LORNE BEHRMAN Reveals Second Single + Video “Sandcastles” From The NYC Rocker’s Debut Solo EP

NYC rocker LORNE BEHRMAN, the singer-songwriter-guitarist who previously played in The Dimestore Haloes, L.E.S. Stitches, The Dead Tricks and most recently The Sweet Things, today (September 16) has shared the video for Sandcastles.” It’s a tense and urgent rocker marked by an ominous guitar riff, spooky Farfisa organ and chilling lyrics about the effects of childhood sexual abuse (“What was done to me was done to you, I know/You’re just the messenger, I know”). “Sandcastles” marks the second release from LORNE’s debut solo EP WHEN I HIT THE FLOOR that’s due October 15 on Spaghetty Town Records.

The fittingly dark video for “Sandcastles,” directed by David J Barron and filmed late at night in NYC’s Central Park, was premiered yesterday (September 15) by New Noise. The “Sandcastles” single will be available tomorrow (September 17) at all streaming platforms.

The WHEN I HIT THE FLOOR EP was launched in August with the rocking-but-reflectivetitle cut “When I Hit The Floor”–a song about “substance abuse and hitting bottom,” says LORNE—the video for which was premiered by Glide. The outlet praised LORNE’s “power chord ethos, cryptic electricity, and gritty voice,” adding: “The incisive songwriting stance Behrman takes on this unapologetic rocker holds nothing back with its blunt account of a hard-living past.”

The four-song EP was produced by Matt Chiaravalle (Warren Zevon, Joe Bonamassa, Spacehog) at NYC’s Mercy Sound Studios and mastered by Grammy-nominated engineer Joe LambertLORNE played all the guitars, wrote all the songs, and sang all the leads. Joining him are drummer Hector Lopez (Alejandro Escovedo/The Sweet Things), keyboardist Rob Clores (Jesse Malin, Black Crowes, Alejandro Escovedo), and singer Dana Athens (Jane Lee Hooker).

Below are quotes from LORNE about “Sandcastles,” the song’s lyrics and more info about the EP.

“SANDCASTLES”

Q&A WITH LORNE BEHRMAN

–“Sandcastles” is a tense and urgent rocker marked by an ominous guitar riff, spooky Farfisa organ and chilling lyrics (“What was done to me was done to you, I know/You’re just the messenger, I know”) about sexual abuse cycles: how hurting people hurt others. What inspired you to write this song and the catharsis you went through during the process?

LORNE: When I was a little kid, I took karate classes, and there was an instructor there who promised they would give me a kit to build sandcastles if I went with them into the bathroom. This began a very stressful and painful time for me. It was sexual abuse, mind games, and secrets. I was a really sensitive kid—I still am really sensitive—and I felt in over my head, but scared to tell anyone. I remember thinking I wish my soul could disappear into the calf of my leg—like I felt like I had to be at karate, but I wished I didn’t have to be present. I have the best parents—open, loving, and there for me, always—but I had too much fear and shame to tell anyone. I felt like I deserved this, so I just dealt with it, and eventually moved on from karate class, though I would experience more predatorial people and have more painful experiences until I addressed this and really got help.

I would always bring this stuff up when I was drinking, and share with anyone around, but I couldn’t talk about it with people in the daylight. It was always there, hindering my trust, my connection with others, intimacy, body images, feeling safe, and even feeling safe alone—as if I was going to attack myself. It was the nightmare roommate in my head I never wanted.

I eventually got help, and spoke to many people about this. I got a lot of comfort. One person told me to pray for the person who did this to me. I wanted to punch this guy in the face. I remember walking home that night and just being livid—they don’t understand, I thought. But it dawned on me, that the person who did that to me, probably had that done to them. All forms of abuse are passed on until you stop them. Not long after, I wrote the song.

As far as a catharsis, I’ve heard people say if you shine a light on darkness it goes away. So, this is me, putting that saying into real life. Singing this in the studio was very hard for me, but my producer Matt Chiaravalle made me feel comfortable. Leaving that vocal booth and finishing the vocals of the song, I felt lighter—like a left a part of my history behind. Hearing it mixed and mastered, and knowing it will be out there scares me. I feel naked and vulnerable. That said, when I listen to the song, I feel like I am speaking up for that little kid that endured that private hell.

–The David J Barron-directed video for “Sandcastles” is fittingly dark, given the subject matter and other lyrics like: “What hides in me, haunts you, I know.”  David has said: “It was shot in color, made in to black and white then rephotographed in color. The palette chose me. I like the black and white but needed it to be more degraded and violated feeling.”

