Wash “Who Am I”

2000-wash-who-am-iWash were another band jumping on the nu rock bandwagon. And while there’s scratching all over “Who Am I”, there’s no sign of a DJ in the video. Instead they look like a pretty ordinary four-piece rock band. The song itself sounds like a throw back to the sounds of a decade prior, with a very strong influence from the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rage Against the Machine.

The video is pretty simple. The band, dressed in black, play the song in a white studio. It’s a good low-budget way to present the band and, oh, how the lead singer’s crispy hair spikes stand out against the bright background.

Alternating with the band are shots of dudes skateboarding. When the lyrics are firing off lines about generic young-man anger, it doesn’t quite work showing clips of skilled skateboarders who appear to be really enjoying themselves, no doubt doing what they love.

That’s the trouble with skating. It’s fun. The dudes who do it love what they do. One video that uses skating well is Spike Jonze’s video for the Sonic Youth song “100%”. He basically shot a bunch of his friends (including a young, cheerful Jason Lee), and the laidback, stylish presentation of their street skating fits with the laidback, stylish song.

The “Who Am I” video, however, makes me want to see more of the skating and less of the band. This was the only Wash video that had NZ On Air funding. The band had a few years of success in the early 2000s (including a sweet Linkin Park support gig) before disbanding.

Best bit: the drummer’s serious drum face.

Director: David Stubbs
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… words and music.

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