Today, GuitarWorld.com presents the exclusive premiere of "Headin' Back to Cleveland," the new music video by Saskatchewan-based rocker Val Halla. The track is from her new album, A Walk On Part in the War, which will be released this Friday, April 7.
The first time Val Halla and her film crew showed up at the Empire Plow factory in Cleveland to start shooting the video, they were told that three Empire Plow staffers had just been laid off and were working their final shift at the historic factory that very day.
One of those workers was among the third generation on his family to work for Empire Plow, which has been making steel agricultural implements since 1840.
“Tensions and emotions were obviously high," says Halla, who met with the video’s director—Cleveland native Nick Cavalier—and the Empire Plow staff and management to discuss the goal of the video and the emotional reality it carried that day.
“The pride in their crew as a unit and a team, and their pride in their work—even in the face of job losses and uncertain times—was extremely remarkable and humbling to witness,” Halla says. “It was devastating for us to see the very thing we were trying to bring attention to through the song and through the video, actually taking place right before our eyes in real time.
"We could see the strain that losing these types of manufacturing jobs was having on the entire community. Meanwhile I know that so many companies are still choosing to offshore their manufacturing, and some are even turning profits on the backs of workers in other countries who are being exploited and paid poorly for their work.
“When American manufacturing workers don’t have jobs to go to anymore, and Chinese workers have wages so low they can’t afford to take care of their families—yet corporate profits actually grow for some of these American companies utilizing off-shoring and outsourcing—it shows something is drastically lacking in corporate accountability to the basic well-being of the worker."
Be sure to check out the video below—and tell us what you think in the comments below or on Facebook.
Val Halla will kick off a solo tour of Ireland and the U.K. starting April 25. You can see all the dates here. A Walk On Part in the War will be available starting April 7 digitally and through streaming services; physical copies will be available through Bandcamp and CDBaby.
For more about Val Halla and the new album, visit valhallaonline.com.