Classic music videos are great archeological finds. Digging up an old video from when your favorite musician was going through a phase, trying something new, or just getting their sea legs always gives you amazing insight into an artist’s development. Case in point, as far as I was concerned when I woke up this morning, Skillet‘s John Cooper had always been a hipster-beared, pebbled-leather-loving Christian rock singer (with, admittedly, beliefs we consider pretty backwards and ignorant). But thanks to seeing the video for “Best Kept Secret” from Skillet’s 2000 album Invincible (big props to Gig Tapes for posting this gem, by the way), I now know that once upon a time, John was a bleach-blonde Matrix enthusiast who wanted to teach listeners how much Jesus loves sleeveless pleather shirts.

First of all, we can all agree: Orgy, right? In 2000, Skillet wanted to be Orgy, by the looks of the “Best Kept Secret” video. “Blue Monday” had come out two years earlier, The Matrix would come out one year later, and Christian media is for the most part about a year behind what’s currently cool, resulting in “Best Kept Secret.” Though, then again, that’s not entirely fair to Skillet, because there were a million bands trying to look and sound exactly like this at the time. So never mind, Skillet weren’t uncool because their Christianity somehow set them back. That’s small of me to say.

They were uncool because HOLY SHIT, LOOK AT WHAT THEY’RE WEARING! As a song, “Best Kept Secret” is a typical 2000 hard rock radio song that could be about either Christ or a beautiful girl no one else notices. But WHUFF, these outfits! The vinyl bodysuits, the Missy Elliot garbage-bag get-up on drummer Lori Peters (guess the Bible won’t let you wear a skintight catsuit?), the spiked longsleeve Cooper rocks during the video’s poorly-scraped-together sci-fi narrative…and the HAIR! God knows how many sea turtles died in the plastic six-pack rings those cans of Aquanet came in.

It’s funny, because they are working SO HARD to be sexy without being sexy. The outfits, the attitude, the dance moves — all of them project sex (and with the outfits, some really RAD sex, too!). But this was obviously meant for a Christian rock audience, so they have to keep the sex in very careful boundaries. It’s a fascinating line to walk, and man, do these guys walk it.

Jesus, I had no idea Skillet were ever like this. Well, I bet you did, though, huh, J-Dogg? Because they were praying to you every night, saying, Lord, let my synth accents be true, and my choruses be bright in a way that offsets my dark, menacing verse melody. I bet you were looking down from your dad’s right hand, being like, “For my sake, what the fuck is even going on down there?”

Check out Skillet’s “Best Kept Secret” video below and hope it saves your immortal soul.