In the clip for "Jaded (These Years)," Mest reminisce about what life was like viewed through innocent eyes. It could have been a cliché that dates beyond Bruce Springsteen's "Glory Days" were it not for the fact that Mest singer Tony Lovato's eyes were never that innocent.
"I didn't grow up like normal kids, who go to high school, turn 18 and leave home to go to college," Lovato said. "I always hung out with older kids. By the time I was 12, I was already going to parties. So when you start out at a younger age, you do all the things that kids do, but then you're like, 'Now what?' I just grew up a lot quicker."
Knowing that, it makes a little more sense that a 22-year-old would write a song about having been there and done that, while most his age are still ensconced in the process of, well, being there and doing that. Partying at 12 was only part of what inspired the backward glance that is the first single off Mest's fourth, eponymous album, due June 10. Adding to the hard-knock life, Lovato was booted from high school at 15 for getting into too many fights and ditching too many classes. With school out of the picture, Lovato was left to skateboard all day and drink with the bigger kids until the sun came up.
"It's about me growing up and missing my friends, back when I was younger and didn't have to do this every day," Lovato said of "Jaded (These Years)." "Back when the band was unsigned and we were just hanging out in the neighborhood every day."
It's no wonder he's left with "the mentality of a 30-year-old."
Lovato's best friend, Good Charlotte's Benji Madden, assisted with the music, sings backup and appears in the video for the track. The two bands have been comrades for the past three years, ever since the brothers Madden became fans of Mest's 2000 major-label debut, Wasting Time, and were subsequently introduced by John Feldmann of fellow pop-punkers Goldfinger. A collaboration between the two bands was much discussed, but schedules haven't permitted it until now.
The video for "Jaded (These Years)" was shot last month by director Steven Murashige (Rage Against the Machine, Incubus), and is expected to surface in mid-June. The clip shows typical house-party scenarios, such as an aluminum can "beer-a-mid," dice games in the kitchen and passed-out partygoers. Like most of the other scenes shown, the one that involves a naked friend was inspired by real-life events.
"We've done this countless times," Lovato explained, "where somebody passes out, completely wasted, and we get them completely nude so they're just hanging out nude at a party. We have the gnarliest pictures of dudes hanging around naked."
Mest will perform on all dates of this year's Vans Warped Tour, which begins June 19 in Nampa, Idaho (see "Warped Tour Dates Announced, 17 More Bands Added").