What's the story behind the "Downer of a Sister" DVD?
"Downer of a Sister," is the first nationally released ApologetiX video and the third single from our eighth album, "Adam Up." The single hit the Top 30 on R&R's national Christian rock charts in September 2004, following on the heels of another Top 30 hit, "Lifestyles of the Rich & Nameless" and a #1 rap/hip hop hit, "Look Yourself."
The song is a parody of System of a Down's alternative hit "Chop Suey" and tells the biblical story (Genesis 29:15-30) of how Jacob came to be married to two wives, Rachel and Leah, as a result of his Uncle Laban's deception. The video brings that story to life, using an unconventional mix of Biblical attire, modern rock music and old-fashioned humor.
We believe the Bible is 100 percent true, but there is plenty of humor to be found in some of those stories, just as there is in modern-day situations. Imagine waking up the morning after your wedding night and discovering you didn't marry the dream girl you'd been engaged to for the past seven years but her very different-looking older sister. And to top it off, you'd been double-crossed by your new father-in-law, who also happens to be your uncle! This is reality T.V. circa 1800 B.C.
ApologetiX lead singer and lyricist J. Jackson plays the dual lead roles of Jacob and Leah, mainly because he did both vocal parts on the original song. Our lead guitarist and producer, Karl Messner, wrote the screenplay and directed the video. When it came time to film, Karl really wanted to play up the difference between the beautiful Rachel and her less-attractive sister, Leah, for comedic effect. We couldn't see making a real lady play that role :)
All the scenes for the video were shot on June 29, 2004 at Karl's farm, Candlelight Acres, in Southwestern Pennsylvania. The cast and crew was composed entirely of ApologetiX band members, family and fans. With less than a week's notice, over 100 ApologetiX fans came from nine states to be a part of things! We were blown away by how everybody pitched in to help. It was like the Body of Christ working in miniature.
J. Jackson as Jacob and Leah
Keith Haynie as Laban
Bill Rieger as the wedding officiator
Karl Messner as wedding minstrel
Lisa Jackson as Rachel
Lisa & Katie Breid as Charlie's Angels
Rein Bontreger as the best man
Phillip Graebing as the body double for J.
Eric Pensenstadler - Videographer
Eric is the head videographer for Lynyrd Skynyrd (He says they LOVE "Sweet Oholibama" on Adam Up) He also was the videographer on tour with David Copperfield for a while, and he went to High School with Karl's wife, Deb.
Dave Penn, Camera Operator
Carrie Waite, Wardrobe Coordinator
Nicole Waite, Wardrobe
Bob Flaherty, Set Construction
Jon, Carol & Missy Eklof, Set Construction Assistants
Krista Haynie, Make-up & Set Decoration
Sam Haynie, Cue Monitor Engineer
Chris Coldren, 1st Grip
Jeff Caswell, Stage Hand
Wanda Rose Bush, Catering
Jessica Moore, cover art
Shaleigh Sugden, the awesome line art drawing in the video, and in the wedding party
Deb Messner protected us from the animals and vice versa
The DVD was designed by Karl with cover artwork by design contest winner, Jessica Moore. Other excellent artwork was also submitted by DelRay Sugden, Jay Crook and Donnie Riefstahl.
Jeff "Parodud" James
If you were there, let Karl know on his bio page, and we'll add you! We just met up with one of the girls who were horrified by Leah in the video and I didn't write down how to spell their name! D'OH!