A music video for “Freak on a Leash” was released on February 5, 1999, and debuted on Total Request Live. It was directed by Todd McFarlane who was assisted by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. The music video contains a mixture of animation and live performance footage.
The video won awards for Best Editing and Best Rock Video at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards and later received the Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video in 2000. It became the ninth video that was retired from Total Request Live on May 11, 1999. The music video was also featured on Deuce.
Jonathan Davis: [I wrote “Freak On A Leash” about] the music industry, entertainment in general — how the machine worked. The label, management, publishers, everything that it involved. Looking back on it, “Something takes a part of me” was [about how] they were taking the fun [out] of making music and making it a business.
You can ask anyone in my band, I hate the fucking music [industry] — I don’t give a fuck. I love singing and I love fucking making music and I don’t care about shit I don’t care about. I know it’s stupid, but this is how I roll. It was me lashing out, because when [we] started getting bigger after Life is Peachy and got a bigger budget, I [was] watching it become more of a business — gotta do this, gotta do that.
That’s what that song is about — I just felt like everyone was using and abusing me. Then that record just made it ten times worse. That’s how it goes, but it’s all good. Looking back, I think it’s amazing I get to do what I love for a living. It’s not work.
The animated music video for Do the Evolution was co-directed by Kevin Altieri, known for his direction on Batman: The Animated Series, and Todd McFarlane, better known for his work with the popular comic book Spawn and Korn’s 1999 Freak on a Leash video. The video was produced by Joe Pearson, the president of Epoch Ink animation, and Terry Fitzgerald at TME. It was written and developed by Pearson and Altieri with input from McFarlane and Vedder. The total production time on the music video was 16 weeks. The animation pre-production was produced by Epoch Ink Animation at their studio in Santa Monica, California. Under Altieri and Pearson’s supervision the Epoch team boarded and designed the short in less than six weeks. Once McFarlane, Vedder, and Sony gave their final approvals, the short was taken to Korea by Altieri and Pearson for animation at Sun Min Image Pictures and Jireh Animation. Over a four-week period, a team of more than one hundred artists worked to deliver the finished animation.
Once the final animation was back in Los Angeles, California, Altieri, McFarlane, and Vedder edited the final cut at Vittello Productions. In a press release, McFarlane stated, “We choose to work with people who convey a particular attitude and this video is a tribute to that attitude,” while Pearl Jam stated, “As artists we are challenged to expand the meaning of our work and by utilizing this visual medium and working with a visionary like Todd, we were able to further explore some of the themes we depicted in the song Do the Evolution. Basically we’ve tried to make a good stoner video.” The video premiered on August 24, 1998 on MTV’s 120 Minutes. The video was the band’s first since the final video for the song Oceans on the album Ten. At the 1999 Grammy Awards, the music video received a nomination for Best Music Video, Short Form. The video clip for Do the Evolution can be found on the Touring Band 2000 DVD as one of the Special Features.