THE NUMBER TWELVE LOOKS LIKE YOU has revealed the official music video for “Ruin the Smile,” the first single off the band’s upcoming album, Wild Gods. The Number Twelve’s first new album in ten years will be released September 20th via Overlord Music (double LP vinyl, CD, and digital formats).
The Number Twelve frontman Jesse Korman, who wrote and directed the “Ruin the Smile” video, offers this statement:
“I couldn’t be more proud of our new album, or more excited to share it with you. It’s been a long wait and a wild journey. The new single is heavy. The subject matter is undoubtedly heavier, but it is important to address things that make us uncomfortable. We wanted to create a song and video highlighting an issue we’re passionate about, disgusted and infuriated by. The sexual abuse of children.
It’s horrifying under any circumstances, absolutely, but there’s just something even more sick when it’s done by people who claim to know God. Trusted priests beloved by their followers, washing away sins in the light, while washing away innocence in the dark. There are new cases making headlines every week. Here in our home of New Jersey, Roman Catholic Dioceses recently published lists of nearly 200 priests who’d been accused of sexually abusing minors all across the state. Last year in Pennsylvania there were reports of 300 abusive priests and upwards of 1,000 victims. In March, a top Catholic official in France, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, was found guilty of failing to report sexual abuse by Father Bernard Preynat, an infamous priest of his diocese. That same month, it was revealed in Poland that church authorities had recorded nearly 400 abusive clergymen, with over 600 victims since 1990. It’s a timeless issue. It’s constant. It’s happening at home. It’s happening abroad. They know the priests commit these crimes, they keep it quiet and move them around to preserve the image and power of the church. How many lives have they ruined?
The crimes aren’t limited to the Catholic Church, of course. Children are affected by these crimes the world over, in all communities. The Hollywood elite and ultra rich are rife with documented and suspected offenses, heavily highlighted in the #metoo era and made sickeningly crystal clear with the freshly indicted, billionaire child trafficker and pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. In April it was revealed The Boy Scouts of America held confidential files that listed over 7,800 suspected pedophiles, and over 12,000 victims. Just read the news. It’s everywhere. It’s become so common we hardly hear about it, we hardly blink. How do you bring attention to something that society has become, like it or not, totally desensitized to? As artists we don’t have the ability to make the changes our politicians and law enforcement do, but these crimes turn my stomach, and we wanted to express something that we’ve all felt at one time or another— a vicious and unforgiving fantasy of revenge.
Unfortunately, revenge is often better left in the realm of fantasy.
Coming from a religious background myself, my intention isn’t to just shock and offend anyone. The Number 12 has never shied away from extreme or intense offensive content, but still, even as a nonbeliever, I know there are good Catholics out there and most are as horrified about all this as I am. There’s good and bad qualities about all faiths, and all communities sadly face forms of child exploitation. I just hope we can all come together to expose these tragedies, and find a way to stop them.
We’d like to thank everyone involved in making the video possible. It fell into place beautifully with a terrific team of friends, old and new, all of us manically running around the decaying floors of a long abandoned school building from 1918, covered in dirt and dust, head to toe. Our requests to permanently move in were politely declined. It’s currently being renovated by a non-profit to serve as a community center. It’s been 10 years since we’ve released new music and we couldn’t be happier to finally share it. To all our loyal fans that have stuck by our side, we can’t thank you enough.
There’s so much more to come.
To report an incident of child abuse, The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children can be reached at 1-800-THE-LOST or visit report.cybertip.org
The National Child Abuse Hotline can be reached at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) or visit childhelp.org for more information.
SNAP: Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests can be visited at snapnetwork.org for more information.”