First Watch: Deleted Scenes, 'Stutter'

Feb 5, 2014
Originally published on February 5, 2014 12:28 pm

The sound of Deleted Scenes, a D.C.-based quartet formed in 2005, is potent, angular and distinct. The lyrics of Dan Scheuerman, who sings and plays guitar, can be simultaneously poetic and direct. The best part of Deleted Scenes is the unexpected, the unpredictable, and "Stutter" is a perfect example of their hard-to-label style. It mixes grating vocals with sporadic bursts of guitar, those abrasive sounds morphing into a likable, memorable track.

The video for "Stutter" features Dustin Diamond, the actor best known as Screech from Saved By The Bell, as an out-of-work version of himself trying to make it to an audition. "No one will see you. Do you understand? No one cares who the hell you are any more," his agent tells him in the phone call that opens the video.

As Scheurman sings "Life is a masquerade of clowns/does anybody know what's going on these days," the world conspires against Diamond. The tone of the words and the video convey swirling streams of stress.

In an email, Deleted Scenes explains that "the song's about social pressure leading to a personal breakdown" and Alec Sutherland, who directed the video, told us that the band "wanted to make a video about an actor coming unhinged."

"I remember telling the band, 'There is no f———- way we are getting Dustin Diamond,'" Sutherland says. "A couple months and a hundred or so phone calls to Dustin's manager later, we found ourselves in an L.A. diner sitting across from Dustin, cutting up chicken fried steaks and listening to the horrors of participating in Celebrity Big Brother. The next day we shot this video."

"Stutter" is from Deleted Scenes' upcoming album, Lithium Burn.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit