CMT PREMIERE: Billy Strings Turns "Love and Regret" Into Sonic Portrait
Billy Strings says his Grammy-nominated “Love and Regret” is a “portrait in words.” The video takes its cues from the song.
“(It’s) about a man who has messed things up with his lover,” Strings said. “So while he’s not thinking straight, he runs off to be alone in the woods and dwells on the past. It’s kind of a literal song, so I think the video just follows that vibe.”
Strings, a Michigan native, explains that the river – scenes from which open the video – has long been a place of solace for him as he used to seek refuge on its banks when he was younger. He’s been open about his family’s struggle with heavy drug use and his own early start with dangerous substance abuse.
“When I was younger, and things were bad, I used to go sit by the river and just listen to the sound of it… wishing I was one of them floating leaves being taken far away,” he shared.
“Love and Regret” was written by Strings, whose given name is William Apostol, and Aaron Allen. Nick Ray McCann directed the video, and Strings said driving his 1966 Chevelle that he calls Bluebell around town for the clip was a lot of fun.
“I love that car,” he said. “I’m glad she made a little cameo.”
He said the scene from the bar is authentic, too, and that after shooting wrapped, everyone just kept “hanging out.”
“I felt like we did a pretty good job at creating a visual representation of the song,” he said. “Shout out to the director and actors and such. Everyone coming together to help bring this to life really meant a lot to me. I appreciate everything everyone does to help spread the word about our music.”
“Love and Regret” is nominated for Best American Roots Performance, and Strings’ album “Renewal” is up for Best Bluegrass Album at the 64th Grammy Awards that will air live from the MGM Grand’s Garden Arena 8 p.m. April 3 on CBS.
The album reflects Strings’ diverse influences that range from bluegrass to heavy metal. Strings said he learned a long time ago that he has to “let the song do its thing,” regardless of where it falls within the confines of a particular genre.
“So that’s what I try to do — write songs and let them come out however they do,” he said.