Perhaps Simple Plan and Good Charlotte will spend their upcoming co-headlining tour discussing the works of existentialist Jean-Paul Sarte or decrying the appointment of ultraconservative Paul Wolfowitz as the head of the World Bank. Because, wow, both groups have gotten plenty serious all of a sudden.
It all started last week, when Good Charlotte filmed the woe-is-the-world video for their new single, "We Believe" (see "Good Charlotte Take Off The Hamburger Suits, Decry Human Suffering In New Clip"). And now Simple Plan are upping the angst ante with the clip for their new single, "Untitled."
In the video — directed by Marc Klasfeld (Sum 41, Thursday) — the normally rambunctious Montreal pop-punkers are tackling the very serious issue of drunk driving. It's a pretty mature step for a band that spent the majority of its last video dancing on tables and smashing ice sculptures (see "If You're Into Ice Sculptures, Simple Plan Are Not The Band For You"), a fact that SP frontman Pierre Bouvier seems painfully aware of.
"It's the first artsy Simple Plan video," he said. "We're going to go mature like everyone else."
"It's a mini movie," added drummer Chuck Comeau. "It's going to make people cry."
They sound like they're joking, but they're not. Bouvier spends the entire video as a ghost, wandering amongst the tangled wreckage of a two-car collision. As rain pours down on the side of a lonely highway, viewers see that in one car, a teenage girl is trapped against her steering wheel, clinging to life. The driver of the other car — a young man — sits by the roadside, head in hands, a giant cut on his forehead.
Police and EMTs — played by the other members of the band — arrive on the scene, a whir of flashing lights caught in slow motion. They try to pry the injured girl from her car as police give the male driver a breathalyzer test, which he fails miserably.
Then the video takes a turn, as we are shown the friends and loved ones of the two drivers, going about their daily routines. As they shop, garden and work, they seem totally unaware of the tragic car crash that will soon occur. As Klasfeld writes in his treatment, he hopes to show that drunk driving affects other people, not just those directly involved.
The video cuts back to the accident scene, where the chaos of police flares and broken glass is captured in slow motion. A crowd has gathered at the perimeter of the accident scene, and Bouvier stands amongst the onlookers, undetected. EMTs have removed the girl from her tangled vehicle and are placing her on a stretcher. In the background, officers are handcuffing the drunk driver and are throwing him in a police cruiser.
The clip then cuts between the girl being rushed to the hospital in the back of an ambulance and the young man being taken to jail. As the video reaches its climax, we see what led up to the accident — the two cars heading down a dark highway, the girl singing along to music while the drunk driver nods off at the wheel. As the two vehicles barrel down on each other, we cut to the friends and relatives of the young man and woman, their bodies suddenly jolted and thrown against the floor as if they were in a car crash.
As the video fades to black, the girl is pronounced dead while the drunk driver weeps in a jail cell. Bouvier leaves the now empty accident scene, walking off into the rain.