One of Hoobastank's two upcoming videos for "Same Direction" shows singer Doug Robb auditioning for the band. He easily gets the gig, of course, but had it been reality, the other candidates might've given him a run for his money.
"I think we got three vocalists for this thing that are like the biggest guys in their genre of music," guitarist Dan Estrin bragged of the cameos in the clip.
Linkin Park's Chester Bennington, Good Charlotte's Benji Madden and Kanye West all audition for Estrin and his equally unimpressed bandmates in the clip before Robb has his chance.
"Kanye came in here ... and he grabbed the mic and was rocking out. It was awesome," Estrin said on the set of the video. "I give him credit 'cause he learned the lyrics in like five minutes. He listened to the song and was singing it out loud. ... It was the coolest thing I've ever seen."
"He was singing it full volume," Robb added. "But then we told him to go with a more natural thing — 'Do what you do, the hip-hop thing. We want you to be you, not like something else.' It was pretty rad."
In this "Same Direction" video, as opposed to a second one based on a fan's treatment (see "Hoobastank Video Envisions Them As A Small Garage Band"), Robb is an undercover detective who joins Hoobastank to put a stop to their crime spree. The video is both a prequel and sequel to Hoobastank's "The Reason" (see "New Hoobastank Video Picks Up Where 'The Reason' Left Off").
"When we first did the 'The Reason,' we said that we didn't want the video images or the story lines to parallel the song in any way," Robb said. "And some people come up to me and say, 'Man, I get it, I get it. "The Reason," the video — I know how it works.' And I'm like, 'Man, you're making stuff up, because it doesn't. There is no correlation between the two.' It's honestly just a story with some background music. And that's kind of the way this one is too. It's just a continuation, but the pace of the background music is obviously going to dictate the pace of this video, and it's much more aggressive. It's all action and high-paced."
In the video, footraces and car chases are intertwined with flashback footage of Robb joining the band and impressing them with his own larceny skills.
"In the beginning of this video, cops break into our hideout and it goes from there to us running — what appears to be Dan and I running — from the cops, but in the end you realize that I am one of the cops and I'm chasing after him," Robb said. "I honestly didn't want this video or 'The Reason' video [to be the type] where you watch the first time and go, 'OK.' I like the fact that you go, 'I'm not quite sure what just happened here.' But you want to see it again. And the next time you see it, you notice different things and maybe by the third time, you go, 'Oh, I get it. I get it now.' "
Hoobastank shot the video with the help of 16 fans who won a MasterCard-sponsored contest (in which 30,000 wrote essays to apply) to work as interns on the set.
"When we got here I didn't know who were the interns and who were the people working on the shoot, and that's a good thing because they were doing such a good job that I couldn't tell that they were just interns," Estrin said. "And everybody was way cool and professional."
"They came up with basically a lot of creative input in the treatments and stuff like that," Robb said of the interns, who also worked on the other version of the video. "I had a bunch of conference calls and tried to give them some type of direction. They came up with a lot of cool ideas. They've been working with [director] Brett [Simon] and stuff like that. I see them running around everywhere."
The "Same Direction" video that ties into the clip for "The Reason" will debut next week.