The Bay Area’s self-proclaimed “post-punk laptop rapper” MC Lars has teamed up with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) in an effort to spread awareness for Lars’ important new single and video, “Twenty-three.”
The track appears on his album This Gigantic Robot Kills and is a sobering, emotional tribute to Lars’ college roommate Patrick Wood, who tragically took his own life at the age of twenty-three while attending Stanford University.
“In October of 2009 when I was supporting the Grammy-nominated Texas pop-punkers Bowling for Soup in the UK, BFS front-man (and also Lars’ record label head) Jaret Reddick, and I were sitting backstage in Bristol, England and discussed the plan for the next video from This Gigantic Robot Kills,” Lars explained. “We decided it had to be “Twenty-three.”
“People need to know that they don’t have to go through depression alone,” urged Jaret. He added, “There is always help available and this song can spread that message.”
Lars agreed with the sentiment and concluded, “We both felt strongly that we could reach a lot people.”
Lars continued, “We contacted AFSP, an organization that had been of great help to my friend Patrick’s mother as she dealt with the grief of losing her son.” “We told them we wanted to make a video for ‘Twenty-Three’ and asked if they wanted to join forces to spread our message of prevention and survival. They loved the song and graciously pledged their support.”
Patrick Wood’s mother Lisette Rimer had this to say: “I first heard about Pat’s song in July of 2008 when Lars sent it to me and said that it helped him with the grieving process and believed it might help others. We thought it was a heartfelt gift and were in awe that he took it upon himself to honor Pat and publicize depression and suicide in a way that reaches the very age group at high risk. I welcome the opportunity to support this collaboration between Lars and the AFSP. They are both of the rare breed who can speak eloquently in the wake of total confusion.”
“Sadly, every 15 minutes someone in the U.S. takes their own life. More needs to be done to raise awareness about this national health problem,” said Robert Gebbia, executive director for AFSP. “That is why we are pleased to partner with MC Lars to launch the premiere of “Twenty-three.”
“We feel the song and video will help raise awareness about depression, but we also believe that many who have lost someone they love to suicide will relate to the song’s powerful messages.”
The video for “Twenty-three” was directed by Heath Balderston who donated his time to create the clip. It will first be available to the public on June 8th where it will be live on the AFSP website, as well as each of its social media sites (listed below).
It will be released more widely via MC Lars’ YouTube channel www.youtube.com/horrisrecords, as well as other online video outlets on June 15th. Finally, on June 22nd, the digital “Twenty-three” EP, which features the song, the video and various unreleased material from MC Lars, will be available for purchase on iTunes, at Amazon.com and elsewhere.
MC Lars shares the meaning of “Twenty-three” via his podcast: