09 Feb EON MC ETC. RELEASES MUSIC VIDEO FOR “THUNDER UP, YEAH!”, HIS SPIRITED FIGHT SONG FOR THE OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER
Dear Oklahoma City Thunder Management,
It’s no secret you need a fight song. You need an anthem for players and fans alike that’ll not only amp up the remaining games in the season, but also make the other NBA teams a bit envious each time it’s played. (Sounds good, doesn’t it?) I’d like to introduce you to Eon MC Etc., a Thunder superfan who was born and raised in Oklahoma (and also happens to be a super skilled indie rapper). He’s penned and recorded “Thunder Up, Yeah!” – THE song you’ve been waiting for. Trust me, this one checks all the boxes and then some. It’s catchy with a built-in chant, edgy with a sporty beat, fierce with a clean message, all-inclusive with an open invitation, and, dare I write, thunderous in its own right.
What’s better? Eon and his friends *JUST* released the track’s official music video, which was filmed and produced in OKC. (Yeah, I thought you might be interested.) That’s why I met up with him to find out more about it, you know, to help out with the fight song’s adoption and all. I think we can agree that The Thunder and their fans deserve the best. And I trust you’ll give it to them.
My Multi-Track Mind
The conversation from our interview is chronicled below in a pure Q & A format.
Q & A:
How did the video come to be?
Eon: The video was actually something that me and Louis had talked about probably close to a year ago. We’d been talking about it for a long time, but it was just talking. We ended up shelving the idea.
Then, one day, he left me a message, saying, “Hey man, give me a call as soon as you can. We need to talk.” So, I called him right back, and he said, “We’re doing the video.”
What was the impetus behind the sudden call?
Eon: I didn’t really know at the time. When I called Louis back, we talked about The Secret and the Law of Attraction and everything, and he was really gung-ho about it. He felt like he had been receiving some signs from the universe that we should make the music video, and I had felt that way, too.
But, afterwards, I found out the real impetus (sign #1) actually came from his kids. Louis was riding around in the car with his children in the backseat listening to my Southern L.O. album. When “Thunder Up, Yeah!” came on, his kids asked, “Dad, WHO IS THIS? This is AWESOME!” Louis answered, “Oh, yeah? You think so? It’s my buddy Eon.” And his kids replied, “Wow! You KNOW him?! You should make a music video for this one!” Louis initially brushed the idea off.
Yet, when he was sitting around later that same day, he thought, you know, I really *should*. That’s when he called me, and said, “It’s the right time. Everybody’s excited about it right now. We have all these new players, and all this new excitement surrounding the team. We should just do it now.”
Who is the mastermind behind the video’s concept?
Eon: I believe the mastermind was Louis Pierone. He came up with the idea and recruited the team. But, he and Eric Lynch collaborated a lot, too. When Louis first came to me, he already had the video’s concept: white room, nineties hip hop style with people dancing and goofing off. And I totally supported it.
The second downtown OKC location we shot at was the big mural of Steven Adams*. It’s right by this little coffee and tea shop. Louis had visited the coffee shop with his wife (because she had heard that the coffee was good), and he ended up stumbling upon the massive mural. The parking lot adjacent to it was half empty, and the whole area wasn’t too busy. (Sign #2.) Louis thought, here’s this perfect, low traffic, free parking location with this awesome backdrop. We have to use it.
*The Steven Adams mural was envisioned and spray-painted by the famous New Zealand graphic artist Graham Hoete, also known as Mr G. It’s located in downtown Oklahoma City on the side of The Paramount building. Learn more about the artist and the mural.
Tell us more about the production team.
Eon: There were four guys on the team:
Louis Pierone: Director
Eric Lynch: Producer / Editor
Nick (Nicolas) Lee: Assistant Director
Chris Kinsfather: Aerial Footage (Drone)
I’ve already talked a little bit about the Director, Louis Pierone, who owns and manages Dead Broke Films. He’s a really talented film maker, who I’ve known for something like eleven years.
