'NSYNC singer Chris Kirkpatrick, Jack Black cohort Kyle Gass and punk-rock icon Mike Watt walk into a bar ...
It sounds like the setup for a joke, but it could have actually happened following the video shoot for Good Charlotte's "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous," which features all three.
In the clip the band is performing in a mansion when police arrive and surround the home. After their arrest, Good Charlotte wind up in an interrogation room, in jail and finally in the courtroom, where Kirkpatrick plays a member of the prosecution and Watt is the head jurist who reads the not guilty verdict.
Since Good Charlotte have played on festival bills with Tenacious D, it's easy to see how the band hooked up with Gass. And because they're a poppy punk band it's not too hard to fathom what they might have in common with former Minutemen and Firehose bassist Mike Watt. But Chris Kirkpatrick?
"We met him on tour about a year ago," Good Charlotte singer/guitarist Benji said. "One of my really good friends was working for them, and apparently they had seen us and thought we were pretty good. So we ended up hanging out together and it was cool. We became good friends with those guys — especially Chris."
Such good friends that Kirkpatrick asked if he could be in the band's video. As close as they might be now, however, Good Charlotte weren't so open-minded when they first met the dirty pop icons.
"I went in with a bad attitude," Benji admitted. "I figured, 'Awww, these guys are d---s. I'm just gonna glom them.' And they just turned out to be the coolest, nicest guys. It really made me think twice about people in general."
The video for "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" was directed by Bill Fishman, who lensed classic punk videos including Suicidal Tendencies' "Institutionalized" and the Ramones' "I Wanna Be Sedated" but who left the industry years ago to work on Hollywood films.
"He decided he wanted to start doing videos again," Benji said. "So we said, 'We'll give it a shot. Write the treatment.' And of all the treatments, we liked his the best."
The song is a commentary on rock-star celebrity. While Benji doesn't begrudge stars' extravagant lifestyles, he's irked when the famous bemoan the fame.
"The whole song is just a social commentary on how celebrities can do whatever they want," he said. "When we first started our band we'd see these bands complaining and throwing away opportunities and ruining their careers with drugs and stuff. And we were like, 'Man, we would give anything for a shot, and we wouldn't blow it like that.' "
Good Charlotte's second record, The Young and the Hopeless, comes out October 1. Unlike their 2000 debut, Good Charlotte, which sometimes watered down the band's intensity with sugary hooks and slick recording style, the new disc, produced by Eric Valentine, is tougher and less pristine.
"I liked the songs on our last album, but everyone who's heard it and all the bands we've toured with say, 'I like your record, but I like you live better,' " Benji said. "So what we wanted to do this time was find that medium between the stage [and our first album]."