WET 'N' WILD

Emerson Drive makes a splash

The night before Emerson Drive shot the video for their new hit, "Fall Into Me," the group's manager called lead singer Brad Mates. "He said, 'Do you like swimming? Because tomorrow you're going to be doing a few scenes in the water,'" recalls Brad. "I said, 'What kind of scenes?'"

"You're going to be making out with an actress," the manager replied.

But it wasn't your average make-out-with-a-video-babe scene - Brad had to pucker up underwater.

"It was weird," explains Brad, "because I've never kissed anybody underwater. It was an experience, that's for sure. I had to do the kissing scene over and over, about five or six times. When we finally saw the video, the kiss was only three seconds long - but it took 45 minutes to film!"

The other guys in Emerson Drive - keyboardist Chris Hartman, guitarist Danick Dupelle, bassist Jeff Loberg, drummer Mike Melancon and fiddler Pat Allingham - had less kissable co-stars. "They shot a lot of their scenes with sharks," reports Brad. "We shot most of the video in a shark tank at the Newport Aquarium in Newport, Ky. It was neat because they had a tunnel with a glass top - and in the video you can see the sharks and fish swimming right over us."

"Fall Into Me" is the band's second video - and the first one with a storyline. "'I Should Be Sleeping' was more of an introduction to everybody," says Brad of the band's debut, which reached the Top 5. "The song 'Fall Into Me' talks about a girl who's had her heart broken and doesn't want to take it off the shelf for anybody else. Then someone comes along and wants her to open her heart again."

Since hitting it big with their debut tune, the boys in Emerson Drive have been hitting it hard on the road. "We do 20 to 23 shows a month," says Brad. "Right now we're booked until mid-December.

"The most exciting part is seeing people come out to our shows because they know 'I Should Be Sleeping.' People have bought the CD and now they're singing along with the songs - for us that's the most incredible thing. People actually pay money to see Emerson Drive play! It's such a great feeling."

And according to Brad's bandmates, so is getting to kiss strange women and call it work. "Now the other guys want to be in lead parts in future videos if we have kissing scenes," laughs Brad. "I've had my turn."

-- Wendy Newcomer

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