I met the shoot’s Producer and Editor, Eric Lynch, randomly online. A couple years ago, he had left me a comment on an old YouTube video for one of my songs, which has no visual. I hadn’t seen his comment until I recently looked at that video again. Eric’s comment said something like, “Awesome song. Needs visual.” When I clicked on Eric’s profile, it linked me to his company, Land Run Productions. I sent a message over asking if they shoot music videos. Shortly afterward, Eric replied letting me know that he really likes my music, that ‘Big Louis’ from OKC put him onto it, and that he wanted to make a music video.
So, I hit up Louis, asking him if he knew Eric, and he did. This whole conversation occurred sometime last year. When I initially talked to Eric, he was just like, “Hey look, man. I’m a big fan. I love your music. I want to shoot a music video for you. If you can get me out to LA, and tell me what you want, we can work something out.” And I was just like, “Cool.” I kept that in the back of my mind. Later, I found out that Eric was one of the first guys Louis picked when he was building the team.
I’ve known Nick Lee, the Assistant Director, for over ten years. He’s a good friend of Louis’s, and that’s how we met. Nick is a real good, really open, genuine guy. I arrived onset, and he immediately pulled me aside and said, “Hey man. I believe in you.” I just replied, “Alright, man. That’s cool.” But he said, “No, I want you to know I REALLY believe in you. This is all going to work. You gotta believe in it. Do you?” And I responded, “I mean, you know, I guess I believe it. It’s cool. It’s going to be alright.” Nick gave me a whole uplifting pep talk at the beginning. And, you know, at some point, Louis pulled me aside and did the same thing. Yeah, it was very a welcoming set. Very low stress and high fun.
I met Chris Kinsfather onset. He was in charge of Aerial Footage, and I enjoyed watching him flying his drone all over the place. I had never filmed a video with a drone before. You know, at first, I didn’t even know it was an actual part of the video, and that we’d be using drone footage. I just thought it was interesting and different.
That was the team, and that was all we needed. When I arrived, everyone already knew what they wanted to do. We were all upbeat even though no one had really slept the night before, partially from the preparation for the video and partially from the excitement of it all. It was pure adrenaline onset.
We had a few others join the production, like Louis’s kids. Some extras came through, too. Mostly, it really felt like a family environment. Everybody had fun. We had two mascot heads, which were totally random. One was a bunny, and the other was a shark. Truthfully, I wanted to wear one of the mascot heads, but I couldn’t because they told me I had to be the star.
How did you physically and mentally prepare for the shoot?
Eon: I hit up Leo’s for some good BBQ and Texas Roadhouse for some catfish and a margarita. Then, I watched an actual Thunder game with Barb*, a great friend who I actually met on Facebook in a private Thunder fan group. She and I shared the same fate of being booted from the group for airing too many controversial opinions. We agreed on lots of things, so we became friends.
We’ve talked for several years, and we’ve grown pretty close. Barb is an awesome, hilarious person. When you meet her in real life, she seems like an actual grandma. You know, like she might have some cookies baking in the oven. But, she’s a hardcore basketball fan. She’s a New Englander, and, for them, basketball is like a religion. We’re always talking about what players are doing well, who needs to do better, and what we think of the coaches.
I told Barb that I was coming to town and that I was looking for tickets to the Boston game. I asked her if she knew anyone who was selling tickets. She said, “Well, you know we always have two extra tickets, because we’re season ticket holders. You can just have mine.” I argued with her because I wanted to buy them, but she said, “Shut up. They’re yours if you want them. Just stop by and get them.”
So, that’s what I ended up doing. Our team lost, but it was still fun. I was actually tucked between Barb and another lady I met, who was hilarious, too. And I was talking to her about the Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State game, which was the next day. She said, “I just really want to beat Baker Mayfield, just one time!” And I was like, “Yeaaahhhh, it’s probably not going to happen.”
I invited Barb to the music video shoot, but I think she thought I was just joking about it. I also shot her a message the next day reminding her. She knows about the song, but hasn’t heard it yet. I’m sure she will now that video’s out. (Hey Barb! What do you think?)
I also went to see The Oklahoma City Blue, which is our G League team, and got some workouts in at my hotel “fitness” center. (Laughs.) Calling it a fitness center was kind of a stretch, but I worked it out. I had to.
*Barb recently lost her daughter to cancer. To continue her daughter’s fight to raise money for research of rare cancers, especially sarcomas, Barb has established the Susan Titus Foundation. Click here to learn more and donate.
