Premiere: Stewart Legere debuts one-shot video for When I Was the King

It feels wrong calling Stewart Legere’s Quiet the Station his debut album. A fixture of the Halifax arts scene — he’s also a member of the Heavy Blinkers and an award-winning writer and threatre actor — it feels like Legere has always been here. It also doesn’t sound like a debut album. The songs are meticulously crafted, weaving his guitar and voice with the voices of guests including Kim Harris, Rose Cousins, Jenn Grant, Melanie Stone and Don Brownrigg. It’s quiet comfort that was worth the wait. We’re excited to premiere Legere’s video for “When I Was The King”. Watch the video below and read on for a little insight from Legere and find out where to catch him play this summer.

Tells us a little bit about the video. Who was behind it and where did the idea come from?

I knew I wanted to do another video with Analog Songs. We did one for “Dig Into The Dirt” a few years ago and I had such a lovely time. I had this image of a lonely dinner party for one. Katy (of Analog Songs) and I went for beer at Good Robot to talk about it one day, which (unbeknownst to us) ended up being their silent reading day. We sat in silence, writing ideas back and forth on napkins until we ran out of space. Then we texted each other side by side until our phones died. It was actually a perfectly fitting way to discuss the idea and probably informed what we ended up making. Katy was very excited and came up with this whole GoPro Steadicam rig and we went from there.

Lots of different emotions are portrayed over the course of the video. What was it like portraying those visually and how are they connected to the song?

We wanted something that wasn’t just a literally interpretation of the song — something that was a bit of a journey — even if just a gentle one. The song is lamenting, regret filled. It has a gentle anger in it I don’t usually express in my songs. We wanted something that complimented those feelings but also could play against them. We didn’t necessarily want to tell a linear story or narrative, rather do something evocative of emotions in the same world. So we improvised a lot of it and of course did it in one quick shot. We talked it through, did a rehearsal and then shot it once. We only had one bottle of wine, so…

Your friend and frequent collaborator Kim Harris is in the video. Tell us a little bit about what she brings to this song in particular.

Kim is one of my dearest friends and singing with her is a sublime experience. I wrote the song knowing she would sing it with me. When it came time to shoot, I had it in the back of my mind that she would play this other mysterious, supportive, not-quite-present character. The day of the shoot I asked her if she would come “in case we needed help.” Then I casually mentioned “oh if you weren’t opposed to it maybe come prepared in case you’re in a shot or something.” She clearly saw right through that. She arrived ready to go. Kim’s voice is all over the record, so it made sense to me that she would be in the video with me. And I’m really glad. I think she brings a very eery, comforting/discomforting presence.

Tour Dates

June 16 – Montreal, QC @ Le Cagibi (w. Tanya Davis)
June 20 – Toronto, ON @ Buddies In Bad Times (Queer Pride)
August 27 – Halifax, NS @ The Carleton Music Bar & Grill (Halifax Urban Folk Festival)

Photo of Stewart Legere supplied.