Strata's Eric Victorino channeled three kinds of pain into the band's single "Never There," which is featured on the just-released soundtrack to "Elektra."
The first is your garden-variety bad breakup, which soon expanded into the second kind: an existential angst that imbues the song's darkly dramatic lyrics.
"I think the reason why musicians write breakup songs is that breakups force you to examine your life," Victorino said. " 'Never There' started as a breakup song and turned into the idea of being in a certain place in your life and realizing you're not even in it. You're just kind of going through the motions."
However, until recently, the singer was suffering from a third and arguably more palpable kind of pain: He spent several months battling a series of ENT ailments that forced the band to cancel a tour last summer (see "Strata Invite Fans To Go Bowling With Them").
Assuming that his sore throats came from constant singing, Victorino ignored the pain for years. "Then I found out I had Ashlee Simpson disease — it was acid reflux," he said. "When they stuck the camera in my throat, it looked like pulverized meat."
On top of that, Victorino had "a whole train wreck of problems" with his sinuses, due to a broken septum, the result of a scuffle in his teenage years. "I was putting extra pressure on my vocal cords to hit notes because I couldn't use my head voice," he explained. "After a year of touring, it really wore on my throat."
After surgery to correct his septum, medication for acid reflux and several weeks off the road, Victorino's head voice is opening up, his throat is mending and his vocal cords are springing back to life.
Still, the singer was glad to give his pipes a break to film an appropriately dark and dreamy video for the song in San Francisco last weekend. Aligned with Victorino's vision of a disaffected soul, director Sean Turrell helped create a video that carries the concept of mental detachment to a visual medium.
"It's like 'Fight Club' without the fighting, just the general feel and social commentary of it," Victorino said. Shot in an office tower, the video combines performance footage with cutaways to a white-collar worker struggling to make sense of his stark, corporate environment, and ultimately questioning his own existence.
For Victorino, it was a vision realized and an inspiring experience. "It was amazing," he said, "like filming a mini-movie, which is the way I think a video should be."
For more on the "Elektra" soundtrack, see " 'Elektra' LP Serves Up Rare Cuts From Evanescence, Jet, Taking Back Sunday," and check out everything else we've got on "Elektra."