Passion Pit Declare Themselves The Official Video Music Awards Underdogs

'They don't need this like we do,' drummer Nate Donmoyer says of other Breakthrough Video nominees.

[artist id="3123014"]Passion Pit[/artist] are VMA virgins, so we're willing to give them a pass on this one. But, if we could give them one piece of advice, it would probably be this: The next time you're asked about your first-ever Video Music Award nomination, you probably shouldn't answer like this:

"When I found out we got nominated, I was in the car with my mom and I got an e-mail," bassist Jeff Apruzzese laughed. "I was like, 'Hey, mom! We got nominated for a VMA!' "

Uh, cool! Still, there's plenty that the guys in PP are still learning ... after all, they've only been a band for a little more than 18 months. But, thanks to their eye-popping video for "The Reeling," they're now officially VMA nominees in the Breakthrough Video category, which puts them up against some rather stiff competition.

"I thought it was a joke at first, and then I went on the Web site and I saw all the other nominees, and I was so flattered that we were even nominated with all these bands that I've listened to all these years," Apruzzese said. "Like, Death Cab for Cutie were my favorite band for a really long time."

"If you ask me, we don't have a chance of winning," keyboardist Ayad Al Adhamy laughed. "Seriously, we have absolutely no chance of winning this."

They're just being modest, believe us. Because "The Reeling" — directed by a first-time music-video director named Humble — most definitely has a shot at winning, thanks in no small part to it's time- and space-warping special effects, which actually come from a very old-school method.

"Every 10th frame was reprinted on newspaper and then torn and re-shot again, so it was kind of back-end stop-motion photography," drummer Nate Donmoyer explained. "And so I think that's what people react to the most about it ... nothing really looks like that anywhere else."

Which means that "The Reeling" might actually be the favorite to win Breakthrough Video, or at least strong enough to give the bigger names in the field (Death Cab for Cutie, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Gnarls Barkley, to name just a few) a run for their money. And money is what they all have in common — and it's what separates them from the guys in Passion Pit.

"Don't all those other bands have VMAs already?" Donmoyer joked. "They have VMAs, Grammys, tons of money — they don't need this like we do."

"I think we're the underdogs," Apruzzese added. "Definitely. We're the official underdogs."

The 2009 MTV Video Music Awards will take place September 13 at 9 p.m. ET. Nominees, celebrity presenters and additional performers will be announced in the coming weeks. To be the first to find out the inside scoop, follow the Inside MTV Twitter account at Twitter.com/InsideMTV.