Rusty Machines’ What Went Wrong music video is a charming take on moving on

Flashback: Directed by Petersen Vargas, the music video for What Went Wrong revisits scenes with an old love.

Joan Didion once wrote, “I think we are well-advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not.” It’s provocative, this idea that our former selves are separate from who we are now, and that these two parties must be on good terms. One could say this is the notion that fuels the narrative of Rusty Machines’ new music video, What Went Wrong.

Director Petersen Vargas was initially unsure of the concept. “The moment when I was pitching it to Iggy (San Pablo), I was not sure about the concept until we were shooting it, because it was really sort of… out there.”

True, it is a little unusual. The music video’s main character, played by bassist Leandro Fabregas, finds himself (seemingly) entering and exiting flashbacks of an old relationship, sometimes seeing a mysterious masked figure wearing his clothes and taking his place beside his former lover. Yet despite the weird premise, the video isn’t really disturbing. The strangeness of it is almost comedic — when the music video was launched at Mow’s last Saturday, certain moments were punctuated with audience laughter. The song’s easygoing, driving melody yet remorseful lyrics — “It’s all my fault / I can’t blame anyone else” — paint each scene with a sense of melancholy, but nothing so agonizing. And when the conflict resolves itself, what happens when the music fades out, it feels genuinely rewarding, and must certainly resonate with anyone who’s ever had to change for someone they loved.

Nothing’s wrong: Rusty Machines’ latest music video What Went Wrong was launched last July 8 at Mow’s.  |  Photo by Chelsey Aranilla

“Yung goal talaga namin now is to create our own identity as a band,” says vocalist Iggy San Pablo. “When we started with the EP before, we weren’t really sure about what kind of sound we wanted, or like what kind of identity we wanted.” It’s exciting to know that the band, which according to Iggy has been busy writing since the release of the “City Lights” EP, is ready to embrace the band they’ll become. We’re willing to bet though that not matter what changes, you’ll know it’s still them, still distinctly Rusty Machines, and that’s certainly a good thing.

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