UA psychology graduate students create music video to showcase talents
By day, UA doctoral students Carl Miller and Malo Jones bury their noses in books and prepare themselves for their dissertations. By night, they’re musicians and video producers exercising their hidden talents, able to forget for a moment how many pages they must read by the end of the week.
The two collaborated to create a music video for a song called “Lions,” by The Jonestown Band, a local blues-rock group formed by Jones. The video will premier at Playground on Thursday at 7 p.m., where viewers will be able to watch the band perform a short set and sit in for a brief round of introductions.
“I knew that it would be an awesome place to premier a music video, given the fact that they have a projection system,” Miller said of Playground. “It seemed like the perfect venue to marry what Malo’s band does musically, and visually being able to show a music video there at the same time.”
When they first met as doctoral students in UA’s psychology program, Jones and Miller immediately bonded over their musical preferences.
Ryan Revock / The Daily Wildcat Malo Jones (left), the singer for the band "The Jonestown Band" and Ph.D. student, has the bands music video for the song "Lions" being premiered at The Playground on Thursday. The music video was made by Carl Miller (right), who is pursuing an educational specialist degree in school psychology.
“A collaboration seemed inevitable,” Jones said.
While Jones is working on a doctoral degree in psychology, Miller is on track to become an education specialist. Although both of their study tracks focus on maximizing learning outcomes for students, their compatible hobbies of music and video make for a balance that Miller said he finds valuable.
“I think having a dynamic life is important,” he said. “There are so many things that I find interesting, and to just focus on one thing would be a disservice to who I am.”
Jones said his music is built on a blues foundation, and that his work has a bit of folk influence as well.
Miller said he was first found his passion for the visual arts in high school, when he began experimenting with photography.
“I loved the whole process from start to finish, so it’s kind of been a passion that’s gone from there,” he added.
Jones said he has been involved in music his entire life, with musical interests from blues to traditional and classical rock.
With a stressful workload as a doctoral student, Jones said he finds it hard to focus on his music career as much as he would like.
“I’m pretty old to be a rock star, but I’m committed to it,” he said. “I can’t give it up, so I’m going to see it through to the end, whatever that is.”
Both added that during the process of making the video, they learned a lot about themselves and their art.
“He made me uncomfortable in a good way,” Jones said, about the amount of face time that Miller included in the music video.
The song has personal lyrics scripted around lessons of love, loss and things of the past, and Miller crafted the images in the video to match the words.
The music video is set in an empty room, representing feelings of loss and isolation, sentiments reflected in the lyrics. Miller transitions from scenes of the empty room to flashbacks of the past on the featured character’s journey of heartbreak.
“When I made the music video, my goal was not for it to be visually entertaining by itself,” Miller said, “but more of a visual component to the way it sounded lyrically throughout the song. I really wanted to add something to the experience.”
After making the music video, Miller said he recognized the takeaway from the project.
“Having something I can create and be proud of — that’s sort of the unique reward for artists,” Miller said.