Play Chess Against Yourself in French Mouth's Seventh Seal-Style Video for 'Paper Tiger'

[Cover photo credit to S. Goli]

LA-based Post-Rock band French Mouth are getting ready to release their first EP on August 14th, called Paper Tiger, and have dropped the title single.

The name "Paper Tiger" is an allusion to the Chinese phrase "zhilaohu," a term dating back to the 14th century that "refers to something appearing to be more threatening then it is in actuality. This false threat is not powerful, and actually unable to defend itself against challenge."

[EP Cover artwork by Chuy Hartman]


Songwriter, guitarist and vocalist, Dee Frank explains the meaning behind the lyrics:

"The song is inspired by my struggle with mental health and trauma that manifests itself throughout my day-to-day. When I dig deeper, it is not an outward enemy, or a metaphorical female tiger, as described in the song; but myself and my fears I have to come to terms with and face. This song is a reminder to take care and check in on myself."

The video for the single takes on the same themes as band members face themselves in a game of chess.

Dee Frank explains the video further:

“The video for Paper Tiger depicts the story of self-conflict even under times of duress. Fighting against the darker side so to speak. Additionally, the video is a homage to Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal, where a Knight finds himself in a chess match with 'death' during the end of days as he questions existence.”

Here's a little more info on this new band:

"A little dose of anger is simply not enough. California rock quartet French Mouth's debut EP Paper Tiger rips and sears through thick layers of emotional fabric, cutting deep to the essence of truth when it comes to living in a world which we have no choice but shape for ourselves. Led by vocalist and guitarist Dee Frank, Paper Tiger sounds unmistakably urgent and up-close, cementing French Mouth as one of the most exciting new rock bands right now and providing more fuel for all of our emotional fires.

An active concern for Frank's songwriting since 2018, French Mouth properly came together last year with the current lineup that includes guitarist Jacque Parras, drummer Brittany Macc, and bassist Brandon Reyes. "Most of the band is Hispanic, and we all come from working-class roots," Frank explains, further stating that when Macc—who also plays in NoMBe—joined French Mouth she "Took the band to another level." As a collective, French Mouth grew up on a steady diet of punk, heavy metal, and hip-hop, with professed influences ranging from At the Drive-In's fast-paced punk rock to Jesus Lizard's beautifully ugly noise rock."

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