Christian Rock Band Tracing Days…
The Story Behind the “Masquerade” Video

Josh Bechler Writer for Rocking God's HouseChristian rock band Tracing Days recently released an amazingly epic music video for their single “Masquerade.” Shot in Bozeman, Montana [where the editor of Rocking God’s House was born!] — a.k.a. God’s Country — the video is a total melting pot of diverse talent, as you will read about in the interview. The band had talents from the United Kingdom and Italy as well as director Matt Ely (Aerosmith, Melissa Etheridge) who also directed the Tracing Days video for the song “Life Outside.”

The Masquerade video is shot in a Hobbit-like fantasy world featuring warriors in authentic armor meant to replicate the likeness of medieval times; and thanks to a personal friend of the band, Scott Kinzy, the video features the iconic sword from the movie Braveheart, of which Kinzy is the owner. The four-piece band is made up of Lonnie Bos, Logan Schelvan, Kendall Kanning, and Jonathan Skillman. Their new album Control (Full Color Records/ Infinity Music Distribution) is available on iTunes, Amazon and anywhere music is sold.

Rocking God’s House spoke with vocalist Lonnie Bos about the video:

What was it like shooting the video for “Masquerade”?

It was amazing to paint on a video canvas with artists from all over the world. Allison Pitman, our voice-over talent, did a superb job, and her experience with Disney and others brought a kind of gravity to the video that was just great. Danilo Recevic, from Milan, Italy, provided the drawings for our animations, which really took the video to the next level. The international collaboration also included art director and color expert Stephen Downer, who has worked on projects for DC Comics and others; local filmmaker Jennings Barmore, a major contributor and visionary who provided additional footage and all editing; pilot Wayne Walker, who assisted with aerial footage; costuming from MSU Shakespeare in the Park; and SCA, a campus group that provided armor and actors for the live action sequences.

What exactly is the video about?

The “Masquerade” video tackles some of the philosophical ideas addressed in the song and the band’s debut album, Control. I began to realize at one point I’d spent most of my life pretending and hiding behind these masks. This song goes after that fear of being known, the temptation to find identity in stuff or success, and the vanity that follows if we keep pretending.

You guys seem to stray away from cliché and mainstream music. What is your process?

I don’t like cliché because it doesn’t challenge my own thinking. I love hanging out with people who ask tough questions, and Tracing Days is all about working through issues, asking hard questions and searching for honest answers.

You credit being a worship leader as having the most impact on you as an artist. Could you explain that?

When I first considered the position, I struggled with the idea of spending so much time leading worship because I didn’t think there would be time for original music. It was the death of a dream in my eyes, but it wound up showing me once again that joy is found in following God’s road, not the one that I have for myself. And it turned out in the end to open the doors for original music opportunities that I didn’t previously imagine.

After being a band for only four years, what got Tracing Days running full-throttle?

I had some friends from the worship team, including a fiddle player who’s toured with (country stars) Sara Evans and Pam Tillis. Through that connection I met some contacts, one being Ainslie Grosser, who lives and works out of Nashville but came from Australia. Ainslie worked really hard to make things happen and was the type of guy who talked straight and didn’t just tell us what we wanted to hear. Ainsile has been a key point in several mega-Christian bands’ rise to success!

On the Control album, the lyrics seem really thought out and deep, like you guys put a lot of thought into the process. Tell us more about your writing?

Our lyrics show where we come from, but I’d like anyone who enjoys them to feel welcome. I try to write in a way that’s understandable to all people, not just those who agree with me. I relate to fans more than artists generally and like to close that distance. I’m always wondering about the quiet kid in the 14th row and what’s really going on in his life.

So audience connection is important to Tracing Days?

Connection with our audience has always been key; but more than just entertaining them through the music, we hope to get them thinking and help them identify God’s fingerprints all over the situations in their lives.