Vancouver’s Hello Victim want you to feel uncomfortable with their latest video

Photo by Abroop Dhami

In January of 2018 Megan Emanuel put a post on Facebook stating, “Girl seeking guitarist/pianist/band to write tell-all album with.” 

It was a matter of days before she serendipitously met Adam Wilson, and 6 months later Hello Victim was formed.

Vancouver Weekly spoke with Megan on the release day of the band’s latest single and video, “Out Of It Alive,” and got to know more about their formation, the new song, and what they’re doing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When asked what inspired her to seek a band, Megan says it came after the ending of a “weird” relationship.

“I was at this point where I was like, ‘you know what, I’m an adult and if people want to treat me poorly I’m gonna write an album about it…I’m gonna pull an Adele.’”

Though Adam never did see her Facebook post, the universe listened and she met him soon after at the East Van brewery, Luppolo. Megan’s now-fiancé was performing and Adam happened to be a good friend and was there to watch. 

According to Megan, Adam is a perfect musical match.

“If there’s a soulmate for writing music, that’s Adam.”

Spencer Daley became the final piece of the Hello Victim puzzle, on bass and guitar. Adam plays guitar and provides backing vocals with Megan on lead vocals, all three contributing synths to the project. 

You can get a (much) closer look at all three members in the brand new music video for their fourth single release, “Out of it Alive.” Co-produced by Ben Kaplan of Fader Mountain Sound (Mother Mother, Five Alarm Funk), the driven synth-pop track is an ode to an abuser.

“Noone in my life ever made it out of it alive,” Megan sings in the hook. All three members equally contributed to the song’s creation and are each personally connected to the meaning behind it.

Megan draws from her own experiences dealing with narcissistic, sociopathic people, and to her, the song is vindicating. It’s telling the abuser that you can spend your whole life that way, but you’re not going to end up any better than the rest of us. 

“You took years of my life treating me like garbage and today I’m telling you, you’re not gonna make it out of this alive.” She adds to the abuser, “We’re all ending up in the same place…and I’m the one who did something good with my life and you’re the one who tried to destroy it.”

The video is self-directed by the band and filmed and edited by Ryan Mitchell. A beautifully shot and produced video filmed in Megan’s grandmother’s house, it can also be quite discomforting. It includes Megan attempting to drown a fully suited-up Adam in a murky bath full of fruit loops, and we also get a close-up of the frontwoman chewing into a 4-pound turkey leg. 

The worst of it though is Spencer cutting up and eating cigarettes off a plate. If you thought it was fake, nope, the cigarettes are real, which is all the more disturbing.

According to Megan, it’s the band’s goal to make the viewer uncomfortable.

“We wanted that level of discomfort to come across, like when you do come across someone who’s a sociopath or a narcissist.”

Hello Victim did have a single release show set for later this month but with the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic, that will have to wait.

However, during this time Megan has involved herself in a project to help benefit local artists whose incomes have been taken away due to the current restrictions. 

She has teamed up with Park Sound Studio to create a virtual open mic fundraiser. Streaming weekly on Saturday nights from the ParkSoundBC Instagram, artists perform live acoustic sets from their own homes. Two weekends in, they’ve managed to raise over $2000 so far. You can find out more on the event page here.