Progressive rock band Census presented us with their second single of the year just a few weeks ago. We got to discuss “Sunbeam,” the music video, and the song’s important story.
CSM: Your new single “Sunbeam” comes out today! How does it feel to follow up “Hydrangea” with this song?
CENSUS: We are more excited about this release than any we’ve done before. “Hydrangea” was a huge milestone for us as a band. In a way, it set the tone for both the sound and video quality fans can expect to see from a Census release. We think “Sunbeam” not only fulfills those expectations, but far exceeds them.
CSM: Both the song and music video are pretty emotionally intense. Only as much as you’d like to, what can you tell us about the inspiration and story of “Sunbeam?
CENSUS: “Sunbeam” is about a girl who deals with sexual abuse and battles depression and mental manipulation from her current partner. Ben wrote this song after having a late-night conversation with a friend who was going through some of the same things. He said it broke his heart, pissed him off, and he had to write about it.
CSM: What does the voiceover in the music video mean to you?
CENSUS: The voiceover sections were the brilliant mind of our videographer Joe Lane of Anointed Media. When we came to him with this song and message, we knew it had to be handled delicately. We wanted the biggest takeaway to be how common sexual assault actually is. In the beginning of the video, you hear a girl explaining to her therapist that not even her own parents were supportive of her sharing her sexual assault story. Many people are completely unaware of how common sexual assault is worldwide because victims are afraid to tell their stories. The video ends with the same girl explaining that she has chosen to overcome her trauma in order to give hope to others who are going through the same thing. We want victims to hear those words, understand that they’re not alone, and hopefully feel inspired to persevere.
CSM: I wanted to say thank you for including a resource for help at the end of the video. Do you wish that was a choice more artists made?
CENSUS: Music made for a good cause is still music made for a good cause. We think the video did a good job portraying how common and cyclical abuse truly is, but we also wanted to go ahead and include some resources that can help victims. It’s good for victims to understand that they’re not alone, but they’re more likely to seek help if they know it’s readily available.
CSM: Was the video for “Sunbeam” shot during the pandemic? If so, was it a challenge for you to decide how you were going to create this video?
CENSUS: It was shot during the pandemic! The biggest problem was just waiting for the right opportunity to come along for Joe to come shoot the video. Joe lives in Texas where COVID cases were particularly high, and the rest of us are in Arkansas. All the actors in the video are close friends and family to us, so once Joe was clear to come shoot, we knew the rest of us were safe as well.
CSM: What have you been doing to keep positivity and creativity flowing during this tough time for the music industry?
CENSUS: We’re just writing as much as we can. We had to cancel all of our tour dates just like every other band, but that’s just the way things have to be for now. We still talk with each other every day and get together as often as possible. We figure rather than moping around and waiting for shows to come back, if we just write as much new music as possible while we have the chance, it can’t be too big of a loss.
CSM: I’m truly, truly loving your music! Do you have anything more in store for us this year?
CENSUS: Thank you so much! We can say with full certainty that there are more new music and videos still to come in 2020.
CSM: Is there anything else you want us to know?
CENSUS: Our new song and video “Sunbeam” is available now on all streaming platforms! We love you guys and hope you are all staying safe out there.
You can listen to “Sunbeam” here!