Maroon 5 surprised fans on Saturday when the pop-rockers debuted a new video for their massive anthem “This Summer’s Gonna Hurt Like a Motherf—-r.” In under 48 hours, the clip could already be considered one of their best: The grainy, black-and-white footage follows frontman Adam Levine as he gets prepped backstage, roams the hallways of Wembley Arena, engages in a band huddle, and makes his way to the arena stage for a concert in front of thousands — all of it captured in (nearly) one unedited shot.
But the internet has lit up for another reason, too: The video captures a few seconds of Levine’s backside as he gets prepped in his dressing room.
So how did Maroon 5 pull off filming the video — and what does Levine think about baring his backside to the world?
“The intention was to shoot it all in one shot and we rehearsed it that way,” Travis Schneider, who co-directed the clip with Levine, tells EW exclusively. “However, there’s actually one cut within the clip.”
That’s not to say they didn’t have any cinematic ambitions for the video. Schneider reveals they were inspired by famous single-shot scenes, including Martin Scorsese’s 1990 classic Goodfellas and Elton John’s “I Want Love” video, starring Robert Downey Jr, and more.
“Ray Liotta as Henry Hill [in Goodfellas] leading his future wife into the Copacabana is one of the best shots of all time,” Schneider says. “We also spoke about [Alfred] Hitchcock’s Rope and a handful of music videos as well. Adam brought up Elton John’s ‘I Want Love’ video which Robert Downey Jr. is in and was done in one take. I knew immediately that I wanted it to feel like the music video for ‘Queer’ by Garbage that Stephane Sednaoui directed in 1995. It’s not one shot but the vibe, swagger, style and look is there. It’s one of the coolest feeling videos.”
Schneider adds the band had a few rehearsals to nail down the logistics of filming. And when it came time for Maroon 5 to perform at Wembley that night, “Adam did tell the crowd after their final song in their actual set that we were about to shoot a video,” Schneider says.
Of course, M5 fans have been chattering about the NSFW scene that kicks off the clip. So does Levine feel weird about flashing his bare bum for the world?
“I think he was hesitant to include it within the video,” Schneider admits. “He was going back and forth with it on the day before and day of, but ultimately decided that it wasn’t a big deal. It’s real. Before a show, he gets out of the shower, puts on a towel and takes it off to get dressed. It’s just how it is and believe it or not most people do have big butts. It’s absurd how much violence and drug use can be shown on TV, Twitter, Instagram etc. But a human ass is unacceptable. I think we both agree that standard has to change.”