The members of Long Island-based band TOXIN are standing up to bullying in their new music video, “I Am,” and are encouraging others to do the same.
TOXIN formed back in 2007 and consists of lead singer Jason Kloos, guitarist Ross Medico, bass player Joe Gigante, drummer Brian Maldonado, and keyboardist Mat Brandon. Working hard to make a name for themselves, the band had performed everywhere from Florida to Germany and has opened for iconic rock stars like Bret Michaels, Sebastian Bach of Skid Row, and Twisted Sister.
The “I Am” music video follows the story of a lone hooded character in all black who is bullied at school. We never see his face, nor the faces of his bullies, but we see the abuse he endures. While walking down the school hallway, his books and papers are knocked out of his hands and students point and laugh at him. Flash forward to lunch in the cafeteria, an unidentified foot trips him, knocking his lunch everywhere. In a class, the main character is trying to write in his notebook, when students throw balls of paper at him. When he is not being bullied, he is completely isolated with no one to stand up for him.
At the end of the video, the character realizes that he doesn’t care what other people think of him. He is tired of being bullied and alone, he is tired of being laughed at, tripped, and generally made fun of. Echoing the lyrics of “I Am,” he is who he is. He lifts his head up revealing himself to be TOXIN’s lead singer, Jason. He unzips his dark hoodie, symbolizing that he accepts himself and that self-acceptance makes him strong. He reveals to the camera what he had been writing in his notebook: “Together we can make a difference.” He then walks out of the classroom with his head held high, proud to be himself.
The final scene is the video brings the reality of bullying to light in statistics, showing that “3.7 million youths engage in bullying, and more than 3.2 million are victims of ‘moderate’ or ‘serious’ bullying each year.”
What is really interesting about this music video is the way the scenes of Jason being bullied repeat. They come back in a way that makes it seem like these are his internal thoughts and he is replaying the bullying, which shows the lasting effect bullying has on a person.
For more information on the band and to find out about tour dates, check TOXIN out at toxinrocks.com.
Check out TOXIN’s music video for “I Am,” below: