GVLLOW has dropped his latest music video “Pray To God,” from his Spiritwalker EP, and Alternative Press is bringing you the premiere.
“Pray To God” is the third song from Spiritwalker to have a music video, following the release of “Nightmare” in March.
The video, directed by Eli Sokhn, follows GVLLOW around the city as he mourns for the loss of a loved one, yearning to feel their presence again.
“Pray To God” was written as a homage to GVLLOW’s friends who have passed away. In an exclusive discussion with AltPress, the artist detailed the inspiration for the song.
“Music is the only way for me to really deal with this shit,” GVLLOW says. “I’ve seriously lost so many friends to suicide, drug overdoses or being murdered. It never gets any easier.
“I wrote this song to let all the dead homies know that I’m here, and I’m thinking about you,” he continues. “I want the world to know that I’m here for anyone who may be going through the same pain I am.”
Alternative Press asked GVLLOW about his latest music video, going on tour with POORSTACY and how music can be a coping mechanism for loss. Check out the video and our exclusive discussion with him below.
Can you tell us about the video? What was the process of making it like?
The process was actually a lot of fun. I finally got to ride my Harley in a video with its new facelift. It recently had a bunch of custom work done from my buddy Jeff over at Yeti Machine Company, and then it was hand-painted custom by my other buddy RJ from Sugar Free Lettering. I had this vision for a gothic chopper that had an old-school look but ran like a brand-new bike, so I fully transformed my 2019 Sportster. I had been dying to get it in one of my videos, and I was really stoked to finally make it happen with our amazing director Eli Sokhn. What better way than showing it off in the heart of downtown L.A.?
Your music pulls from a lot of different directions. What are your inspirations and your goals as an artist?
My inspirations come from everything I grew up around. I really am a product of my own environment. GVLLOW has become its own entity for me to just express myself creatively and to also vent all the hardships I’ve endured through life. My biggest inspirations come from just growing up in the SoCal punk scene at such a young age. I come from specifically the inland empire—Riverside, California, born and raised.
Punk and hip-hop is a big part of my upbringing. As I got older, I started getting more into gothic rock bands. I saw those bands as a good outlet for me to handle depression and to cope with the fact that death is always inevitable. [It] made me stop looking at death as such a sad and horrible thing. I guess it was just my way of numbing myself to the idea that we all die alone someday.
You mentioned that “Pray To God” was written in honor of a number of people who passed away. How did you approach writing a song about such a difficult topic? How do you see music as a way to pay homage to those we have lost?
To be honest, music is the only way for me to really deal with this shit. I’ve seriously lost so many friends to suicide, drug overdoses or being murdered. It never gets any easier. GVLLOW literally started because one of my closest friends, Zak, [who] I consider to be my brother, ended up killing himself. I feel like I never fully recovered from it. He even texted me the night before he did it asking me to hang out, and I was out of town. I always blamed myself for not being there for him. We played in so many bands together.
Before GVLLOW, I was just the guy everyone knew that was a drummer for all these different local punk bands. Zak was my right-hand man, my brother. Whatever band I was in, he was always in them with me on guitar or bass and doing vocals, and I was always drumming. We were a team, and he was my best friend. After he died, I couldn’t find the strength to be in another band. It just didn’t feel the same without him. The first couple years were rough for me dealing with his death. I went through drug problems and almost landed myself in jail for a long time.
Music is the only thing that’s kept me out of trouble and sober of harmful drugs, so when I wrote this song, it was business as usual. I caught myself thinking about Zak a lot, and sometimes I’ll have dreams that he’s still here, and it feels so real like he didn’t die. Then I wake up, and I have to deal with the reality that he’s gone. So I write these depressing fuckin’ songs because I believe that sometimes he can hear me.
Zak isn’t the only one that I’ve lost tragically. There’re so many more close friends that I’ve lost, but that would take weeks for me to talk about. So I wrote this song to let all the dead homies know that I’m here, and I’m thinking about you. I want the world to know that I’m here for anyone who may be going through the same pain I am.
You’re touring with POORSTACY and Paris Shadows. POORSTACY told us to expect a really exciting run. What are your goals for your performances?
Man, it’s been great. I’m honored he gave me the opportunity to come out on the road with him and share the stage. My main goal is to just get my name out there and let everyone know who the fuck I am and what I’m about. Hopefully, I can connect with someone in a different city and state that might be dealing with the things I’m going through. Watching all these older dudes playing in bands when I was a kid is what made me want to start playing music to begin with. I hope I can inspire some young kid out there to wanna pick up an instrument or whatever and make music of their own.
What should fans expect next from you?
Expect more music, more videos. Expect tons of new merch from me. I’m always gonna be working on new music as long as I’m alive, and I hope everyone enjoys it.