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Good Charlotte takes off hamburger suits

Good Charlotte is ditching the vegetable costumes and getting serious in the clip for its new single, “We Believe.”

In the video — shooting Friday at Los Angeles’ Orpheum Theatre — the band takes the stage in an abandoned playhouse and performs the song while images of war and human suffering play on a movie screen behind it. It’s a far cry from the Fruit of the Loom antics Good Charlotte deployed for their last clip, but as director Sam Erickson explains, it was important to the band that the video stay loyal to the song’s serious themes.

“We worked hard to make sure that the video isn’t just a piece of fluff. The song mentions a woman who lost her kid and a war that no one cares about, so it was important to all of us that those themes come across,” he said. “The band says in the song that ‘we believe in love between people,’ so that has to be conveyed too. They want the video to make people think a little bit.”

As the song builds, the images on the screen begin to change, as the scenes of destruction and sadness (think newsreel footage of the Iraqi war and South Asian tsunami) are replaced with photos of cities being rebuilt and people of all ages and colors holding hands. The scene then shifts from the abandoned theater to city squares around the world, where protestors are linking arms and raising signs that read “We Believe.”

“Things start to become more hopeful, and we have people of all ages and ethnicities responding to the song,” Erickson said. “They’re holding up signs in all different languages and holding candlelight vigils. It reflects exactly what the song is about: having hope and faith in a world where so many terrible things happen.”

The video cuts back to the playhouse, which is now filling with light. As the song reaches its climax, it becomes apparent that Good Charlotte aren’t performing to an audience of screaming fans, rather, it’s a packed house of candles. The light of the candles represents, as Erickson puts it, “the power of people coming together.”

“It takes the energy of Good Charlotte’s big, grand performance and kicks it to another level,” he said. “We want the video to be simple, but also gorgeous and evocative. Hopefully, it’s a video that makes people feel better, too.”

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