When Underoath dropped their new music video for “Paper Lung,” earlier in the week, many fans interpreted symbols in the video to be ones reflecting the Illuminati. The band quickly squashed these rumors and now their director, Jonathan Desbiens, has a few words to say regarding the false allegations. “Paper Lung” comes from Underoath’s latest album Ø (Disambiguation).
Director, Jonathan Desbiens stated:
First off, I’ve always been a fan of Underoath since [2004’s] They’re Only Chasing Safety and during my university years of fine arts, I was listening a lot to [2006’s] Define the Great Line while painting tons of abstract and expressive landscapes. So it was an honor and it felt very natural to me to make this video. I’ve also always been very impressed by the fact that the band are Christian and able to connect with all kinds of crowds, including religious and non-religious people. I think this is something very unique that has always made me curious. So I’ve inspired myself with this concept and applied it for the ‘Paper Lung’ music video.
I came up with this idea of apocalypse/end of times, which is a topic that not only concerns Christians, but every living human. This video tries to show an artistic, fantasist and very personal interpretation of the end of times within an universal approach. I’ve divided this ‘apocalypse’ into three steps according to the structure of the song. First, there is the physical end of time—the earth freezes because of global warming, let’s say, then explodes from the inside. The second step is the metaphorical end of times—the fire is burning in a surreal manner which poetically presents the death of everything physical. Then third and finally, the symbolical stage. These aggressive symbols have been put together in this manner to give to the viewer a feeling of urgency and that spiritual revelations are being made. If you take a closer look at all the symbols—even though they could be related to many great or not so great spiritual movements—they all represent concepts of cycles of life, eternity, revolution, chaos, immortality, etc. But there are also random designs that I’ve made myself to make this ending a little bit scary and shocking. I wanted to leave this part open to many interpretations—which may include that you have to fight against symbols that you are forced to be exposed to. In other words, it may be the final test before the end of the world and you have to stick to what you believe, not necessarily what these symbols might tell you. What happens after that step is left open to the viewer, depending on what he or she believes. I wanted to create something that was both beautiful and—in the context—provocative. To me, that’s what art is all about.