Sedona-based decker. has been playing atmospheric desert-folk jams across Arizona and beyond for years, making multiple nationwide tours and earning a place on the main stage at last year's McDowell Mountain Music Festival.
The group's music possesses a certain quality that fills in the empty space at all its live shows. The warm sounds of its instruments creep in and keep every audience member planted in their space as if the venue is packed shoulder to shoulder. (Many times it is, especially in the Valley.)
The group's 2013 release Slider is easily one of the best albums to come out of Arizona this year. "I put every bit of my life on the line with that album," said frontman Brandon Decker. Musicians have turned that into a cliche over the decades, but for Decker and bandmate Kelly Cole, those words carry a deeper meaning.
Last week decker. unveiled the fourth music video off Slider, "Weight In Gold Pt. 2," which acts as a sequel to the last video, "Killing Me." With the new video decker. did more than just renew the characters and plot from "Killing Me" video, they also brought back the director, Sun Dawg Media's Matty Steinkamp.
"Me and Brandon [Decker] have been friends since college," Steinkamp says. "Since before decker. and Sun Dawg Media. He sent me the album and said, 'Pick out the songs you want to do videos for and let's do them.'"
Of course, Steinkamp is more than your average "buddy from college"; he's also one of Phoenix's premier music video directors. He has worked with the likes of Fayuca, Jared and The Mill, What Laura Says and Dry River Yacht Club, among a slew of other notable talent, and has had several of his videos air on MTV.
The video for "Killing Me" was made nearly a year ago, in February of 2013. The premise was of a young couple, played by the band's former bass player, Bryant Vazquez, and Melody Michelle, going on a Bonnie and Clyde, or Natural Born Killers-like rampage, according to Decker and Steinkamp.
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The video follows the couple as they rob a convenience store and then argue in the parking lot before jumping in the getaway car speeding off to a hideout to count their score and make love over the high of the heist. "There's so much to it. The first one was kind of like a whole Bonnie and Clyde kind of idea, Mickey and Mallory. Two people running anyway from the law and getting some type of high off of stealing and murdering," Steinkamp says. "There was a lot of stuff that was inspired right from Natural Born Killers. We took a lot, the whole idea started from that kind of idea, just two lovers intertwined together running from the law."
The video ends with Michelle taking her partner's life with a knife and taking off in the getaway car. "Weight In Gold Pt. 2" picks right up where "Killing Me" left off, with Michelle leaving the scene of the murder and the store clerk [Decker] hot on her trail with the aid of an accomplice [Cole.]
"The end was sort of... she couldn't handle the love, she couldn't handle the life, so she kills him and takes the money and runs," Steinkamp explains. The "Weight In Gold Pt. 2" video shows Decker and Cole traveling through rural Arizona towns like Jerome and Cottonwood chasing after Michelle.
The videos combine on-screen stories that are pretty easy to figure out with the ambiguity that's a decker. trademark.
"I enjoy going out and fucking around with friends and having projects to do that are a little bit out of the ordinary," Decker says. "I'm a real serious hard worker, and I'm a father, and I spend most of my time in one of those two roles, pretty engaged. This video was a fun break up from the business aspect of decker."
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The videos are part of decker.'s push to be in the national spotlight as a band. Their next Valley appearance will be on New Years Eve at the Mill Block Party before their Valentines Day date at the Sail Inn to release a new single, with a b-side by lead guitarist Daniel Tripp's project Field Tripp. The new single will also feature drums by Henri Bernard of Dry River Yacht Club.