The Foo Fighters used to be the kind of guys who'd dress up like stewardesses or mock those overly effervescent Mentos commercials in their music videos. But not anymore: In the clip for "Best of You," the first single off their upcoming double album, In Your Honor, the Foos are getting serious. And they've hired just the guy for the job.
Mark Pellington — the director behind dark fare like Pearl Jam's seminal "Jeremy" clip — helmed the video, which wrapped last month in Los Angeles. And in keeping with the feeling of his recent works (most notably, the claustrophobic flicks "The Mothman Prophecies" and "Arlington Road"), viewers can expect all the Pellington trademarks: experimental camera angles, moody lighting and stream-of-consciousness imagery.
"The video is going to be fast, colorful, aggressive and intense," Pellington said. "It's a performance intercut with collages of images that are real and hyper-real, intense and idealistic. Essentially the band's energy drives the video, and viewers will feel like they're watching it with eyes closed, thinking about the past, present and future."
The Foos' performance was shot in an abandoned hospital filled with twisting hallways and old operating rooms ("It feels like the inside of someone's mind," Pellington said). The intercut scenes are made up of stock footage, films the director found and images he will create. And while the opportunity to direct a big-budget rock-and-roll video was obviously appealing, what initially drew Pellington to the project was the personal attachment he felt to the song.
"I was drawn to the feelings of the lyrics — the realism and the pain," he said. "And it's pain of love and pain of memory. My wife passed away nine months ago, and I realized that the world is not black and white; it's filled with colors of everything crashing together beautifully. And I think that's what the song is about: accepting the pain and the beauty, being emotional but remaining positive."
Obviously, Pellington and Foo frontman Dave Grohl see eye-to-eye, especially since Grohl has already declared his epic intentions for In Your Honor (see "Foo Fighters Album Preview: Grohl Gets Grand On In Your Honor"). But at the end of the day, no matter how artfully it's presented, a rock video must, well, rock, a fact the director is quite aware of.
"They're such a great band, and it's such a great song with so much energy that my job is pretty simple," Pellington said. "I just have to harness it all and let it rip."