QUEEN KWONG’S “SAD MAN” JOHNNY KNOXVILLE CHANNELS HIS INNER BAD LIEUTENANT
It used to be that music videos were a celebrated art form. They were daring mini-movies with lauded world premieres (at least for the extravagant ones). Now, like record sales, they seem to be a thing of the past. Most music videos today are either animated or lyric videos in order to keep costs down. So, imagine my surprise when I watched Queen Kwong’s “Sad Man”, a nod to Abel Ferrara’s dark and depraved Bad Lieutenant.
It should be noted that Queen Kwong, AKA Carré Callaway, recorded a 2013 EP entitled Bad Lieutenant featuring a groovy and moody cover of Chris Isaak’s “Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing”. So, she’s no stranger to the disturbing drama about a NYC detective with a serious drug and gambling addiction desperately looking for redemption.
Following the release of her third album, Couples Only, the music video for “Sad Man" stars Johnny Knoxville of Jackass fame as a deplorable and corrupt police detective.
An ode to all of the sad men Carré has encountered throughout her time in the music industry, "Sad Man" is dedicated to all "the fuckboys, the narcissists, the band dudes who think they’re all that,” she notes.
Knoxville really delivers channeling his tortured inner Harvey Keitel.
“I knew it would take a really special guy to perform in this video, someone who wasn’t afraid of really embracing what the song represents,” explains Carré.
“Even though the Sad Man video couldn’t be more different than Jackass, I knew Knoxville was the one for it," she continues. "He’s clearly fearless and has a sense of humor. We danced around, cried and then we went to a church and prayed. Knox was so open to trying everything. It was amazing to work with someone who could have easily been a diva but instead gave one hundred percent of himself to the role, learning all the words and embracing the discomfort. His performance was so powerful that when he started crying, I started crying.”
Making music since 2005, Carré was discovered by Trent Reznor who invited her to open Nine Inch Nails’ With Teeth tour (2005), and again in 2009 and 2018.
Watching the “Sad Man” video, I couldn’t help but think that Queen Kwong would make a great muse for filmmaker David Lynch. The song and video reminded me of “True Detective” in tone—and that’s a good thing.
Carré’s Couples Only has been described as a fearless account of facing the worst betrayals and learning to accept devastating loss.