Sometimes Yellowcard frontman Ryan Key gets confused.
That was probably what happened last month, when he told MTV News he planned to direct the video for "Lights and Sounds," the first single from Yellowcard's upcoming album of the same name (see "Yellowcard Line Up Club Tour, Post A Preview Of Newly Named LP"). Because when time came to shoot the clip last week, Key wasn't manning the director's chair — it was video veteran Marc Webb.
The piece, shot over two days on a soundstage in Van Nuys, California, is pretty straightforward for a Webb project. There are no dancing corpses or World War II re-enactments (like his eye-popping clips for My Chemical Romance's "Helena" and "The Ghost of You"), no windswept desert locales (unlike Incubus' "Make a Move") and absolutely no former teeny-boppers masquerading as Asian clubgoers (as in Hilary Duff's "Wake Up"). Instead, much like the song's title, the clip features little more than light and sound.
"They wanted a performance video. They wanted to go back to their rock roots. And it's self-explanatory. They provided the sound and I provided the lights. A whole lot of lights," Webb told MTV News. "We used the same guy who did the lighting setup for Lenny Kravitz's 'Are You Gonna Go My Way?' and Coldplay's 'Speed of Sound.' But it's also rough around the edges — we used a bunch of different processes when developing the film."
The rough-around-the edges quality of the "Lights" video mimics the harder-edged sounds found on Yellowcard's upcoming album (see "Yellowcard Move To New York, Write LP About Hating Los Angeles"), which Webb said was intentional and actually required a fair share of bells and whistles.
"At the heart of it, it's a big performance video. But it's them performing inside of this wind-tunnel of light. It's a lot of smoke and mirrors, and a lot of camera tricks," he said. "There's a big light wall, streaks of light, xenon lighting effects and strobe lights. More than half of the budget was tied up in lighting. But it's all wrapped around this very simple performance environment. There's a raw rock quality to the new songs, and I wanted to explore that."
Webb — who had worked with Yellowcard in 2004 on their hit "Ocean Avenue" video (see "Yellowcard Get Homesick, Sing Of Spider-Man's Struggle") — is currently editing the "Lights and Sounds" clip, which he hopes to have finished by the first week of November ... which couldn't come soon enough for him.
"It's in a totally different ballpark from 'Ocean Avenue,' because while that was sort of high-concept, this one is pretty straightforward. And I honestly can't wait for fans to see it, and to see how the band has grown," he said. "It's rough-and-tumble, high-energy rock-and-roll. Because that's the kind of band they are now."