It took Banditos the better part of three years to film “The Breeze,” the newest video from the band’s Bloodshot Records debut.
Equal parts alt-country twang and garage rock bang, the album wears its influences proudly, recalling everything from ZZ Top‘s greasy boogie to the Alabama Shakes‘ coed soul. While wrapping up the video shoot for “The Breeze” with an all-day party on the Black Warrior River, though, Banditos had a different artist in mind.
“We were going after the Alan Jackson ‘Chattahoochee’ vibe,” says Corey Parsons, who shares lead vocals with two of his five bandmates. “We wanted to get some water skis so we could all ride behind the boat with cowboy hats on, but we didn’t take it that far. Instead, we just had a good time with our friends, spending all day and a good part of the night out there. We had fireworks at the end and got a little crazy, but Paddlefoot didn’t give a shit. He was egging us on.”
Paddlefoot was the homeowner — trailer owner, actually — who offered up his riverfront property in Oak Grove, Alabama, for the video shoot. The grandfather of the band’s videographer, Joshua Shoemaker, he was once Nascar driver. These days, Parson says, Paddlefoot is “in his 70s, but he’s still chasing women and getting drunk and being a badass.” That rowdy spirit set the tone for the Black Warrior River shoot, whose footage shows Banditos ripping through “The Breeze” aboard a boat for a small, sweaty audience.
Intercut throughout the video are shorter clips of campfires, traffic jams, city skylines, sunsets and long ribbons of highway stretching from one show to the next. Shoemaker and Albert Kuhne shot that tour footage over nearly three years, hitting the highway with Banditos whenever time allowed. Also featured is the band’s 1993 Ford Econoline van, nicknamed “The Bathroom,” whose death in Mississippi inspired the group to write an amped-up tribute to the vehicle that shuttled them through their dive bar days. “Wide eyed, white lines / On down the road I slide… Hey, don’t that breeze feel nice?” go the first few lines, set to a drumbeat that feels an awful lot like speeding.
Banditos will remain on the road all summer long, promoting the self-titled Banditos — which was released last month — which shows on both sides of the Atlantic.