|HOLLYWOOD — Tom Hanks isn't the only one climbing aboard an animated train this winter.
Velvet Revolver are planning what is sure to be a much wilder ride than "The Polar Express" for their "Dirty Little Thing" video, the third single from their debut album, Contraband.
"Basically the concept is the train's gonna be animated and everything on the outside is gonna be animated, and once you climb inside it's gonna be real human beings in there partying," drummer Matt Sorum explained. "We've always wanted to do an animated thing. I think Slash would look great animated."
Motion Theory — a directing team whose résumé includes Papa Roach's "Getting Away With Murder" and R.E.M's "Animal" — are directing the video, which will be inspired by Japanese artist Rockin' Jellybean, who designed Velvet Revolver's backdrop and is known for his edgy illustrations of sex goddesses and muscle cars.
"He's really sick and cool," bassist Duff McKagan said of Jellybean. "It'll be a crazy locomotive traveling around the planet."
Velvet Revolver will shoot the video next week, before heading to Las Vegas for shows on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.
"We'd love to play with the idea that the train travels around the world, but we want to break some rules and get as wild as Jellybean's ideas," Motion Theory wrote in their treatment. "We can take the train through monuments, city centers, change its scale or shape, and generally create the sense that this is an epic journey not only around the world, but through a hard-edged lifestyle."
The "Dirty Little Thing" video will debut in early 2005 while the band is touring overseas in Europe, Japan and Australia. A return trek through the U.S. is in the works for the spring.
"We are hoping to tour with Jet and Queens of the Stone Age," McKagan said. "We're just getting started really."
The group will return to the States on February 12 for the 47th annual Grammy Awards, where the veteran rockers are nominated for Best Rock Song for "Fall to Pieces," Best Hard Rock Performance for "Slither" and Best Rock Album for Contraband.
— Corey Moss, with additional reporting by Jennifer Vineyard