Play It Again: Messages “Sunshine”

By: Sara Waber

One of the best things about SXSW (besides the obvious week long festivities) is the music that you get to take away from the great city of Austin. Messages, formerly known as Mighty Mountain, is an indie rock band from Austin, Texas. Complete with vivid harmonies, anthemic choruses, and ferocious energy, this 6 piece powerhouse has made a name for itself in the Austin music scene. 

Play Too Much fell in love with Texas but we fell harder for this dynamic band. We had the pleasure to sit down and chat with Johnathan Horstmann ,the frontman and singer of  Messages about their beautiful track “Sunshine”. The title alone warms your heart but wait till you see the kid you stars in it!

Play Too Much: Why did you choose this song to make a video for?

JH: As we were working on the album it became apparent that “Sunshine” wanted to be the first thing we shared off of it. It’s not as dynamic as other tracks, but a really nice ‘feel good’ introduction to the band. It’s like when a movie preview has you thinking you’re walking into the feel good hit of the summer, but then you see the movie, and you leave the theater reconsidering your life choices. That may be a grand statement, but I’m really proud of what we’ve done.

PTM: That’s a great analogy! Where was this video filmed?

JH: We filmed in Pflugerville, north of Austin Texas. Since we were using a child actor, I wanted to keep it to one day. I showed up an hour late to my own set because I was stuck at Starbucks trying to work out catering. That’s what happens when your budget is your rent money.

PTM: Haha! How did you come up with the video concept?

JH: From the very first time I heard the chorus in my head, it was always about kids riding bikes, the innocence of summer. A friend of ours showed us a video of his son Wesley playing drums along to a song by my last project, and we just had to use him. And what kid hasn’t wanted to be a super hero?

PTM: What was the hardest part and most fun part to film?

JH: While we were shooting the garage sequence the automatic garage door opener overheated and stopped working. We thought we broke it and I instantly started pricing them online to see how much it was going to set us back. It was just a neighbor’s house who was helping out and it was pretty stressful. Lucky it cooled down and started working again before the neighbor came outside, and we were able to get the shot.

I think watching Wesley get in the protective gear was the best. It was adult sized and I had no idea how he was going to look in it but as soon as he put it on I couldn’t stop cracking up. We had to control ourselves because we didn’t want him to think we were laughing at him. He was just stellar, every scene with him was the best.

PTM: Who do you want to shout out for helping make this video possible?

JH: Marty Robbins, our director of photography, and the Abron family: Andrea, Anthony, and Wesley.


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