Cobalt Connects is launching its new Band Together music video grant and collaboration service the right way: with explosions.

"It's quite explosive, that's for sure," laughed Adam Bentley, lead singer of The Rest, who were one of four Hamilton acts to take part in the inaugural Band Together project.

He's not kidding. The band's new video for Who Knows features Bentley in his first ever-acting role, as a patient in a "wacky psych ward" who takes out his anger on an aviary. With fire.

"My band hates everything — and they loved this," Bentley laughed.

Band Together was created last fall to help local musicians and videographers/animators overcome some of the obstacles in creating music videos. Cobalt Connects put out a call for submissions from interested bands and videographers last fall, and whittled those submissions down to four:

  • Who Knows by The Rest, directed by Lee Skinner
  • Anchor Me Down by Katie Bulley, directed by Ryan Furlong of Fenian Films
  • Kit Kat by Haolin Munk, directed by BE&ME Productions
  • Rise the Falling Sun by Pete Van Dyk and the Second Hand Band, directed by James Maunder

The nonprofit arts connection service then gave each group $1,000 and offered their services to find things like sets and makeup artists.

Now, Cobalt Connects is unveiling the finished products at The Lyric Theater at 434 King St. W on Thursday night.

"And they're amazing," said Jenny Gladish, the communications lead for Cobalt Connects.

"There's an amazing music scene here - everyone knows that," Gladish said. "So the idea was to foster a collaboration between those two scenes.

Music videos still have a place in a post-MTV world, Gladish says, especially with viral videos (like Two Reasons by Hamilton's Young Rival, for instance) dominating social media. "You don't need a lot of money to do something great now," Gladish said. "It has a lot of power to connect in a different way."

Bentley stressed the power of bands having their material on video as well. "YouTube is the jukebox of this generation," he said.

Cobalt Connects plans to make the Band Together project an annual event, and are looking for sponsorships to make even bigger financial contributions to the videos in the future. The first of the Band Together videos will hit the web on Monday.

For a sneak peak at one of the videos, check out the trailer for Rise the Falling Sun by Pete Van Dyk and the Second Hand Band: