Whether making memorable moments, pushing the envelope with explicit imagery, cinematic technology, or just telling the gripping tale of well-thought-out storylines, music videos have always been a beacon of expression, which is why we took a look at the killer videos in Roadrunner’s long history to find ten of our most unforgettable. You’ve seen our universal choices for numbers 10 – 6, and now as we reveal our top 5, we get some insight from our Head of Video Promotions/ veteran employee Elias Chios as well as our artists on the cinematic excellence, groundbreaking creativity and overall bad-ass entertainment of these music videos. From the viral strength of DragonForce’s Sam Totman chugging a beer while Herman Li shreds, through Killswitch Engage’s Adam. D. playing a fair maiden, to Slipknot destroying a house in Iowa, we give you the finale of our worldwide-staff-approved Greatest Music Videos.
#5 DragonForce - "Through the Fire and the Flames"
This explosive performance-based video was directed by Julain Reich and while cited by Elias Chios as simply “Classic!” no one can explain it better than DragonForce guitarist Herman Li: “I remember we flew to Germany to make this video and it was really exciting, as it was to be the first DragonForce music video. In fact, none of us had been in a music video before. The concept behind it was to capture the DragonForce live energy as much as possible. Since it was our first video, it was pretty low budget, but we worked our ass off with the director to get the energy of the band and the song across as much as possible. After filming for over 12 hours, it was time to do the solos. Somehow we left it last and I have no idea why we did that. Sam and I were feeling really tired then, so Sam decided to crack open the beer, as if drinking was gonna wake him up! Right in the middle of filming my second solo, I suddenly heard the director shouting ‘Yes, this is awesome. Sam! Keep drinking, don’t stop!’ You can see in the final video that was exactly what happened in the moment; it wasn’t acted out. Despite the low budget, I really like how it was able to introduce the band’s unique music style further around the world and gave the viewer a glimpse of DragonForce’s explosive energy. The feedback on the ‘Through the Fire and Flames’ video has been absolutely incredible world-wide. It has over 27 million views on just one of the many YouTube posts out there! We never expected to be in the top 10 list and we are really stoked to be in the top 5! Thanks, see you on tour in 2011!” Watch it below and for more from DragonForce and Inhuman Rampage, go right here!
#4 Stone Sour - "Through Glass"
A reactionary song to the big business of star-search type TV shows, Stone Sour’s “Through Glass” has been described by Corey Taylor as a “very angry song” to which he questions the sincerity of the music generated by those mediums. To further get the point across, the band enlisted renowned director Tony Petrossian to construct a video that plays on the concept of reality and focus on the plasticity of entertainment. Our music video authority Elias Chios explains, “This is one of my personal all time favorite Roadrunner videos. The visual trickery, you will see momentarily (if you haven’t already) involves freezing a moving image and exposing the still in one seamless motion. Imagine this… say CC DeVille is hanging out at your house party having a cocktail and all of a sudden he becomes a standup cardboard cutout and you can pick him up put him under your arm and and place him in your kitchen so you have a buddy while cooking up a grilled cheese with bacon.. yeah, it’s like that. Just fantastic, memorable eye candy. I won’t ever get sick of this one. This track really took Stone Sour to new heights and cemented them as a legit rock powerhouse.” Watch it below and for more from Stone Sour and Come What(ever) May, go right here.
#3 Nickelback - "Rockstar"
Featuring endless cameos from celebrities of all walks of fame as well as regular joes from all over the world, the video for Nickelback’s “Rockstar” doesn’t even feature the band themselves until the very last frame. A playful take on the global wish to be a rockstar, this video captivates all who watch it -- if not only to see who will show up singing along onscreen next! As our videos expert Elias Chios puts it, “This song is something every music lover can relate to, no matter the genre -- and the video for it highlights that to a T. Who hasn’t wished they were a rockstar or at least be able to live that rockstar life? Please, you know you have. People from all walks of life have; that’s what makes this video so great. It took a long time to make and yes, the crew travelled the globe to film it. It’s got something [ed. note: or somebody!] for everyone!” Watch it below and for more from Nickelback and All the Right Reasons go right here.
#2 Killswitch Engage - "Holy Diver"
Covering Dio is no easy task, and not only did Killswitch Engage nail the classic track, but the jokesters made a video equally as memorable in acting out a Medieval Times-worthy storyline. In full costume. Says Chios, “A killer rendition of a classic tune with a hilarious twist. Hands down the funniest video not only Killswitch ever made, but ROADRUNNER. When you take a metal band that in their videos have been quite serious up to a certain point, then throw everyone for a loop and deliver a comedy… We all know KsE have a comedic side to them, but this was just a killer over-the-top way to bring that out.” Bassist Mike D. sheds some light on the making of the video, explaining, “Adam picked out the characters for the Holy Diver shoot beforehand. I was the heroic "Knight" (because I am short and the most non-hero like member of the band), Joel was the "Evil Wizard" (because he just looks like one), Justin was the "King" (because of his powerful red beard), Howard was the "Blacksmith" (for obvious reasons), and Adam picked himself as the "Princess" (go figure). I remember pulling up at the video shoot for Holy Diver at 5:30AM in the morning in beautiful Cali vineyard country. I was dressed in my rubber "armor" and XXXL sweats and shooting by 6AM. It was a fun day until the summer heat kicked in around 11AM and the temp climbed up to 98 degrees (sun stroke was not far behind). Since the knight was the main character, I was shooting constantly, I remember feeling bad for the rest of the guys since they had to stay in costume all day although they only had a few shots to do. We wrapped my part at 2AM the next day… it was a long and tiring shoot, but our best video to date, hands down.”
#1 Slipknot - "Duality"
Filmed on location at a fan’s house in Des Moines, Iowa, our number one video “Duality” shows the masked 9 of Slipknot ultimately playing a house party. But with director Tony Petrossian’s touch, and the help of a rowdy crowd, the aggressive nature of the song takes over in a destructive fury -- resulting in MASS damages to the house (which have since been re-paid!) Giving more insight is our video authority Elias Chios, who says, “#1 and rightfully so! This is the best video Slipknot ever made, in my humble opinion. It captures everything they are about: The art, the violence, the insanity, the frantic energy from which everything is born and of course the loyalty and gratitude to their fans, the maggots. How much fun it must have been to completely destroy a house? I’m gonna guess a shit load. This song and video is a defining moment in their career. Over the years, Slipknot’s mystique, brutally beautiful performances and their sacred relationship with their fans created a true legend. This video really put it all in perspective and engaged those that put aside the band for whatever reason.“ Watch it below and for more on Slipknot and Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses go right here.
If you missed Numbers 10 - 6 in our Ten Greatest Music Videos In Roadrunner History series, go right here to watch them all.