The three members of Rascal Flatts have been a band for 20 years, but there was one point when they could have become a duo. During a recent media event, band member Jay DeMarcus revealed that he considered quitting the group at one point, sharing how the moment happened on the set of the band's infamous video for their song "I Melt." The video featured a shot of Joe Don Rooney's bare backside as well as a clip of one of the female leads taking a shower, and DeMarcus, who came from a Christian music background, hadn't been aware that the footage would be included.
"I didn't even know there was a nude scene in it," he recalled to PopCulture.com and other outlets. "I stormed off the set because I was very angry that we were going to put nudity in our video. That is the truth. I almost quit the band that day because our manager, Trey Turner did not tell me. And they sprung it on me at the shoot. And I thought, 'My Lord, I'll never be able to go back to [alma mater] Lee University again or stick my head back in a Baptist church anywhere, once this comes out.'"
"So I had a very adverse reaction to it at first," he continued, adding that when he saw the finished product, "it was tastefully done and it was okay." "We didn't discuss anything up until the shoot," DeMarcus said. "They might have talked to Joe Don, I don't know. But I didn't know that it was going down. Because I think they knew what my reaction was going to be."
Gary LeVox said that looking back on the video brought up "a lot of different emotions" for him. "For me, that was the first song I ever wrote with Neil [Thrasher] and Wendell [Mobley]. That was my first number one as a songwriter," he said. "And then, the ball was starting to roll. And then who'd known that it would have taken Lightening McQueen and Joe Don's butt to really blow those songs out of the water."
"It was just awesome to see Joe Don in the shower with no clothes," he joked. "We spent a lot of time together, but we'd never seen him like that."
"His acting skills during that whole entire shoot of being nude in the shower was just on point. It was Emmy-worthy," LeVox continued, reflecting on the mini-controversy the video caused. "And so it was funny because everything blew up and that's when we started getting on talk shows and [Jay] Leno and [David] Letterman and all of that stuff, then they would pixel out his booty and which made it seem like it was even worse than what it was, what it actually helped us in the long run. But yeah, it took Joe Don's butt to blow 'I Melt' up and get us on late-night TV. So we've been kissing his butt ever since."