A few weeks back, our VH1 News team caught up with Matthew McConaughey on the set of the music video for Butch Walker‘s “Synthesizers.” The song is partially a lament about the perils of growing older and becoming decidedly less hip, but it’s also a rallying cry about the merits of sticking to your guns and not chasing fads in an attempt to remain hip. These decidedly mixed messages make for an interesting song, but also for a thematically jumbled music video.
Reincarnating the character of Wooderson from Dazed And Confused for this video was a stroke of minor brilliance, as perhaps no one character in the recent history of cinema better represents how cool it can seem to be stuck in one’s ways. As the video begins, Wooderson —still wearing that same
Marley Nugent t-shirt, mannnnn— makes his way into a modern day Hollywood nightclub, packed to the gills with table dancing Snooki wannabes and LMFAO-style hipster d-bags. Not surprisingly, he looks older and, if you can believe it, even more stoned than when we last saw this character; McConaughey initially plays it so Wooderson looks tired, desperate and past his prime, allowing a forlorn look of despair to creep across his face, despite the fact that he’s trailed by two smokin’ hot ladyfriends. However, as soon as the chorus kicks in and the song’s tone shifts from plaintive to defiant, the vibe of the video changes (not for the better), and Wooderson morphs from being an over-the-hill stoner and into the Pied Piper of Clubland by, get this, playing a trumpet and a tiny toy piano.
We wish that the video would’ve stuck with its initial decision to showcase Wooderson’s evolution (or lack thereof) in an unflattering light, as it had the potential to be somewhat disturbing from a character development perspective and actually kind of emotionally moving (which music videos rarely accomplish). Instead, the end of the video sees Wooderson slinking off to the bathroom for a threesome. Yeah, we get it, even though he’s made a point of eschewing trendiness —it’s not like he hopped in the DJ booth and threw down some Skrillex or something— he’s still “cool” enough to get laid. Yay?
But then again, maybe we’re reading way too much into it! Let us know what you think in the comments below.
(Oh yeah, one last thing! Here’s an extended cut of the VH1 News interview from the set of the music video, one that leads us to believe that footage of porn star Ron Jeremy landed on the cutting room floor. Enjoy!)