In their latest video, the Used are getting literary. Literally.
The band is currently on a Los Angeles soundstage, shooting an "Alice in Wonderland"-inspired clip for the song "All That I've Got," the second single from their album In Love and Death (see "Tension, Tragedy Spawned The Used's In Love And Death").
The video, directed by Marc Webb (who's worked with a host of punk acts, including Yellowcard, My Chemical Romance, Midtown and AFI), follows a boy who is sucked into the pages of a storybook and embarks on a magical journey. Along the way, he encounters the members of the band, playing both themselves and assorted storybook characters.
That fantasy element might not be apparent upon first listening to "All That I've Got," with its somber string arrangement and singer Bert McCracken's mentions of being cut "so deep that I didn't even bleed." But as he explained, the song is really about those magical, fleeting moments in life — a stray glance, waking up next to someone you love — that most people fail to appreciate until they've already passed.
"It's about moments in time. The more I've thought about living, I realize that our lives are made up of seconds and moments and memories," McCracken said. "Each second you're alive is another second closer to the day that you die. We've got to choose to embrace these times, no matter how good or bad they are."
The clip combines live-action performance footage with animation based on the work of artist Alex Pardee. He's the guy responsible for the drawings of blood hearts, weeping trees and bony monsters that adorn the cover and liner notes to In Love and Death.
"We fell in love with Alex's work and called him up, and he jumped in headfirst," McCracken said. "He was down at the studio with us, listening to the songs. He didn't hold anything back. And that's why his artwork is so connected with these songs."
"He's an amazing artist," added guitarist Quinn Allman. "His style is really noisy and really splotchy. There's a lot of character and a lot of sweetness to it, but it's also plenty dark."
After wrapping the video shoot on Thursday, the Used will make the short trip to Salt Lake City to play a homecoming show of sorts at the E Center. They wrap their headlining tour in Las Vegas the following night and then take the rest of the year off. In early 2005, they'll head over to the U.K. for a brief tour. Then it's back to North America to kick off the inaugural Taste of Chaos Tour (see "Warped Tour On Ice: Used To Headline Wintertime Version of Trek").
After that, who knows?
"We'd like to make it down to South America, play some places we've never played before," McCracken said. "But we're not sure. We'll definitely be rocking the planet somewhere."