‘Near or Far’ was written over the summer of 2008 in the woods along the shore of Lake Michigan. We worked on the songs all day and night in a secluded art studio in the forest.. At night, bugs would cling to the glass walls and occasionally we’d see glowing eyes of nocturnal animals peering into our rehearsal. The cover of the album, a painting by Kale Halperin of a deer in the woods, beautifully captured the landscape in which we wrote the songs.
‘Near of Far’ developed into a wild series of interconnected short films. There were 8 of these ‘music films’, written and directed by seven film students from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles and one graduate film student from DePaul in Chicago. Alice, the older sister of Pete, Teddy, and Johnny, recruited classmates and friends from across the country to help edit, shoot, gaff, and act in these videos. We encouraged the eight directors to do whatever they wanted with these films–– without any revisions or requirements from us. We were just there to help–– whether they needed us to act in the videos, or to help set up lights or make lunch. ‘Far’ allowed us to collaborate with other creative-minded young people across the arts. It was a wonderful opportunity and a memory that will be hard to forget.