When the time came for Taking Back Sunday to shoot a video for "MakeDamnSure," the first single off their upcoming Louder Now, they sorted through bushels of treatments written by directors schooled in the ways of rock and hip-hop. And when they were finally forced to make a decision, they went with a guy who's a little bit of both.
"We ended up going with Marc Klasfeld, because he's worked with everyone from Jay-Z to Slipknot — I think we're pretty much right in the middle of those two groups, so it's worked out really well," TBS bassist Matt Rubano joked. "No, actually, we wanted to work with him because his treatment captured the essence of the song, the idea that things can start out terribly, disastrously and badly, yet end up being quite good and beautiful."
Klasfeld's video — shot last week on a soundstage in Los Angeles — is a powerful montage of violent images, all shot in arty slow motion (a bullet explodes from the barrel of a gun, two trains hurtle toward one another, police pulverize a group of protesters with a high-pressure hose). These images are mixed with a high-energy performance from TBS, filmed in a wind tunnel. It was this contrast of extreme violence and emotional release (which Klasfeld describes as "the idea of breaking free") that attracted TBS to the director's treatment.
"The lyrics in the song are a little bit creepy and possibly sadistic as well, but it's all in the name of something beautiful, which is also the idea that Marc had," frontman Adam Lazzara said. "A lot of his work has a darker edge to it, which is kind of like what we try to do with our music. And the idea behind this video is a pretty good embodiment of a lot of the ideas on the record."
Speaking of that record, TBS took time between wind-tunnel sessions ("We're going to try and incorporate one into our live show, so our hair is always blown around like Bon Jovi," Lazzara laughed) to lay out their plans leading up to the April 25 release date. They've already got a big-time headlining tour scheduled to begin at the end of March (see "Taking Back Sunday Announce First Tour As Major-Label Artists"), and their work with Klasfeld squares away the first video.
Basically, then, between now and the release of Louder Now, the band is focused on one thing: dispelling a spate of rumors currently circulating on the Internet. Chief among them is a bogus track listing for the album that they just can't seem to quash.
"Somebody released the song list onto the Internet at some point, but there were a lot of incorrect and misspelled titles. And on our MySpace page, there's this one guy who's totally insistent that the title of our single is three words, you know: 'Make Damn Sure,' " Rubano sighed. "And he's totally wrong. The Internet is awesome because it shows you what can happen to your own band when other people get involved — it's kind of half-flattering and half-strange."