Vision Video seeks connection with listeners through poignant themes


Photo Courtesy of Olivia Mead

Members of the band “Vision Video” Dusty Gannon and Emily Fredock pose for a photo. The band connects with listeners on a personal level through their gothic-style rock music.

By Nate Sun, Staff riter

Somewhere in between the macabre and eccentricity lies a sense of emotional catharsis that post-punk band Vision Video strives to achieve with their brand of poignant, gothic-style rock. With the release of Vision Video’s debut album underway, guitarist and vocalist Dusty Gannon was able to speak about the band’s history, their musical approach and the importance of the community in music.

The value of the coteries that music builds has always been integral to Dusty’s credo, and this can be accredited in large to his roots in Athens, Georgia. Athens is home to not only the University of Georgia, but also a robust music scene, turning out legendary alternative acts including The B-52’s and R.E.M. It is a place Gannon describes as idiosyncratic and full of life.

“You’re constantly hearing about that older musical legacy,” Gannon said. “It’s something that I sort of grew up with in a sort of way.”

This legacy would be the foundation for the full-bodied musical presence in the area.

“I grew up around here,” Gannon recalled. “I remember being a kid and going to outdoor concerts… There’s always music here.”

It’s more than just the music scene that left a lasting impact on Gannon, though. The whole culture surrounding Athens was just as important in forming the band’s quirks. In fact, Vision Video got its name from a local video rental store.

“You can have this cool community experience without having the whole corporate aspect to it,” Gannon said. “The people that work there were unquestionably weird.”

As such, the band Vision Video serves as a homage to this local gem not only in name but also in spirit.

“It embodied what I loved about Athens,” Gannon recalled, stating that naming the band Vision Video was “a cool way to keep this small thing of Athens alive.”

Just like the video store, the Vision Video, the band revels in peculiarities as their outwardly glitzy sound carries themes of trauma and saturnine elements.

“The music is a vehicle for processing things that aren’t necessarily dinner table conversations,” Gannon described. “I want it to sound pleasing first, and then it pulls you into the message.”

These gloomy themes are inspired by Gannon’s time in the army and processing the disturbing things he saw. In a way, his songwriting process serves as an abreaction for these experiences. Vision Video’s music is not so overt, though, as it serves to connect with all listeners.

“Everybody’s been through some horrible thing in their life,” Gannon said. He explained that a key moral of their music is “understanding that it’s alright that things are not okay.”

Gannon also explained the music that inspired Vision Video’s sonic and lyrical aesthetic, noting bands such as Joy Division and New Order. However, among the post-punk and new wave bands that influenced him, there were many pop artists such as Peter Gabriel and Cindy Lauper. Gannon thinks about The Cure — how they performed a variety of genres throughout their career while remaining fundamentally goth — when talking about how he sees Vision Video.

When it comes to writing Vision Video’s music, Gannon describes the process as “frustrating but ultimately fruitful.” Through all of the emotions put in and content they cut to make the best record they can, the project is definitely no easy task. Gannon likens the formation of a song to a sculpture.

“You take this big block and chisel it down until it looks like something,” he illustrated. “Once I have a structure of a song, at that point I give it to the band… I write the lyrics after the fact.”

In the band is Gannon, Jason Fusco on the drums, Dan Geller on bass and Emily Fredock on the keyboard. All of them came together by virtue of the community created by music, and as Gannon affirms, all of them are very close friends who are alike and different at the same time — each friend brings their own spice to throw into the pot.

And just like the sense of community that brought the band together, Vision Video extends it to their fans. Gannon recalled getting messages on social media from listeners who reach out and tell him about how Vision Video’s music touches them. This is the sort of togetherness that Gannon and the band champion.

“My biggest interest is in trying to make a difference in whatever ways I can,” Gannon said.

Their ethics lie in the fact that their music impassions people more than the number of people it reaches.

“At the end of the day, if I’m playing in front of 1,000 people or five people, it doesn’t matter,” Gannon said. What matters is if he is “enjoying what (he’s) playing,” and “it’s reaching somebody.”

Gannon and Vision Video know they’re weird, and they’re okay with this since they know their music connects deeply with their fans. With this, Gannon leaves us with a moving piece of advice:

“We’re all weird. Life gets a lot better when you start embracing all of the strange proclivities about yourself.”

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