Music Video of the Day: One Step Closer by Linkin Park (2001, dir. Gregory Dark)

Yesterday I heard about the passing of Chester Bennington of Linkin Park. I have never been fan. I never really kept up on their career. However, I would feel remiss not doing a Linkin Park video today, so I picked the one video that did have a part in my life up to this point.

When this came out in 2001, I was 17 going on 18. Since I am part of whatever you want to call the transgenerational gap between Gen X and Millennials, my music as a kid was stuff like Nirvana or The Offspring. In other words, the Gen X bands of the early 90s. Despite the fact that I was in elementary and middle school during that time, watching Singles (1992) earlier this year when Chris Cornell also left us (his birthday was yesterday) was like looking through a time portal to an era I distinctly remember.

Britney Spears, Limp Bizkit, Backstreet Boys, and Blink-182 were the kind of musicians that popped up and flooded MTV and VH1 during the late 90s. Of course back then, you didn’t have a choice as to what videos you were going to see when you turned on the television. It’s not like it is today where if I want to watch Fat Lip by Sum 41, then I can, and then watch any other music videos I want for months or years before returning to watch that video. No such luck back then. If those weren’t the people you wanted to see, then too bad. As a result, I looked to the lists of greatest musicians that VH1 was putting out, and music documentaries in order to begin to fill in the music that came before my time–something I’m still doing to this day. That was me in high school. I was listening to The Velvet Underground while riding out musicians like the ones I already mentioned.

In 2001 I was in my last semester of high school. I’d been on permanent independent study for at least two-and-a-half years at that point. I watched a lot of TV, which didn’t help those musicians because it meant that I was probably seeing their video 2-3 times a day, everyday. That’s not a good thing. Aside from shows like TRL or the handful of videos VH1 played, there seemed to be no other outlet unless you were willing to be up early in the morning when MTV still played videos. Then I discovered that I had MTV2. They played all kinds of stuff. It was wonderful. This is where I remember Linkin Park first showing up on my radar. They showed up with this arguably embarrassing video. They looked and sounded like I would expect Backstreet Boys to be if they tried to combine rap with metal. They did nothing for me.

After I moved onto college and this video stopped being shown, the band basically disappeared from my life. It wasn’t until I transferred to Cal in 2007 that they showed up again. I don’t remember if my first roommate liked their music or not, but they came up. I was rooming with a freshman, so they were probably 10-11 when this came out. This was not the Linkin Park my roommate knew.

In the years that followed, I would hear them on the radio, and it wasn’t this Linkin Park. At the time of writing this, a new Linkin Park video was released for the song Talking To Myself. That is not the band in this video at all. They came a long way from my unfortunate introduction to them in presentation, style, and the place I was in at the time of its release. It’s doubtful that I’ll ever develop the kind of deep connection that many people have to the band. They slipped through the cracks in my life leaving only the memories of them that I have stated above.

Would I have written about this video at some point even if this tragedy hadn’t happened? Yes, I would have. While on the fringes, this video has stuck with me all these years. It would’ve essentially been the same thing I already wrote above about how much they changed while I wasn’t looking. It just wouldn’t have had to be in a somber tone, I would have had some fun with how ridiculous the video looks, made a comparison with It’s My Life by Bon Jovi, and it would have been wonderful to not have to include the following:

Rest in peace, Chester Bennington.


Now I need to talk a little bit about the crew because this may have one of the most unique directors I have come across while doing these posts. Gregory Dark got his start making adult films. I’ve only seen one of his movies–New Wave Hookers (1985). It is infamous for having Traci Lords in it. Well, had her in it, since the version that is available has her edited out, which is the version I saw–thankfully. The movie is bonkers, colorful, funny, has a humorous setup, and is so 80s it hurts–much like this video is so 2001 it hurts. That film seems to have kickstarted his career.

Looking at Dark’s filmography, it appears that about a decade later he moved into music videos. I can find credits for about 70 of them. I know that Michael Bay made an adult film while also doing music videos. But I’m pretty sure this is the first video I’ve spotlighted that was made by someone who had made a career out of making them.

The video was edited by prolific editor Jeff Selis. He’s done over 100 videos. Even with only 372 of these posts, this is already the third video he edited that I have put up here.

The concept for the video came from Linkin Park member Joe Hahn–according to IMVDb. According to Wikipedia, the video was originally supposed to be like the one released yesterday. He would go on to direct a bunch of their videos.

Toni Jo Peruzzi did the make-up for the video. For her, I can only find a handful of credits.

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