Robbie Robertson Premieres New Video for ‘Once Were Brothers,’ Directed by Kevin Kerslake (Watch)

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Rock Cellar Magazine

It’s been more than two decades since Robbie Robertson released an official music video, but on Wednesday the legendary songwriter/guitarist known for his work with the Band premiered a clip for “Once Were Brothers.”

Directed by Kevin Kerslake, noted for his classic 1990s-era videos over the years for the likes of Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Green Day, Sonic Youth, Red Hot Chili Peppers and more, the song is taken from Robertson’s recent album, Sinematic.

It’s also the song that inspired the new documentary film, Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band, which will open nationally on Feb. 28. Here’s the music video:

And a statement from Robbie Robertson about the track:

“Writing ‘Once Were Brothers’ for my album Sinematic hurt inside sometimes, but it was a rewarding experience as it allowed me to think back about the extraordinary brotherhood of The Band,” said Robertson. “When the filmmakers heard the song, they were deeply moved and not only wanted to use it in the movie but decided to call the film ‘Once Were Brothers.’ For the video we wanted to go in a different direction. Director Kevin Kerslake came on board with an abundance of imagination and style. We had a brilliant time working together.”

Kerslake reflected on working with Robertson and his vision for the clip:

“I’ve admired Robbie for a long time and he never really hits a sour note,” said Kerslake. “We talked a while ago, probably about 25 years ago about doing a music video but that didn’t end up happening. It’s nice that it came back around. For the video, we mimicked a process that was invented in the late 1800s by photographer/filmmaker/inventor Eadweard Muybridge who did motion studies, which is sort of a combination of still photography and motion pictures. The process involved shooting things at a very high speed, basically a bunch of different stills. We then made prints of everything that we shot, put them in a drum like a zoetrope which is an old antiquated viewing device that when the drum goes around and around you see all these sorts of loops almost like a picture book. There’s a very antique, historic sensibility that fuels this video that is based on that work.”

Released in late September, Sinematic featured guest spots from Van Morrison and Glen Hansard, and owed much to Robertson’s interest in cinema and work he’s done for various film projects.

And here’s a trailer for Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band:


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