New Jersey’s returning mathcore legends The Number Twelves Looks Like You shared a song called ‘Ruin The Smile’ earlier this week, their first cut of new material in a decade and since they reformed in 2016.
The band have now released a video for the song too, produced and directed by frontman Jesse Korman, which addresses its dark subject matter of child abuse, most specifically that performed by members of the Catholic Church.
Korman expanded further on the song’s message in a long post, which you can read below.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our new release or more excited to share it with you. It’s been a LONG wait, and a WILD journey. The new single is heavy. The subject matter is undoubtably heavier, but it is important to address things that make us uncomfortable. We wanted to create a song and short film style video highlighting an issue we’re passionate about, disgusted and infuriated by. The sexual abuse of children.
It’s horrifying under any circumstances, absolutely, but there’s just something even more sick when it’s done by people who claim to know god. Trusted priests beloved by their followers, washing away sins in the light, while washing away innocence in the dark. There are new cases making headlines every week. Here in our home of New Jersey, Roman Catholic Dioceses recently published lists of nearly 200 priests who’d been accused of sexually abusing minors all across the state. Last year in Pennsylvania there were reports of 300 abusive priests and upwards of 1000 victims. In March, a top Catholic official in France, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, was found guilty of failing to report sexual abuse by Father Bernard Preynat, an infamous priest of his diocese. That same month, it was revealed in Poland that church authorities had recorded nearly 400 abusive clergymen, with over 600 victims since 1990. It’s a timeless issue. It’s constant. It’s happening at home. It’s happening abroad. They know the priests commit these crimes, they keep it quiet and move them around to preserve the image and power of the church. How many lives have they ruined?
The crimes aren’t limited to the Catholic Church, of course. Children are affected by these crimes the world over, in all communities. The Hollywood elite and ultra rich are ripe with documented and suspected offenses, heavily highlighted in the #metoo era and made sickeningly crystal clear with the freshly indicted, billionaire child trafficker and pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. In April it was revealed The Boy Scouts of America held confidential files that listed over 7,800 suspected pedophiles, and over 12,000 victims. Just read the news. It’s everywhere. It’s become so common we hardly hear about it, we hardly blink. How do you bring attention to something that society has become, like it or not, totally desensitized to? As artists we don’t have the ability to make the changes our politicians and law enforcement do, but these crimes turn my stomach, and we wanted to express something that we’ve all felt at one time or another— A vicious and unforgiving fantasy of revenge.
Unfortunately, revenge is often better left in the realm of fantasy.
Coming from a religious background myself, my intention isn’t to just shock and offend anyone. The Number 12 has never shied away from extreme or intense offensive content, but still, even as a nonbeliever, I know there are good catholics out there and most are as horrified about all this as I am. There’s good and bad qualities about all faiths, and all communities sadly face forms of child exploitation. I just hope we can all come together to expose these tragedies, and find a way to stop them.”
You can stream and check out the video for ‘Ruin The Smile’ below.
The band’s fifth album, ‘Wild Gods’, is scheduled for release on September 20th 2019 through Overlord Music.