Why’d this band play on the Jackson Street Bridge at ungodly hours?

Welcome to "Actual Factual," a regular column in which I answer reader questions about goings-on in Atlanta. Here's one I did recently about whether it is possible to go on a ride-along with Atlanta police.

Now that you're familiar, you'll find information for submitting your own questions at the bottom of this column. 

Question: Why did an Atlanta band play on the Jackson Street Bridge at an ungodly hour?

Anyone who passed over the famous Jackson Street Bridge very late at night or early in the morning this week may have come across an unusual scene: A bassist, vocalist, drummer and guitarist set up as if on stage, bathed in glowing lights.

The foursome was Sleeping Bear, a progressive metalcore band formed in 2014.

Singer Jay Rivera explained that the group was filming the music video to their new single, “Forever 20.”

They went out before midnight and stayed out until the sun came up for five days, shooting the footage on their own. Rivera said they wanted to highlight their love for Atlanta, and using the recognizable Jackson Street Bridge shot was a no-brainer.

The bridge, long a popular location with locals, became a tourist attraction and Internet meme when "The Walking Dead" used the skyline image for its premiere in 2010.

The band also shot footage at a nearby parking deck and in Buckhead. A couple times they were shooed away by security guards or others claiming the spot, but they eventually got what they needed and called it a wrap.

“Forever 20” is about working through conflict and owning outcomes even if they aren’t what you once expected.

“For me, it was my best friend that I lost when we were 20 years old,” Rivera said. “This (song) is that for me.”

Sleeping Bear expects to release the video before leaving for a tour on Oct. 15, when they’ll hit Tennessee, California, Texas, Colorado and Nebraska. The release will also serve as an announcement for a forthcoming album, to come out three years after their debut single, “The Anthem.”

I am a staff writer with the AJC and a lover of Atlanta, my adopted home for nearly six years after moving to Georgia from Florida. To submit “Actual Factual” questions, contact me at becca.godwin@ajc.com, @BeccaJGGodwin on Twitter or via the form below. Thanks.

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