By Adam Stewart
For trance legends Above & Beyond, inspiration can come in many places — perhaps from a memorable gig in a tropical corner of the planet, or from a loyal fan they've met along the way. However, in the case of their new video for "On a Good Day (Metropolis)," it was a story printed in a British news publication that drew their attention to the amazing Urban Community Farms Projects popping up in the Detroit — including the Georgia Street Community Gardens, which also served as the setting for the new clip.
"There's been a revolution of food in so many ways," said Tony McGuinness, one third of the trance music collective of Motor City's new commitment to sustainability. "We became aware of the Detroit Urban Farms project from Paul Harris' article in The Guardian and I found it extraordinary."
A short time later, McGuinness met with group members Jono Grant and Paavo Siljamaki and video director Steve Glashier to discuss what they hoped to accomplish both visually and philanthropically.
“We thought, 'Why don't we help them convert one of these city blocks that they are doing on their own steam any way?'" McGuinness told MTV News. "It truly is an example of what the song is about — which is triumph over adversity. Things may be tough, but if you are strong as the words say, you can overcome."
Fueled by the formally robust automotive industry, Detroit was once a definitive American metropolis. The flight of the auto industry combined with growing economic hardships have split the population in half (from two million to one million) and driven the unemployment rate up to 50 percent. But folks like Mark Covington, who spearheads the Georgia Street Community Garden featured in the video, is one of the many people in the city who refuse to say die and have quite literally sewn seeds of new life on the vacant lots that blot the city. In addition to drumming up support and awareness via the video, Above & Beyond will also be headlining a benefit concert in the spring, with all proceeds going to the Georgia Street Community Garden.
"The amazing thing is what this teaches you about where we're at in the modern world. It's such a surprising little episode," McGuinness said. "If we only made one music video and this was it, we could retire happy. It's a perfect match lyrically, and most importantly it draws people attention to something that's happening in the world that we may be unaware of. When people do learn about what's happening there it really changes your world."