21@12

Album: Future Breeds (2010)
  • songfacts ®
  • This is the first single from Canadian alternative rock band Hot Hot Heat's fourth studio album, Future Breeds. The song was inspired by a photo that frontman Steve Bays took when touring. "One of the people that was on the road with us was turning 21 and we were in this small college town," he recalled to Spinner UK. "Every bar we went to that was still open wouldn't let him in and he was literally turning 21 at midnight. I just remembered I had a photograph of him on my phone, pleading with the bouncer and he was pointing at the clock and the bouncer's holding his ID. I took that photo and wrote turning '21@12.'"
    Bays added: "The song's actually just about the false sense of freedom that you have in your early 20s when you get all the benefits of being an adult, but you have none of the social responsibility and you're kind of unaware of how your actions reflect you. It's just such a great, fleeting sense of false freedom."
  • The song's music video was directed by Michael Maxxis (AlexisonFire, Three Days Grace, Cradle of Filth). It was shot in Edmonton with the band and a collection of characters that included a shirtless man with a rhyme. "There was a curly haired guy with his shirt off, just a guy in the street who literally came running out of his apartment," frontman Steve Bays recalled to Spinner. "He's like, 'I'm Jay McKay from back in the day/where weed was weed and hay was hay,' and all of these weird one-liners. And he has missing teeth. He was really the most truly Edmonton character you could find." Bays asked the man to appear in the clip, but he was initially reluctant to appear bare-chested. "He's like, 'Let me throw on a shirt,' and I'm like, 'You know what? You look perfect just as is,'" he recounted.
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