May 16, 2007
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SJP


Sum 41 drummer busy director
By -- For JAM! Music


As of this week, Sum 41 drummer Steve Jocz will have directed five music videos, including the brand new Sum 41 single, "Underclass Hero," and The Operation M.D.'s "Someone Like You," the second video for bandmate Cone McCaslin's side project, which they shoot tomorrow (May 17) in Toronto.

Jocz, who now lives in Los Angeles, won't discuss the concept for "Someone Like You," which McCaslin sings, because the treatment often changes on shoot day, but he happily talks about "Underclass Hero."

Shot over-night last week in L.A. with co-director Marc Klasfeld, who did Sum 41 videos "Fat Lip," "In Too Deep," "Still Waiting" and "We're All To Blame," Jocz says he wrote the treatment for it, then brought it to Klasfeld and they worked on it together.

"It's kinda like a punk rock bonfire," Jocz says. "In the States, before football games they have big bonfires. In [the movie] 'Grease' there's one.

"Originally, the idea was to have a half-time show, like at the Superbowl, but we were like, 'How the f**k are we supposed to fill a sports arena?' So we changed it to that because I remembered there's that scene in Grease where Danny sees Sandy and she's in a cheerleader outfit and they burn something in effigy and there's all this chaos. So we did a punk rock version of that. There's a marching band and cheerleaders and there's a 20-foot bonfire and fireworks. It's a lot of fun."

The other bands for which Jocz has directed videos are also Canadian -- The Midway State, whose 2006 self-titled piano-based rock EP was produced by Gavin Brown (Billy Talent, Three Days Grace), and punk rock act One Second 2 Late, which is working with Sum 41's former manager Greig Nori and Avril Lavigne's former drummer Matt Brann.

The Midway State's "Change For You" can be seen on YouTube -- great song, great frontman, great and subtle video.

"It's like one take where the room changes. It's hard to explain," says Jocz. "It's pretty simple. It was one full three-and-a-half-minute take, where you zoom in and out and by doing that, you change the set without the scene having changed. The whole band sort of appears and reappears over and over again."

As for One Second 2 Late's "The Fear Of A Nation," Jocz says "That one was actually difficult for me. There was no budget. We're still editing it. We had to get a new editor. It's just been a f**kin' nightmare to be honest [laughs].

"The concept was based on [the movie] 'The King Of Comedy,' where there's a scene where Rupert Pupkin [Robert Di Niro] is talking to an imaginary audience in his basement.

"[The movie is] about a crazy person who wants to be on a Johnny Carson type show and he keeps fantasizing about being the comedian on the show and he pretends [he is] and he interviews himself. Anyway that was the idea. And then the band changed the lyric.

"I think it's going to end up pretty good, but it was just a bit difficult, that's all. It was still a good experience, but so far the most difficult."

Jocz first showed his directing skills on the hilarious Operation M.D. video for the Toyko-Brit-pop single, "Sayonara."

"I just came up with that on the fly," Jocz says. "I was with Cone and he said, 'Do you want to shoot the video?' and for some reason I just thought about 'Monty Python and The Meaning Of Life,' where they give birth to the baby and it starts with a woman being burst through those double doors and I thought that would go good. I just thought because of the lyrics that I should turn it into a love triangle thing.

"It was a lot of fun casting the girl though because we had a bunch of girls come in and pretend they were giving birth, and one girl actually didn't know what was happening. She was waiting and she just heard a bunch of noises that sounded like we were having sex or something and she wasn't sure what was happening so she just got up and ran out [laughs]."

So are all these videos a stepping-stone to the ultimate I'm-going-to-direct -a-feature-film goal?

"Well, I'm definitely trying to teach myself how to do that, writing screenplays and stuff," says Jocz. "I have a lot of friends who are doing that.

"I've never really been interested in creating my own music, like writing music or recording other people's songs. I love music; I like playing it, but I'm not interested in making it. Music videos are fun while you learn the whole side of things because it's a quick turn-around. You can come up with the quick funny idea and turn it into something that can be good or bad."

And someone else is paying for it, he's reminded.

"Yeah, somebody else is paying for it. It's almost like film school. I have so many friends through our videos, like Klasfeld who I've asked a million questions or George Vale, guys that have worked with us on Sum 41 videos and I still talk to, so they are my film school [laughs]. I've always liked videos. Like Cone and [Sum 41 frontman] Deryck [Whibley] really like the recording thing and I've just always gravitated towards the visual stuff."


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