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Video: American Football – “My Instincts Are the Enemy”

Illinois emo legends American Football have shared a new video for “My Instincts Are the Enemy,” the second song from their 2016 self-titled album to receive the video treatment. The result is a pretty collection of imagery from daily life—people working, spending time with family, bowling or attending a concert, sometimes lip-syncing or dancing. Everyone is Japanese or Japanese-American, an idea director Chris Young says occurred to him following Donald Trump’s election victory and the Ghost in the Shell casting controversy:

I was initially asked to think of some ideas for videos on November 14, a week after Donald Trump was elected president and the same week the first trailer was released for the new Ghost in the Shell movie. There was a lot of talk in the news around that time about the new reality for foreigners in the United States. There was also a lot of discussion surrounding the mostly white cast of Ghost in the Shell and the depiction of Japanese people in American film. Since the first American Football video (“Never Meant“) had so many Caucasians I thought it might be interesting to do something that used exclusively Japanese and Japanese Americans.

This video imagines a Japanese character temporarily living in small town Central Illinois missing his home. Mike [Kinsella] and [manager] Chase [Iglori] gave me the names of eight people they knew from previous music tours in Japan. These people then helped to connect us with people in Japan who were interested in taking part. In Japan, we filmed in various parts of Tokyo, Matsumoto and Nagoya. In the U.S., we filmed in Toluca, Illinois.

Coincidentally, American Football arrive in Japan on tour next month. Watch “My Instincts Are the Enemy” below, and revisit the band’s earlier video for “I’ve Been So Lost for So Long,” starring Mike Kinsella as a goth dad.