Never-ending house parties, camera phones, lawn animals, inflatable pools and jock-strap bathing suits — they’re all key ingredients in the All-American Rejects’ video for “I Wanna,” the latest clip from their third album When the World Comes Down. “This video is crazy. The premise is there’s been a party that’s been going on for days and days and days, and in walks this little vixen with this alpha-male,” Rejects frontman Tyson Ritter tells Rolling Stone. “So she walks in, and throughout the video, it’s this sort-of give and take of memories we’ve had in the past juxtaposed with this trick that we do with these camera phones.”
Yes, lots (and lots) of LG camera phones. Ritter knows exactly what you’re thinking. “At first glance, you might be like, ‘Well, that’s a little whorish,’ but it’s kind of a neat trick,” Ritter says, and he has a point: the camera phones do add another dimension to the action and propel the plot. “We’re a band that’s always used tricks in our video,” Ritter says. ” ‘Dirty Little Secret’ was a little trick with the postcards and ‘Move Along’ was a little trick with the camera and ‘Gives You Hell’ was a little trick with me playing two people, I feel like this is the timeline trick with the camera phone.”
In one of the funniest moments in the video, nude drummer Chris Gaylor guzzles beer in an inflatable pool with strategically placed camera phones blocking his naughtiest bits. But you’re not going to get a look at Gaylor in his birthday suit in our behind-the-scenes photos, which reveal he did the shoot in his jock strap. “He pounded like 20 beers in that shot, that was his whole thing, and they didn’t end up even using that much of it,” Ritter tells RS. “That’s what makes it so funny.”
“I Wanna” was directed by Paul Hunter, whose previously helmed videos for everyone from Michael Jackson and Mariah Carey to Eminem and Britney Spears. “We’ve worked with a lot of directors, but I’ve definitely found the most ease with Paul,” Ritter said. If the blond-haired “vixen” in “I Wanna” looks familiar, you may recognize actress Julianna Guill from the reboot of Friday the 13th. “We meet after we crowd surf into each other and in the end we get to kiss, which was really nice,” Ritter tells RS. “She’s gorgeous.”
Even with music videos getting less and less play on television, Ritter says the Rejects set out to make clips the fans would enjoy. “I feel like you don’t see videos like this anymore,” Ritter said. “Nowadays, it’s like you see the band performing, and two unrelated people and their plotline are just juxtaposed into the video, like you obviously know the band wasn’t even there when that was shot, and then they just put a sticker on it.”
Check back next week for Ritter’s account of collaborating with Rivers Cuomo for Weezer’s Raditude.