When They Might Be Giants started as a band they would perform with the two members of the group plus a tape machine. They said that this approach led to a different sound than if they had a full band where they would figure out who would play what part. They could choose different instrumentation and different amounts of instrumentation as they pleased.
What if, though, you didn't really care about your band mates' feelings? You would have no qualms about excluding them entirely from a song you were recording. But what about the video?
More Than Words by Extreme:
In case it wasn't immediately obvious from this video, Extreme is a heavy metal band. There are four members to the band: the singer, Nuno Bettencourt, and the two other guys. The only people who play on this song, Extreme's biggest and only hit, are the singer and Nuno Bettencourt, though. Don't worry, those other guys are really important so they don't get left out.
The video opens with the sound of a humming amp.
We won't be needing those! Turn it off!
The bass player takes off his bass and walks away.
The drummer sets down his drumsticks and walks off.
It's like The Replacements, but for serious.
Finally, someone actually plays his instrument.
That man is the excellently named Nuno Bettencourt. If you, like I did, spent your childhood obsessively reading Guitar, Guitar World, and Guitar One magazines you would know his name well. It is a great name.
The singer and Nuno Bettencourt play sensitively.
The drummer looks on. He pretends to read a magazine like he doesn't care, but is seething with jealousy.
This shot is amazing. The director understands that the singer is sort of skeevy while Nuno Bettencourt is attractive and talented.
Look at that singer. He has three earrings in his left ear and none in his right. Is that because he's worried someone will think he's gay?
Seems like he's overcompensating.
Nuno Bettencourt isn't worried what anyone thinks. He's even wearing paint on his fingernails.
The bass player holds up a lighter for some reason.
Also, what is on his arm? Maybe he is a heroin addict? Did they accidentally catch him melting drugs in a spoon and now his is covering for it by holding the lighter up?
The drummer does the same thing.
I don't know why that annoys me so much, but it does. It's sort of sad and desperate. Like, look at me! Also, what's with his smile. Do they think it's funny? It isn't.
The song starts getting really emotional.
Just look at all the emotions on their faces!
Anger, loss, concern... boredom?
This guy is definitely feeling boredom.
Even a dog brings him no relief.
The drummer becomes engrossed in the magazine article.
It's probably a story about Extreme and he appears, out of focus, in the background of a bunch of pictures of Nuno Bettencourt.
We get one more shot of Nuno and then we're done.
I feel like the planning for this video had a bunch of uncomfortable conversations. The bass player and drummer were, like, where should we stand? And the director pleading looked at the singer and Nuno Bettencourt for guidance but they pretended not to notice. Finally he told them to just sit around and he'd try to get them into some shots. I feel sorry for those guys. All of them. I'm sure the bass player and drummer are very accomplished musicians. I'm sure the singer is fine. And I know Nuno Bettencourt is awesome. That's the danger of putting a sensitive acoustic song on your metal album. You might end up with a cross-over hit.
And then your band will break up.