There’s a reason Hoobastank’s next video seems a lot like their last one: The band is going in the same direction for the follow-up, so much so that the new clip will act as both a prequel and a sequel.
Thanks to nonlinear storytelling, “Same Direction” will make “The Reason” seem as though it should be sandwiched inside the tale told in the new video, which establishes what happened before “The Reason” and reveals what happens afterward, with just as many twists as its predecessor.
In “The Reason,” the bandmembers stage a diversion so they can carry out the elaborate theft of a ruby gem from a pawnshop, but those facts are only clear after enough of the action unfolds, because nothing is as it seems — a girl gets hit by a car and then turns out to be an accessory to the crime, for instance. That same logic rules “Same Direction,” where the roles some people seemed to take in the heist — especially that of singer Doug Robb — turn themselves inside out.
Though director Brett Simon’s treatment for “Same Direction” puts a greater emphasis on Hoobastank’s performance, it also has much of the same look and feel as “The Reason,” and it starts where the first clip ended. Three thugs, led by the pawnshop owner, sprint up the staircase of the seedy hotel Hoobastank are hiding out in, stopping in front of their door, which the thugs smash in. “A bright red light floods the hallway, blowing out the faces of the thugs,” the treatment reads.
From there, the video becomes a series of flashbacks that explain what led up to “The Reason.” The next scene finds the band practicing, and in place of Robb, Hoobastank have a heavy-metal rocker type singing for them, standing at the mic and headbanging while the bandmembers make gestures indicating that this singer isn’t going to work out.
The video will then cut to Robb in a police interrogation room, causing the viewer to assume he’s been caught, until a shot of the pawnshop owner — in cheap slacks and a shoulder holster — reveals that he’s actually a detective. The detective gives Robb a flier advertising for a local band needing a new singer. Robb tries out for the band and gets the job.
Little does the group know Robb’s undercover, and in this dual capacity, he manages to pass a series of tests — fleeing cops in hot pursuit, picking the pocket of a police officer, etc. — that the bandmembers don’t realize have been staged for their benefit. All of this helps Robb get in the band’s good graces, because as it turns out, this band is really a crew wanted for a series of previous heists, and the cops are onto the group’s plans for the pawnshop job. Like Keanu Reeves’ undercover FBI agent in “Point Break,” Robb has to infiltrate the gang in order to stop the crime spree.
Once this all is revealed, it becomes clear that the “thugs” and “pawnshop owner” smashing into the band’s hideaway aren’t thugs at all. The video jumps back into the present, and what happens once the police break down the door should remain a surprise — for now. It may even lead to the next video if the band decides to continue this storyline as hinted at in the clip’s treatment.
Then again, maybe not. It could all end up differently if Hoobastank choose to use a second video that’s being shot for “Same Direction,” conceived by a fan who wrote it as part of a MasterCard contest, because as the song itself says, there’s no right or wrong way to do anything.
“It’s kind of about … well, it’s exactly about my distaste of everybody who thinks their way is the right way, and there’s no open-mindedness at all,” Robb said. “I don’t know if mine’s the right way, either, but at least I’m not telling anybody it is. … So we’re going to shoot two videos for the one song and pick the one that we like the most.”