What was it like onset at each location?
Eon: On the first location, it was really laid back. Everyone was in front of a white backdrop, just goofing off with the two mascot heads. We were dancing and doing push-ups. It did kind of feel like it was the nineties.
At the second location, the Steven Adams mural, we looked over our shoulders a couple times because we snuck in some larger cameras. But, for the most part, the footage there was captured with the GoPro and the drone. And it was still a relaxed atmosphere. People walked by, looked at us, and asked what was going on. At first, I was self-conscious, but then I started having fun.
A few girls stopped by. They were taking pictures (maybe for a blog), so we made a point to talk to them for a little while. We took a couple pictures with them, and let them know that the video would be released soon. Then, I was embarrassed again – I get that way with attention.
Can you tell us any other production stories?
Eon: I began the shoot in a t-shirt that was my proper size, which I never wear, but it was fine. And then, halfway through the shoot, I somehow ended up in an extra medium Thunder jersey. I mean, it fit, but it REALLY fit. I could breathe but it was questionable.
For the last shot at the mural, we planned to have the drone focus on me, reposition to show the whole mural, and finally fly overhead to capture all the big buildings. Chris started flying the drone to get the shot, and we thought it was going just as planned, but then we heard him say, “Oh, shit! Oh, shit! I lost visual!” So, we walked around a little worried trying to find the drone. That’s when Louis whispered to me, “Hey. At least we got the shot.” We did end up finding the drone in a nearby parking lot; it was all smashed up, but, thankfully, the part that was broken was inexpensive to repair. Chris laughed about it, and it was all alright.
We wrapped the shoot in time to watch the Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State game, which I ended up watching in my hotel lobby, because they didn’t have the channel in my hotel room. Believe it or not, I was actually watching it with Lee Corso. I guess he didn’t have it in his room, either. At first, I didn’t think it was him. I quickly looked him up on my phone to make sure I still knew what he looked like. It was definitely him. I tried to strike up a conversation, but I could tell he didn’t want the attention. He really did just want to watch the game, so I left him alone. And we watched (in silence).
What do you want viewers to take away from the video?
Eon: I just want people to have fun. I wrote “Thunder Up, Yeah!” with the vision of it being the team’s anthem. I thought a lot about crowd participation, so I made a chant that everybody can sing along with. The chant comes up over and over again, like a theme song. Really, it’s all about including everyone, getting hyped for the game, and having a good time. I may or may not dance a little bit when I listen to it.
We know you’re a fan, but how passionate are you about The Oklahoma City Thunder?
Eon: Oh, I’m the worst. I’ll watch the game, and then I’ll go look at the stat lines right after the game. And I’ll also look at the advanced stats, too. I’ll think things like, oh, yeah, his real plus minus is in a good place…I think they need to be playing this dude more! I’m probably borderline obsessed with the team. But, I think most of The Thunder fans are, so I don’t feel too bad about it.
Do you want to shout-out your favorites on the team?
Eon: Well, I mean, my favorite player on the team is Russell Westbrook, because he has so much passion and fire. He kind of reminds me of myself, not in a basketball way, but in the reckless abandon he has about him. Other than that, Nick Collison is hilarious, and he’s like the elder statesmen of the team. He doesn’t really play anymore, but he’s been there since day one. A lot of the other players are pretty new. Now, we have Carmelo Anthony, Paul George, and some other players that you never thought would end up playing for The Thunder that have decided to, so it’s a really exciting year.
What’s next for you?
Eon: I still have a project in the pipe, which has actually been in the pipe for the last year. That will come next, because I really want to get that out. All of the songs have been recorded, but the mixing and mastering needs to be completed. The upcoming ten-track album called The Truth Hurts features me, Adduci, Bamboo MC, and Lyric MC. We’re targeting a release date of early 2018, so be on the lookout for that.
Watch the “Thunder Up, Yeah!” Music Video:
Connect with Eon MC Etc:
Listen to “Thunder Up, Yeah!”:
Read our recent, full-length interview with Eon MC Etc:
“All About Eon MC Etc.’s Sizzling New EP, Southern L.O.”