War is Hell in Tom Waits’ Apocalyptic New Video
Tom Waits still knows how to grab a crowd’s attention and hold it in a death grip. Last week, the singer made cryptic references to something big appearing on August 7th, featuring images of him dressed as a pirate, trudging through the surf behind cannibalistic-looking submarines with the caption "I Breathe Better Underwater" and another about not bringing a knife to a spoon-fight, which is very good advice indeed. Speculation arose about a new album, a new tour and many more possibilities, but today Waits revealed the new project as a stunning video for his death-march-in-the-underworld track "Hell Broke Luce" from his 2011 release, Bad as Me.
"As most of you guessed, it’s a tour," Waits said in a statement announcing the video. "A tour de force! Matt Mahurin has created an apocalyptic war dream to accompany the song HELL BROKE LUCE. Kathleen and I envisioned it as an enlightened drill sergeant yelling the hard truths of war to a brand new batch of recruits. The video grew from the gnawing image of a soldier pulling his home, through a battlefield, at the end of a rope.I think you will agree, it’s uplifting and fun."
As Waits snarls about having a good home and leaving it behind, Matt Mahurin’s (who previously worked with Waits on several videos, as well as the likes of Hole and Peter Gabriel) wartime apocalypse comes alive, including all the classic images of great floods and puppet scavenger birds. The demon submarines appear, and at one point, Waits loses a limb, so if that sort of thing makes you squeamish, just watch the first half. Anyway, it’s quite a stunning clip.