Band of Heathens haven’t spared any effort on the music videos for their 2017 LP, Duende, and the effort would seem to be worth it. Whether it was the creatively shot sing-along for “All I’m Asking” or the patriotic weed ode of “Green Grass of California,” the Austin country rockers have clearly enjoyed every minute of screen time. Now they’ve taken it to the next level with their 360-degree video for “Sugar Queen.”
Setting out to create what singer and guitarist Gordy Quist calls “a fun Lebowski-esque-dream-sequence dance video,” Band of Heathens teamed up with Austin creative agency Hunt, Gather’s 360 virtual reality team and choreographer Lucy Wilson to bring the idea to life. The video, directed by Timothy Edwards and Monique Walton, gives all four members of the band their own quadrant, which get filled up – and gradually overrun – with dancing women who eventually commandeer the band’s instruments. Desktop users will have the best viewing experience with Chrome or Firefox, while smartphone users will want to watch via the YouTube app.
The song is about falling for a strong, empowered woman who likes to be in control, and being ok with that, so we had some fun with that idea and with all the visual options this 360 technology allows,” says Quist, who sings “Sugar Queen,” a swampy rocker that hearkens back to early Seventies-era Rolling Stones. “It’s really 4 or 5 videos happening at once all around you, so no matter where you’re looking in the video, you’ll be entertained. You really have to see it multiple times to catch everything going on.”
Just about all that’s missing for the full Coen Brothers effect are bowling pins, but The Dude would surely abide Ed Jurdi’s attack on a piñata. Duende, which was produced by Jim Vollentine, topped the Americana radio charts upon its release in January. Band of Heathens are currently on tour to support the album and play the Medocino Music Festival in Mendocino, California tonight.