the day in front of the camera…
“For the video clip, we were re-united with our good friend Jay Hillyer, who filmed clips for our first album, Persistence of Memory. Early on we decided that we didn’t want to do a straightforward narrative for the video, so we started to look at the underlying feeling of claustrophobia and tension inherent in the song and, in focusing in on that, we came up with the idea of a young lady being chased through an eerie, abandoned base by some unseen force, eventually to run into a tunnel containing something still more sinister. It was influenced by a mix of horror movies (not least a shared love of The Evil Dead) and clips by bands such as Massive Attack, who created some truly fantastic videos for the Mezzanine album, few of which have a coherent storyline but which, instead, tap into an almost visceral sense of discomfort that perfectly matches the dark nature of the music.
Filming on an abandoned military base on a cold January afternoon, Jay got the idea straight away, and we had a blast dressing the set for the performance sections of the video. Even more fun was scouting the sprawling base for the various locations that our friend, Lou, would be running through (and oh, how we made her run!) When we came across the abandoned playground and the dark, L-shaped tunnel, we knew we’d hit the jackpot, and we made great use of the environment; although I have to tell you that trying to sing with those damned smoke grenades going off all over the place was a nightmare. We’re incredibly proud of the final result and I think Jay has really captured the lonely, atmospheric feel of the base in which we filmed.”