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My Darkest Days, ‘Porn Star Dancing’ — Video

Island Def Jam

How does a young unknown rock band get Nickelback‘s Chad Kroeger, rapper Ludacris and guitarist Zakk Wylde to appear in their video? You get a few dozen strippers and leggy bikini-clad models to join them. Well, that’s not entirely true. All three musicians appeared on the groovy rock single ‘Porn Star Dancing’ by Canada’s My Darkest Days long before they were lured to Vegas for the shoot.

Kroeger has actually been working with MDD singer Matt Walst, brother of Three Days Grace bassist Brad Walst, for several years and signed the Pickering, Ontario-based band to his Mountain View/604 label, then licensed their album to Mercury/Island Def Jam for the rest of the world. It is due out in August.

“The shoot was supposed to be in New York,” says MDD guitarist Sal Costa. “It was going to be a performance in a strip club with the possibility of having Chad, Ludacris and Zakk in the video. They’re on the song and they wanted to confirm being in the video, but everyone’s schedules were ridiculous.”

As the date for the shoot loomed two days later and the flights weren’t even booked, there was a welcome change of plan — Las Vegas!

“Chad was on vacation; Zakk Wylde was in L.A.; and Luda was in Vegas filming a video, so it was a lot easier to go to Vegas,” Costa explains. “In two days, we went through three different directors. We wanted a director familiar with the Vegas area, who could put together a crew quickly.”

Director Brendan Kyle Cochrane was quick to act. The location would be the Hard Rock Resort, which comes complete with stripper poles. Half of the video was filmed inside the Vanity Nightclub; the other half on the roof with some scenes shot from helicopters. The band — Walst, Costa, drummer Doug Oliver, bassist Brendan McMillan — can be seen simply performing the song as the girls danced all around them and did their thing, with interspersed non-performance shots as the girls touched them, gyrated over them or straddled them. Wylde plays his guitar solos; Kroeger sings his part while one girl caresses him; and Ludacris raps and is a bit more hands off.

“It’s like a rap video essentially, but with a rock song to it,” Costa laughs. “It’s supposed to be sexual. It wasn’t done in a cheesy way. I think it was done really well.” There are a few versions of the video, including the ‘extended uncensored.’

Walst, who grew up in the small town of Norwood, Ontario, admits, “I used to be freaked out about strip clubs. I wasn’t too into it. I wasn’t the guy that was always going to them, because I always thought it was for the uglier dude that couldn’t get chicks. I never really had a problem with girls, so I just found it was a waste of money, but I now think it’s a cool aspect that you can go and pay money to these women and they’ll do the craziest stuff, some even over the top in the back that they shouldn’t be doing — and we met a bunch of them in Vegas.”

My Darkest Days are currently on an extensive U.S. tour with Sick Puppies, ending Aug. 11 in Little Rock, Ark. The band is expected to join Hinder, then play some dates with Avenged Sevenfold, Godsmack and Puddle of Mudd. There is also talk of a Nickelback tour after that.

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