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Music Soccer Mommy on her new music video, "Cool" [& notes from the director]

Apr. 10, 2018
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Have you heard Soccer Mommy’s new album “Clean” yet?
Have you seen Ambar Navarro’s latest music video for the song “Cool”?  

We've been big fans of Sophie Allison (who wouldn't be) since we heard the new album and were able to catch Soccer Mommy while she was in San Diego and talked a little bit about her new music video, being on tour, and Avril Lavigne. We also got to get some insight from Adolescent director Ambar Navarro, director of Soccer Mommy's new music video "Cool", on her process of shooting the music video! Read more below.

photos by Kelsey Hart
interviewed by Richelle Chen
music video directed by Ambar Navarro 

@DOLESCENT: Congrats on Clean, it’s a really awesome album. I just saw the music video that Ambar directed for you, it’s super fun! Have you ever worked with Ambar before?

SOPHIE ALLISON: Thank you! And no, it was the first time. It was really fun!

@: Oh that’s awesome, how did you guys meet?

S: We were looking for music video directors and I knew that worked with her before. We went to her Instagram and basically just reached out and she was down, so we did it!

@: You’ve been on tour with some really cool musicians. Who have been some of your favorites?

S: In February we toured with Phoebe Bridgers, which was really cool. And then I’m going to play with Liz Phair.

@: What? No way. 

S: Yeah, yeah, it’s going to be really crazy. She’s doing a Girly-Sound to Guyville [25th] Anniversary Reissue and she’s gonna tour a little bit. So I’ll be playing opening for some of those which will be really cool!

@: Who have been your favorite people to tour with so far?

S: Phoebe [Bridgers] was great. Jay Som was awesome and there was also another band on that tour, Stef Chura, that was really fun. Luna was really cool too, they were nice people. I feel like those were the longest opening spots we did, and it’s always fun because we get to know people really well. Also the band that I’m on tour with right now, Madeline Kenney, is really great too!

@: Who would be your dream line up?

S: Oh, I don't know. Maybe like, Avril Lavigne [laughs], that would be so cool. Or like Sonic Youth or something. My Bloody Valentine would definitely be the dream to open for.

@: I love that you brought up Avril Lavigne. She’s everything. What’s your favorite album or song?

S: “Let Go” is probably the best album she had, but I also like a lot of the songs from “Under My Skin” too, I like “Don’t Tell Me” a lot and I love “Tomorrow” too. That’s a really good one.

@: Have you heard of the Avril Lavigne conspiracy theory?

S: I have, yes. I don’t know what I think of it. I’m not strong either way.

@: Did you grow up listening to her? What else did you grow up listening to?

S: Yeah, I grew up listening to her, and you know, Hillary Duff, and pop music mostly in the early 2000s. And  some classic rock that my dad played for me as a kid too.

@: That’s awesome. What else have you been listening to recently?

S: I’ve been listening to a lot of like Radiohead in the car and Wilco and some early Coldplay even, that was the band that was big on middle school. And Liz Phair too.

@: When did you start writing music?

S: I immediately started writing music like when I started playing music. So, I’ve been writing my whole life.

@: Do you ever look back at what you written when you were really young?

S: Sometimes, I mean it’s mostly like goofy, it’s not like when I was 10 I wrote some amazing songs. But yeah, sometimes I remember songs I wrote when I was younger.

@: Do you think your songwriting process has changed since then?

S: I don’t think it really has. I just sit down with a guitar and play guitar and I start writing everything else after that.

@: Do you have any favorite songs from the new album?

S: I like Flaw, Scorpio Rising, and I like Skin a lot too.

@: I love Scorpio Rising! Are you Scorpio Rising? What are your other placements if you don’t mind me asking?

S: Yeah I am! I’m a Gemini with a Scorpio rising and an Aquarius moon.

@: It seems like you realized early on what you’re good at and that you wanted to pursue music. Do you have any advice for young people who are trying to pursue that creative career?

S: Just like, follow it. You know, I wasn’t ever planning to set out and start my career one day. Just put yourself out there and take opportunities when you get them.

@DOLESCENT: Hi Ambar, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your role in the new Soccer Mommy music video?

AMBAR NAVARRO: Hey! I directed the newest music video for Soccer Mommy's track "Cool." I also scouted my crew and locations for most of the video. 

@: What's the music video about?

AN: When I first heard the song, I kept hearing the lead singer Sophie sing about wanting to be cool, but in reality, she’s actually already cool, so I wanted to play off the idea of this high schooler daydreaming of becoming a rock star. It kind of plays off the idea of Sophie's real life who, in my opinion, is sort of living this idea and touring all over like a true cool rock star.

@: How did you come up with the idea or “Cool”? Was it collaborative? Tell us a little bit about your process.

AN: I read the lyrics and listened to the song over and over again. The song is really about a girl named Mary who is sort of cruel to boys and smokes. The typical idea of cool we'd see in a high school movie (although smoking cigs is not cool!) Sophie suggested a video that was super colorful which set the tone for it to be a more poppy video. I definitely think all my videos are collaborative with the entire crew from the camera department to PAs. Every hand that plays into this video makes it collaborative. As far as asking Grace Miceli, aka Art Baby Girl to animate felt very natural to me since I wanted a doodle drawing style and her illustrations worked perfectly. Isa Beniston, aka Gentle Thrills, worked on my last video for Cuco's "Sunnyside" video and I was excited to get to pull some of her clothing line and even get a custom airbrushed tee made for this. 

@: What was the record store location used?

AN: I actually was walking over to Isa's art studio downtown one day and happened to come across Pop Oscure Record store in Downtown Los Angeles. It has windows covered in vinyl which was originally part of the idea I had pitched in the treatment. Before I saw this record store I was going to buy a ton of vinyls from Goodwill and decorate a wall with them but luckily I came across this magical store! I was trying to go for a "Pretty In Pink" (1986) Blondie vibe.

@: Will you continue collaborating with other artists for your next videos?

AN: My dream would be to direct more rock/pop star music videos and play with punky styles. I would also definitely bring on Grace, Isa, and other cool artists I follow and dream of working with! More custom pieces too. :)