Filmed At The ‘Forge highlights recent music videos filmed at Bellforge Arts Center.
Get to know the artists, the creative process, and what they’re up to next.

Aaron & The Lord

Filmed At The ‘Forge highlights recent music videos filmed at Bellforge Arts Center. Get to know the artists, the creative process, and what they’re up to next.

Aaron & The Lord

“Isolation” implies a certain element of bleakness. Forced into it, we can lose touch with reality.

For Aaron Perrino, however, the isolation of 2020 brought a staggering sense of clarity and a chance meeting with Steven Lord.

Time spent in lockdown gave us a unique opportunity to take stock, says the singer and guitarist. “We got time to examine the power structures, governments, corporations, media, years of existential dread, and question why we settle for such mediocrity in our lives.”

Perrino is the distinctive voice of the Sheila Divine, the short-lived but much-loved Boston band that graced the fertile local scene, as well as big stages as far afield as Belgium, in the years surrounding Y2K. Growing disillusioned with the grind of band life, Perrino stepped away in 2003 to embark on a solo project that would become his next obsession. Inside a half-dozen years, Dear Leader released nearly as many full-length albums, each one more dramatic and yearning than the last.

The Sheila Divine eventually reconvened, both onstage and in the studio. But the pandemic forced Perrino, like the rest of us, deep inside himself at home. Unsurprisingly, that led to a potent burst of creativity.

Together (virtually speaking) with his latest collaborator, Record Producer and multi-instrumentalist Steven Lord of the soulful rock band Dirty Bangs. Perrino wrote and Lord produced and recorded a ten-spot of vivid, slicing indie rock songs, with nods back to the chiming guitars and stentorian vocals of the bands they grew up on and forward to a new kind of pop-rock future.

Fans of the Hub’s musical heyday of the 1980s and ‘90s will not mistake the heavenly voice of Tanya Donelly, a principal member of Throwing Muses and the Breeders who went on to form her own exhilarating group, Belly. Donelly, whose vocals buoy Perrino’s on four of the tracks here, lends a big-beat girl-group sound to the album’s second single, “This Love Ain’t Dead.”

The lead single, “Stupid Game,” welcomes the hyper-melodic vocals of Mike Bethmann of the Boston-by-way-of-Buffalo band Tugboat Annie. Bethmann also appears on “Let It Go,” a melancholy ballad on which Perrino takes his somber cue from the Psychedelic Furs’ Richard Butler. Elsewhere, “World on Edge” combines dub-reggae atmospherics with a rousing chorus that would have vied for airtime on MTV circa 1985.

The album’s last track, “Soon You’ll Find Home,” opens like a bedroom demo, though it soon unspools into a grand – and generous – meditation on life, lineage, and the places we belong. With any luck, you found that place in your own home during the pandemic, just as Perrino did.

With crystal mixes on several tracks from the redoubtable producer and engineer Paul Kolderie (Radiohead, Pixies, Morphine), the self-titled debut album from Aaron and the Lord puts these years of existential dread behind us. It settles for nothing. Instead, it aspires ever higher.

Filmed at Bellforge Arts Center in Medfield, MA
Directed by: Will Claflin
Director of Photography: Even Bourcier
1st AC: James Brockett
Grip/Swing: Tyler Livingston

Bellforge: Talk us through the creative idea and process behind your music video.

Aaron Perrino: After seeing the space we knew we wanted to film something there. The song is called “Lilydale” which is a spiritualist and medium community near my hometown of Buffalo. They energy at Belleforge is real and so we just wanted to tap into it and it created a very moody and striking video. We shot it with a skeleton crew on a very cold day…

What first got you into music?

Probably Billy Idol…My mom had lots of records she would play in the house like Stevie Nicks and Neil Young, but for me watching MTV as a kid is what sealed the deal. Also they used to have this company called Columbia Record House where you could get 15 albums for 1 penny and then you had to buy 5 or 6 at a jacked up price. My friends and I would just use different names and they’d send you a ton of records..So a little minor mail fraud also contributed to my musical journey.

​Who inspired you to make music?

I had a high school friend named “Brent” and he was a combination of Ferris Bueller and Cameron Frye. He always had the best new tech and toys…So he got into synths and sequencers early on and would write music while I was over. We eventually started a band that sounded like New Order and Industrial Music. That’s sort of what got me hooked…Eventually I decided to teach myself guitar so that I could write my own songs..

​How would you describe the music that you typically create?

I don’t know how to categorize it. I’m always pulling from different influences and genres. For Aaron & the Lord I wanted to explore the intersection of darker sounding music like The Cure or Cocteau Twins with elements of dub & shoegaze.

​What excites you the most about Bellforge Arts Center?

I think the vision and scope for the space is amazing. This area needs venues, rehearsal spaces, and ways to support music and the arts. Not a lot of that happening in the corporate takeover of everything these days..

​Why is a space like Bellforge Arts Center important?

Like I said above the quest for profit by banks, and corporations are sucking the culture out of everything and turning the world into a bland franchised hell scape. We need places where inspiration, ideas, and expression can happen outside of making the most money for the shareholders.

What’s on the horizon for you in 2023?

Continue to fight the man in the quest for inner peace. Also finishing up our next album called “We are the Darkness. We are the Light.”