On Colors Off - Lyric Video
I created the lyric video for Colors Off by learning to paint with palette knives and playing with time-lapse photography to showcase the lyrics of the song. The painting, like the song itself, represents my growing disdain for tribalistic thinking and the way it's tearing us apart as a society. We all want to imagine that we're the good guys and the "others" are the bad guys. But the truth is, in the words of Solzhenitsyn, "But the line between good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"
Jason Zito has been making music for a long time with friends in the Detroit music scene. In 2019 he released his first solo album under the name his friends call him; J. The self-titled work used synthesizers and samples to deal with his feelings of depression and frustration coming out of the 2016 U.S. election and the dark direction the world seemed to be heading. He learned to edit video and, using psychedelic imagery and old home movies, created his own visualizers for both the album and a series of cover songs released online.
After that album was completed, the world wasn’t getting any better, but he’d emerged from the dark place and gained some perspective. He’d seen the way that politics everywhere seemed to be a mess and felt a need to explore the problem through music. He’d always been moved by political music going back to John Lennon and others in the 60s-70s, but he’d never had anything clear to say until 2020, when things were getting out of control. This called for a guitar or two, so he set aside the synthesizers, refinished his old Stratocaster, bought a Gibson SG (his dream guitar as a kid), and wrote a rock album. He returned to the alternative music of his youth for inspiration but also gained insight and ideas from his brother Paul, an electronic musician and animator out of Portland, Oregon, the setting for much of the political unrest in 2020.
If you ask him, he’ll tell you that when extreme thinking becomes normal, normal thinking seems extreme. This is strongly reflected in his new album “Before it Gets Better”, which calls for a sort of radical normalcy; for decency, love, and a relentless rejection of tribalism. Songs like Colors Off and Everything Goes are critiques of extremism and groupthink. Inspired by the documentary “The Social Dilemma”, Maniac! rails against the power of big tech and the manipulation of humans through algorithms. With a closing callback to Revolution by The Beatles, Let Me Sleep criticizes the ways violence and destruction are too often used to promote love. Can’t Trust You opens the album with a shoegazey meditation on noble lies from the political elite, and Can’t Go Back is a closer that embraces a stoic acceptance of what is, despite the way we wish it was.
If he could have anything, it would be for his music to inspire the listener toward this sort of radical normalcy. Music has always been a critical tool for promoting good ideas in society, and J. Zito hopes his can be useful.