Lucero front man Ben Nichols had a pretty clear idea what he didn’t want to do with new music videos from the band’s 2015 album, All a Man Should Do.
“Every other treatment we’ve gotten is ‘Ben’s sitting in a bar drinking by himself and he sees a girl, and there’s a motorcycle and the band’s playing and the girl turns and walks away and he doesn’t get the girl,'” says Nichols, calling from the road between the twangy Memphis band’s tour stops in Florida. “It’s all whiskey and bars and cars and girls that look like rockabilly chicks. We’re like, ‘No, we’ve heard that before and we don’t need to make that video.'”
Instead Nichols and band partnered with husband-wife video production and direction team Endless Endless (Adam and Sara Heathcott) for a much more ambitious project, which begins with this premiere of the video for “Baby Don’t You Want Me.” The clip for the song — a decidedly bummed-out plea to a lover — follows the hard-touring band through typical tour stops in Chicago and Bloomington, Indiana. They soundcheck, they hang out backstage and finally they entertain the crowds. That reality aspect gets blended with a narrative that involves Nichols leaving the venue to look for someone who is never actually seen.
“It’s supposed to keep you guessing and, yes, there’s numerous possibilities,” Nichols says. “For Adam and Sara there was a certain element of maybe he’s singing to a person, [or] maybe he’s singing to the road and to the lifestyle. There’s definitely still an element of searching for something but they keep it fairly mysterious.”
Keen viewers will notice the red apples that appear in several scenes as well as a few other more subtle Easter eggs hidden throughout. Those will set up a related story in the videos for the songs “Can’t You Hear Them Howl” and “The Man I Was.” Originally “Howl” was going to be the first video from All a Man Should Do, but Lucero’s label balked at the concept — a woman tracking something in the snowy tundra — and the fact that it didn’t feature the band at all. The trilogy offered a way to ease people in and the label relented.
“They were like, ‘Eh, alright, I guess that’ll do,'” says Nichols. “Then they saw what the [directors] put together and they were like, ‘Ooh, a video series. This is awesome!’ I’m like, finally! Come on, people! I think it worked out for the best.”
Parts 2 and 3 won’t be complete until 2016 and Nichols says he’s not even sure where the final story is heading at this point.
“Once they’re all done, after seeing everything, then I can actually give you an honest opinion on what I think the story arc means and how it all ties together,” he says, laughing. “Right now I’m just kind of guessing.”