Could that be Avril Lavigne's bare tushie in the video for Treble Charger's "Hundred Million"?
"That's the rumor we spread," said frontman Greig Nori, who recruited Lavigne for the band's rapid-edit performance clip, shot by Wendy Morgan last year before Lavigne blew up. "It could be Avril's ass, right? We've had this whole 'guess whose ass it is' contest on our Web site because you can't really tell."
Not to ruin the mystery or anything, but the person bending over and mooning the camera isn't Lavigne. It's Tom from Canadian punk band Gob.
Considering how popular Lavigne has gotten, Treble Charger are lucky to have her in the video at all. Nori was able to persuade her to fly to Toronto for the clip partially because she has palled around with Nori, but even more so because he had hooked her up with two members of her band when she was first starting out.
"She kind of owed me," Nori laughed. "The label paid for her to fly in. I wanted the friends I got to join her band to fly in also, but the label wouldn't pay for them."
In the video for "Hundred Million," Canada's Treble Charger rock hard and heavy during the verses, and countrymates Lavigne and members of Sum 41, Swollen Members and No Warning appear onstage to headbang and scream the chorus.
"We just wanted to do a rockin' video," said Nori, who produced Sum 41's first and third albums and currently co-manages the band. "We had always done concept videos before because we think we're funny even though we're not. And we think we can act. So finally, we said, 'Let's just do an energetic live video.' "
Originally, Lavigne wasn't even part of the plan. Nori just wanted to get Sum 41 drummer Steve Jocz to play in the video, since he was going to be in town when the shoot went down. But because Sum's vocalist and guitarist Deryck Whibley sang back-up in the song, Nori decided to turn the video into a cameo free-for-all.
"I figured I might as well get the whole band," Nori said. "And if we we're gonna bring those guys, let's bring Avril and Gob and Swollen Members and everyone else who's close to us."
As exciting and frivolous as the video for "Hundred Million" is, the song features some serious subject matter.
"The line '100 million people voted my way' was a George Bush quote," Nori said. "It's what he said when the World Trade Center was bombed. He was assuming that the whole world was on his side, which they were, but things have changed now. Basically, [he thinks] any of his actions can't be wrong because 100 million people are voting his way right now."
Nori refrains from delving into a political debate and insists Treble Charger aren't out to deliver any pointed messages. At the same time, he wishes modern rock bands had more to say.
"Pop-punk seems like a polar opposite of what it's supposed to be and what it used to be in the '70s," he said. "It was all pretty anti-establishment and really political and now the furthest politics they get into is girlfriends breaking up with boyfriends and high school politics. It's kind of sad."
Treble Charger's fourth album, Detox, is tentatively scheduled for a March 25 release.