For the band’s “Sing for Me” video, which premiered on MTV today, frontman Ryan Key turned a personal struggle into inspiration, gathering an army of survivors along the way and passing on warm and fuzzies to the rest of us. Yellowcard fans are in the video, holding signs such as “A Drunk Driver Took My Life Away From Me” or wearing messages on their body like “I’ve Overcome, Now I’m a Dreamer.” We’re not trying to get all Kumbaya-around-the-campfire but it’s seriously a heartfelt video. Ryan took time out to give us the lowdown on how it came about. Read what he has to say and watch the video below
Act: Can you tell us about why you wrote this song, what it means to you and how the idea for the video came about?
About a year and a half ago, I found out that my Aunt Stephanie was diagnosed with brain cancer. She has been a positive force for me throughout my entire life. We were working on material for “When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes” when I received this news, so I knew it was something I wanted to write about. The idea for the video came completely from our director, Robby Starbuck. It was perfect.
Where did you find the fans featured in the video?
Robby and his crew went out in Los Angeles and found the stories for the video. I kind of enjoyed not knowing much about any of them until I saw the video for the first time. We did get to meet them all on the set and it was incredible to share the experience with them. I think they knew what the song meant to us and therefore they really felt connected to the project.
What’s one way you stay positive when you get stressed or bummed out?
Early in my career, I really struggled with this. It was easy to let even the smallest thing seem like a huge disaster. However, I have worked very hard on becoming the kind of person who reminds myself how lucky I am to have the life I have. Staying grateful helps me stay positive. Also, facing something like the coming loss of someone I love for the first time in my life has opened my eyes to how important it is to stay focused on the good things in my life.
What’s the most powerful tool we can use to survive difficult times or support friends who are suffering?
I think open ears are the most important. The ability to truly listen and not just hear someone who needs you is a real fight, but it’s a gift you can give yourself. My friends and even fans of the band have been so amazing throughout this challenging time. The support is overwhelming. I learn to be a better person from them every day.
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