In advance of their unprecedented video for the song “Fight Or Flight,” THE SECRET STATE—Dan Martiniano (Lead Vocals, Piano), Josh Jones (Guitar, Vocals), Hunter Schafer (Bass, Backup Vocals), Danny Espinosa (Digital Performer) and Mike Marx-Gibbons (Drums, Violin)—have released a behind-the-scenes teaser clip that can now be viewed here: http://youtu.be/zUYymeLTndM. The official music video was shot at Fort Irwin in California on the U.S. Army’s National Training Center (NTC) and stars active duty soldiers. This type of access and clearance has never before been granted by the military and they have given their full support for this project. All footage featured in the “Fight Or Flight” video was shot exclusively for the music video.
This song and video are very personal to THE SECRET STATE. The Baltimore-based fivesome includes three members who’ve served in the military. The drummer and violinist, MIKE MARX-GIBBONS, enlisted in the Army on September 12, 2001 and has stayed in the Army National Guard. He served in Iraq from Dec 2003-May 2005 as a Combat Medic. Two other band members, guitarist JOSH JONES and digital performer DANNY ESPINOSA, were in the Coast Guard and later served in Afghanistan as defense contractors.
“Fight Or Flight” is a song about a patrol on deployment in Afghanistan and their homecoming. Speedy Bagheri, the band’s executive producer, and THE SECRET STATE set out to honor and pay tribute to the U.S. military and to give the world an authentic glimpse and a visceral understanding of what American Soldiers face in combat overseas.
The band shot at multiple locations throughout Fort Irwin, CA. The first and key location is the Painted Rocks, a place where every military unit that completes training there paints their unit patches on a large rocks outside the front gates of Fort Irwin. They also shot in “Ertabat Shar,” a mock Afghanistan village located inside Fort Irwin and used for intense combat training for troops about to deploy overseas.
To preserve the authentic representation of a soldier’s life and the sacrifice they freely make, THE SECRET STATE called upon active duty soldiers. The ten featured in the music video are members of the 11th Armored Cavalry (ACR) based at Fort Irwin, CA. Known as the “Blackhorse Regiment” this unit was activated in 1901. There was a rigorous selection process to be part of the music video.
A list of those active duty soldiers featured in the “Fight Or Flight” music video:
|· SSG Timothy Cooke||Squad Leader||Cavalry Scout|
|· SGT Kevin Graham||Team Leader||Combat Engineer|
|· SGT Gary Williams||Team Leader||Cavalry Scout|
|· SGT Jonathan Birkey||Squad Medic||Combat Medic|
|· SPC Juan Fernandez||Infantryman|
|· SPC Daniel Radebaugh||Infantryman|
|· SPC Chris Ellison||Engineer, Horizontal Construction|
|· SPC Jesse Gomez||Infantryman|
|· SPC Anthony Nieves||Infantryman|
|· SPC Karano Dukuly||Combat Engineer|
Aside from the soldiers who starred in the video, the production team was also carefully assembled for this project. Everyone associated with this music video is former military or a supporter of the military (meaning they have a family member or friend who has served). The team also consists of top filmmakers who are experts in their crafts.
The music video was directed and produced by two women, Alison Savitch and Karen Kraft. Alison Savitch is an award-winning visual effects supervisor and feature film producer whose credits include Mortal Kombat, The Abyss, Terminator-2: Judgment Day, Dracula and many more. Karen Kraft is an award-winning documentary producer who worked as a producer at Discovery Channel whose credits include “Marvel Superheroes’ Guide to New York City,” “World Heritage” and promotions for “Shark Week.” She is also a former Army Reserve Officer.
The music video was shot using state-of-the-art Arri Alexas donated by Aaron Heck of Heck Art Studios in Beverly Hills, CA and filmed by two world-class cinematographers who volunteered their time and resources: Bobby Settlemire and Aaron Heck. Settlemire has worked on over 40 major films, commercials, and music videos including Life of Pi, Pirates of the Caribbean, X-Men, and Transformers. Settlemire has two brothers who served in the Air Force. Aaron Heck is an award-winning feature film and commercial cinematographer who’s worked on national commercial and branding campaigns for global brands such as Coke-Cola, Acura, and Korbel Champagne. Heck also serves on the Board of Public Partnership for Justice in Afghanistan. In this role, Aaron works with the State Department to bring over the best Afghan legal minds and provide them formal education at Ivy League law schools to help strengthen their understanding of the rule of law.
Set photography was captured by twin brothers Derek and Drew Riker, who are renowned celebrity/editorial fashion photographers. The Riker Brothers donated their time to also capture portraits of the ten Soldiers featured in the video. Behind the scenes footage was captured by Army combat veteran Ryan Curtis, who served in Iraq in 2003-04. Curtis also deployed to Egypt in 2005 and has done many training missions throughout the world. Currently, Curtis is a director of photography for shows on Discovery Channel, Oprah, FX, and NBC, He’s also filmed music videos for Lil Wayne, Birdman, Katy Isterika, and Kat Deluna.
THE SECRET STATE released “The Biggest Mistake” in September 2012 and quickly saw the official music video for the track become a viral sensation. The video continues to garner worldwide attention and has surpassed 65 million views. Watch it here: http://youtu.be/DEY_zh0Cxh8.
The band is currently working on their debut full-length album to be released in 2013. The new music will continue to showcase the group’s unique rock, electronic-tinged sound paired with real and heartfelt lyrics.
More information on THE SECRET STATE and their mission to bring public awareness to the U.S. Military’s unwavering commitment to “Provide motivation, purpose and direction to achieve an objective” will be revealed. Follow www.facebook.com/thesecretstatemusic and twitter.com/thesecretstate for the latest news.