Ivan Neville isn’t actually the mayor of New Orleans, but as far as rock band The Young Presidents are concerned, he might as well be.
For the New York based band’s latest project, the aptly titled Coalition, the band recruited Living Color frontman Corey Glover, former Beach Boy Blondie Chaplin, Adam Ezra, and Ivan Neville to all take over lead vocals.
When it came time to record a video for Neville’s contribution, the catchy and upbeat “Time,” the album’s Grammy-winning producer Rob Fraboni recruited New Orleans native Jonathan McHugh to direct on his and Neville’s home turf.
From there, it didn’t take long for The Young Presidents members Mitch Kaneff and Jake Hertzog to see first hand what happens when Neville, who Kaneff dubbed the “mayor of New Orleans” afterwards, walks through the French Quarter.
“The coolest thing was as we were walking down the streets of New Orleans, babies were clapping and dancing, people were coming up – drunk and not drunk – and high fiving Ivan in the middle of our shoot,” Kaneff said in a HIP video promo posted on YouTube. “He’s like ‘No man, we’re really shooting a video,’ and they’re like ‘Yeah man…this isn’t Dumpstaphunk!’”
Neville, who is seen perusing a copy of OffBeat’s 2014 Jazz Fest Bible early in the video, said the whirlwind, day-long shoot was non-stop fun.
“It just so happened that I was home for a few days during the time they wanted to shoot, so I said ‘Yeah, I’ll come do it,’” Neville said. “They kind of got me doing stuff around town, so it was pretty cool, pretty comfortable.”
WWOZ Program Director Dwayne Breashears kicks off the video, which starts with Brashears on the air promoting a Young Presidents show that night at One Eyed Jacks, represented by the band performing on the One Eyed Jacks stage.
Neville is soon seen sitting on a balcony, reading OffBeat.
“That was all part of Jonathan’s idea,” Neville said. “I’m sitting at the table, and I open the magazine up to a page where it was a Dumpstaphunk record being promoted by the Louisiana Music Factory. That was kind of funny that I happened to open it up right at that page.”
At different times, Neville can be seen walking down Frenchmen, greeting various French Quarter Characters, handing out roses to pretty girls in Jackson Square, and generally being himself.
“New Orleans was the main character in the video, basically,” Neville said. “I was the costar. Jonathan wanted to capture some of the cool shit about New Orleans, and I think he did a good job of it.”
So does Neville consider himself an actor now?
“I wouldn’t go so far as to say that, but I guess it was somewhere in that category of acting,” he said. “It looked pretty natural, so it looked pretty cool. Maybe I can do a little acting!”
Next stop, Hollywood.