HALIFAX – The Halifax Stanfield International Airport is normally associated with planes touching down and taking off, but now you can also associate it with something completely different: dance music.
The airport recently gave rare access of an air traffic control tower to band Double Tooth to shoot a music video. Double Tooth is compromised of members Joshua Van Tassel, who is from Bridgewater, and Robbie Grunwald, and the music video was a part of the Halifax Jazz Festival.
Watch the music video here:
It is the first time the airport has allowed members of the general public to wander into the control tower, which, before it was decommissioned in 1998, was filled with operators giving the all-clear to planes taking off and landing.
It was an experience Van Tassel and Grunwald say they never expected.
“I was pretty excited,” said keyboardist Grunwald. “I’d never been in a control tower before and was pretty excited to see what was in there.”
What was in there may not be exciting to look at but it was important back when the tower was in full use. Operators could control runway lights, communicate with pilots and guide them to the appropriate gates.
The members of Double Tooth took an hour to shoot the music video, which they did mainly in one take. In the video, planes can be seen on the runway and the action of the music video sometimes shifts from focusing on the musicians to the large jets behind them.
“The airport spokesperson knew the schedule and would say ‘In two minutes, that 747 is going to take off’. So we said, ‘Ok let’s start playing’,” said Van Tassel.
The pair said they did not take the rare opportunity for granted, adding they tried to soak in the close proximity they had to all the aircrafts.
“In the course of playing, you’re thinking about playing and all of a sudden, you see a helicopter swoop down or something out of the corner of your eye. I’d forget it was happening and think ‘Wow, very cool’,” Van Tassel said.
“I have a lot of stuff I have to do while we’re playing so I didn’t have time to actually look around. But as soon as we were not playing or I was waiting for a break, when I was in the middle of a song, that’s when all of a sudden, I’d be like, ‘Oh yeah, there goes a plane’,” Grunwald said with a laugh.
Sherrie Clow, the community outreach coordinator with the Halifax International Airport Authority, said the airport gave the band access to the control tower because the project fell under its community outreach program.
“We want to think of the airport as more than just an airport. We don’t just come, fly, visit and go. We come here to have events that are pretty cool and engage the community as a whole,” she said.
“With the jazz festival, they wanted a unique perspective for a performance and a unique area. The airport is a unique location anyway, if you’re traveling, visiting or picking someone up. The airport tends to be quite a dynamic area.”
Though a newer control tower is used full time, Clow said the control tower the band used is operational during emergencies, and they had to be ready to vacate it at a moment’s notice.
As for the band, they are thinking about the next unique place to film a music video and are considering locations such as the top of the CN Tower and inside a submarine.
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