LORNE: I had nightmares about shooting that video. Director David J Barron had this very powerful concept of capturing the fear and darkness inherent in the song. The camera chases me, the nighttime is overpowering, and the color palette enhances the horror of it all.

We shot it around 10 PM at night in Central Park, and let me tell you, nighttime at that park is still scary, haha. We shot it on a throughway that bisects the east and west side. The sidewalk was so narrow, and cars whizzed past you so quickly. It felt like we could get hit at any time, and then there were some “characters” passing in and out of the night. We shot the parts of me playing guitar right after.

Making the video brought up a lot of stuff. Thankfully, David is a deep guy and I could talk to him. He had that balance of knowing the shots he wanted, but also being sensitive to what I was going through. When the outside parts were over, I was so happy to be safe at home, it was like I was away from the horror. Seeing the video, I feel proud of myself. Like I finally took a stand, and I feel like I did it in a way that’s me.

–At the end of the video, the chyron reads: “Dedicated to survivors of sexual trauma everywhere.” Can you talk about the importance of survivors sharing their stories and emotions?

LORNE: I started sharing my stories in the last two years. When you speak about this, and someone says to you, I went through that, too, it’s like feeling like you’re not alone for the first time. Like you have a best friend that experienced the same minefield in their mind, and you can talk about this. The shame goes away, the feeling of being damaged goods go away, and your abnormal feelings feel normal, for once.

–Since you’ve shared your soul in the song + video, can you tell us which introspective artists, and which songs of theirs, have impacted you as a songwriter?

LORNE: The album Black Celebration by Depeche Mode probably influenced this song the most. I used to listen to Black Celebration all the way through as a teen, and it felt like a purging of bad feelings. When it was over, I felt clean inside. The final track, “But Not Tonight,” felt like I was all cried out and at peace with things. Also, the song, “Walking In My Shoes,” was really big for me. I guess, for me, it felt empowering maybe in a self-pitying way—like, “deal with my crazy mind for a day, haha, and then let’s talk.”

Another writer I really admire for her candor and boldness is Natalie Merchant. Her solo album Tigerlily really hit me. At the time I heard it, I was a punk purist, but the writing really got to me, especially the songs “River” and “I May Know The Word.” Her writing is so impactful. That album had this smoky emotionality that I wanted to one day conjure in my own way. I definitely was thinking of that album with this song.

I am a late bloomer as a songwriter, and the solo music of John Frusciante has been huge for me. The album To Record Only Water For Ten Days felt like it whisked the listener away to this private world for dark feelings. The opening track, “Going Inside,” is like an introverted person’s anthem. Jesse Malin has also been a huge influence on me. He writes with such vulnerability, but there is always a feeling of hope. Songs that really inspired me from his catalog are “Scars Of Love” from the album, The Heat, and “The Dreamers” from the album, New York Before The War.

“Sandcastles,” the lyrics:  

What was done to me was done to you, I know

You’re just the messenger, I know

Were you frightened, and did you sit still? 

Shame pulls you in/breaks your will

What was done to me was done to you, I know

Chorus: On the floor/dreamed of sandcastles/never got up

            Ooooh, Ooooh, Oooooh

            Can’t the shut door/dream of sandcastles/ I feel your touch everyday 

            Ooooh, Ooooh, Oooooh

What hides in me, haunts you, I know

            We were just kids, I know

            Do you forgive, is the enemy within?

            Buried my pain in nights of sin

            What hides in me, haunts you, I know

Chorus: On the floor/dreamed of sandcastles/never got up

            Ooooh, Ooooh, Oooooh

            Can’t the shut door/dream of sandcastles/I feel your touch everyday 

            Ooooh, Ooooh, Oooooh

“Sandcastles,” the song credits:

Written by Lorne Behrman (ASCAP)

Produced by Matt Chiaravalle at Mercy Sound Studios

Mastered by Joe Lambert

Lorne Behrman: Vocals and All Guitars

Matt Chiaravalle: Bass

Hector Lopez: Drums

The ‘When I Hit The Floor’ EP, track listing:

“When I Hit The Floor”

“I Won’t Fade Away”

“Sandcastles”

“Oh Lord, Give Me Time”

The “When I Hit The Floor EP artwork:

Wyldlife bassist Spencer Alexander designed the EP artwork, and it is a subtly playful homage to the cover of Don Henley’s first solo album, I Can’t Stand Still.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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