As we prep for an Independence Day like none other, one in which we as a country have never been more divided, never been more frightened, never been more confused, we are reminded that both physical and emotional pain has always been a part of our collective lives.
And we have always found a way through.
It’s this perseverance that shines through the heart wrenching music video for Whiskey Myers’ stirring song “Bury My Bones,” debuting exclusively Wednesday (July 1) on American Songwriter.
“It’s a heavy one and a deep one and one that just about wrecked me when I first saw it,” Whiskey Myers’ John Jeffers says of the emotionally charged music video, which follows two brothers who both enter combat overseas only to have one lose their life while they are over there. “And coincidentally, everything happens to feel heavy at the moment. We did not know we would be here in this moment when we released the music video, but here we are.”
Indeed, the roots of the song and accompanying video actually took hold at the beginning of 2019, when Jeffers and his fellow Whiskey Myers bandmates found themselves stuck in Paris for three days due to some far from routine travel troubles. During their time stuck in the airport, conversations turned to the somewhat comical, at the time, possibility that they might never make it home.
“We started talking about what if we die over here,” recalls Jeffers, laughing at the mere thought. “We were joking at first, but then we started talking about the idea that if I died, I would want to be buried at home and all the logistics that would go along with that. That was the original idea.”
The very day Jeffers finally got home, “Bury my Bones” was born, writing the song alongside the incomparable Tennessee Jet for the self-titled and self-produced studio album Whiskey Myers.
And while Jeffers says he had originally written up a somewhat extravagant, production-heavy, wartime video treatment for the song, he soon realized that it would cost far too much to produce. But it was then that Whiskey Myers front man Cody Cannon had an idea to hand over the video treatment in the hopes that someone else might be able to find a different, more economical, more relatable take on the storyline of the video.
So, that’s what he did.
Jeffers’ original video treatment was handed over to director Evan Kaufmann, who translated the band’s words into a modern day drama of epic proportions.
“The idea of losing someone was really the main thing we wanted to portray in the video,” says Jeffers, who recently announced that him and wife Hope are expecting their first child. “It was all about the translation of a heartache. It was about finding a way to cope the only way you can. It was about finding a way to bury the thoughts and the memories in the hopes that you can move on.”
Indeed, the video also touches on the cruel reality of grief along with the very real condition known as PTSD, both of which causes the veteran to swirl down into a depression that only begins to lesson as he confronts not only what he saw in combat, but what his brother’s death would ultimately mean to the rest of his life.
“The only way to put all the pain to rest was to essentially put his brother to rest,” explains Jeffers of the music video. “Like I said, it’s heavy, that’s for sure.”
He sighs. “I’m pretty sure this is the deepest we have ever gone in a music video, and I think its because we are getting deeper and heavier as songwriters,” Jeffers says quietly. “It’s just another piece of our evolution.”