With more than 16 million views on YouTube, it's fair to suggest that The Dead South's music video, In Hell I'll be in Good Company, has now reached "certified viral" status.
The Dead South, based out of Regina, successfully applied for a Market and Export Development Grant from Creative Saskatchewan to help them make the video. The plan was to reach new fans, but the band didn't expect to connect with tens of millions of them.
"Since the video took off, we've been getting e-mails from around the world," says band front man, Nate Hilts. "People write to say they're into the music and that they're not alone - that we've got a whole fan base there - so we should book a show. We're getting notes like that from across North America, from Europe, and even South America."
Hilts is quick to point out that the concept for the video, which features the quartet performing the song in front of an ever-changing backdrop of real-life settings, came from producer and director Zach Wilson at Two Brothers Films.
"The original idea was to show how widespread the reach of this amazing band is, the variety of places they play, and how hard working The Dead South really is," says Wilson. "We all have a close attachment to Regina and Saskatchewan, so you'll notice the video begins at home, before taking us out on the road, then ends by returning to Saskatchewan."
The concept required the band to play the song in several dozen real-life locations, more than 150 times. "To get the effect we wanted was a huge challenge. The camera movements had to be timed very precisely to particular beats of the song, and piecing it all together in the end required leaving hours and hours of footage on the cutting room floor, but we're very happy with the result."
Hilts is excited about the opportunities that can follow from the viral success of the video. "As a band we agreed that if we were going to do this, we we're going to go all in," Hilts explains. "We want to be successful, and that means that when Americans, or Europeans, or South Americans say they like what you're doing, you've got to be willing to get up and go!