T. Hardy Morris made a hospital visit to film the video for “Hardstuff” — and not just any hospital. Morris and his bandmates shot the stark, black-and-white clip at the decrepit Central State Hospital in Milledgeville, Ga.
Built in 1842, the building used to be the largest mental hospital in the U.S. and the second-largest mental hospital in the world. At its peak, it held 13,000 patients and was spared from Gen. Sherman’s fiery destruction during the Civil War. Spread across 1,000 acres, the property has fallen into severe disrepair.
“Central State Hospital has an interesting and, honestly, quite creepy history, and it fit the darker theme of the song,” says Morris, who is also a member of the bands Dead Confederate and Diamond Rugs. “There is a sadness that looms over the place.”
Morris is previewing a new album, Audition Tapes, through a series of similar music videos under the banner Places in Peril, a reference to historic sites in Georgia that may be demolished. Morris is shooting the videos on location and will donate 10 percent of the album’s preorder proceeds to the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation.
“The song ‘Hardstuff’ is about addiction. In fact, addiction is a theme that runs through a lot of the record, but that song is probably the most direct example,” Hardy says. “Central State Hospital seemed the most appropriate Place in Peril for the song since addiction is in fact an illness and there were undoubtedly patients suffering from addiction who were treated there as mentally ill throughout the years.”
You can check out Audition Tapes on July 30, via Dangerbird Records. In the meantime, view T. Hardy Morris’ “Hardstuff” and see if you get chills.