Don’t blame the surreal imagery in Creed’s upcoming “One Last Breath” video on the painkillers Scott Stapp is taking for his injured neck and back. The singer drafted the bizarre treatment for the clip long before his car accident last month. And when he explained his ideas to director David Meyers, the two had a meeting of the minds.
“We found out that we both have a love and affection for [surreal painter Salvador] Dali that we didn’t know we shared,” Stapp said. “I wrote my treatment for the video and sent it to Dave, and then he added his input and we came up with what we think is a really exciting video.”
Much of the video was shot against a green screen, with computer animation used to create the strange setting in which the band performs.
“We’ve used surreal imagery in our artwork since the beginning,” Stapp said, “but this is the first video we’ve fully explored it in. ‘My Sacrifice’ kind of started the surrealism vibe, but we took this one to a different level. There are backdrops kind of like ‘Star Wars,’ with all these computer-generated cities and scenes that look real but they’re not.”
For Stapp, the otherworldly visuals in the clip complement sentiments he expresses in the song.
“I think in the normal, well-adjusted person’s mind, any thoughts of moving beyond this life are not real,” he said. “They’re just flash-in-the-pan, surreal thoughts that you would never act upon. And it’s also a song about crying out for help and realizing the mistakes you’ve made in your past and leaning on your friends and having your friends be there for you.”
Although he wouldn’t describe any of the video’s imagery in detail, Stapp said that as with Creed’s music, every element is there for a reason.
“It’s cool because there are all these things going on that leave you going, ‘Why are they there?’ But they mean something,” he said. “We don’t ever have something in any aspect of what we do that doesn’t have some kind of meaning.”
Since Creed shot the video the day after Stapp’s tour-delaying auto accident, the singer was in severe pain on the set and required a masseuse, a private doctor and medication to make it through the day. Fortunately, much of the video revolves around the surreal animation, so Stapp didn’t have to gesticulate much. When he did, his condition made his performance ring with extra emotion.
“It was the perfect video for me under the situation,” he said. “For most of it, I just stood and sang, and Dave told me, ‘I could really tell you were in pain for that last shot, and it was perfect for the song.’ He was glad I was in physical pain because he said it came across better, and I find that kind of humorous. I guess he was trying to cheer me up and say, ‘We’re getting some good out of this. Don’t be so down. Don’t think you’re failing and you’re not giving your 100 percent because I know you are and it’s coming off good.’ ”
Meyers isn’t the only face to return from the “My Sacrifice” shoot. The girl who starred in that video makes an encore as well, though securing her for the project was somewhat of an ordeal.
“She had just gotten done with a shoot in Argentina at 11 at night on Thursday, and we flew her from Argentina to Orlando to be there for a 6 a.m. shoot on Saturday,” Stapp said. “Poor girl. She was physically exhausted but she pulled through and did a really good job.”