UNIVERSAL CITY, California — It's probably safe to say Gary Lightbody is one rock star you will never see on the big screen.
The unassuming Snow Patrol singer makes his acting debut in the band's new video and, as he put it, "It looks amazing, but I can't act for toffee."
The clip, for "You're All I Have," was directed by David S. Goyer, best known for writing "Batman Begins" and directing "Blade: Trinity." Goyer handpicked the track for his new movie, "The Invisible," and wrote a treatment that ties the song and the film together. "This video is kind of the film condensed into four minutes," Lightbody said. "Normally they just use clips from the film [for singles from soundtracks], but we didn't want to use any of that, so David came up with a rough plot."
"The Invisible," which stars Justin Chatwin ("War of the Worlds"), is a thriller about a popular teenager faced with solving his own murder after he's resurrected as an invisible version of his former self. "We've gotten to work with quite a few film directors when we're making videos and it definitely makes us look a lot classier than we actually are," Lightbody joked.
Snow Patrol have already released "You're All I Have" as a single in the U.K., so it made sense to push it in the States. "The song is about a damaging but fulfilling relationship, something that terrifies you, but you can't quite bring yourself to look away," Lightbody said.
The song has the dubious honor of following "Chasing Cars," one of the biggest rock singles of 2006. Lightbody admitted he's not sure why that track achieved so much success. "I guess because it's simple and it's powerful and the lyrics are all something we can relate to — I hope people have been in love before," he said. "It's something we really didn't think about when we were writing the song, it just sort of blew up. We don't tend to dwell on those things for too long. I think if you try and analyze it or repeat it, you're just going to end up going crazy."
Of course, like another one of the year's top singles, the Fray's "How to Save a Life," "Chasing Cars" got its initial boost from hit TV show "Grey's Anatomy." Not that Snow Patrol even knew it was happening. "You get asked [for permission] for films and adverts, but you don't have control over people using your stuff on TV programs," Lightbody said of his band's contract. "So it was a very happy accident. Sometimes you just have that kind of luck, which happened with the season finale of 'Grey's Anatomy.' But we didn't really know about the show, so it was a very big surprise."
Snow Patrol have been gradually building a Stateside following since the release of their first album in 1998, but 2006 was obviously a breakthrough year for the Scotland quintet. And the band plans to take full advantage with a North American headlining tour beginning in February.
"A lot of the songs on the record are really fun to play live, they fill rooms, so we've been having a lot of fun on tour," Lightbody said. "I mean, we've always had fun touring. And we've been playing together for a decade or slightly more, so if we're not good at playing live by now, then we really should, in the words of the great Mr. Miyagi, 'Pack up, go home,' " he added, referencing classic '80s flick "The Karate Kid."
The band's spring tour will feature You Hear It First artist Silversun Pickups. "I've been trying to get them to play with us for a while, so it just so happened they were free and available and they agreed to play with us," Lightbody said. "And OK Go are playing with us as well, so it should be a good tour."