Brandon Decker discusses touring, new album and Valentine's Day show
If you don’t have plans for Valentine’s Day, you do now. Decker. is co-headlining the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre show at The Sail Inn. The Sedona band is unlike any other desert folk rock band. Poignant lyrics have become the hallmark of decker. and its last album, “Slider,” was well-received as fans discovered a heartbreaking and sincere album in which every song was brilliantly executed.
As the band prepares to release a new album in July, singer and songwriter Brandon Decker sat down with The State Press in a phone interview to discuss tours, the upcoming release, and the Valentine’s Day show.
The State Press: You will have a dual release with Field Tripp at the show, but your new album won’t be released until the summer. What song are you releasing at the show?
BD: Our fifth EP will come out this summer. We have this song I kind of consider my magnum opus called “Cellars” and we recorded it over the winter. We just want to get this song out on recording. It’s what we close all our shows with, and I would say every time we play a bigger, higher-profile show, everyone wants to know where to get it. So we decided to get it out there to the public.
SP: YabYum named “Slider” their “Album of the Year.” What was your reaction to that?
BD: YabYum has always been really supportive and kind to us. I can appreciate them more as people and champions of art. It’s a very nice thing to have someone connect. I’m very grateful any time anyone connects with my music. I would say if there’s anything about what I’m doing when I first write songs is just trying to share a kind of vulnerable, honest spot. And that’s not for everybody, certainly not everybody wants to hear that. So the people that do connect with it, it resonates with them, and I’m always really excited.
SP: That really comes off especially in “Slider” — “Weight in Gold Pt. 1” and “Killing Me” are just brilliant songs. What’s your songwriting process like?
BD: Oh, depression. No, I’m just kidding. I don’t want to try to sound like any of the great, great artists, but when you hear a lot of these people talk about it they kind of describe it as its own entity. It comes out in its own time, in its own way. Every song is a bit different. I suppose for me, it’s just some kind of serendipitous connection of where a feeling and a melody, and some words, all come together at the right time, in the right way. Every time one happens, I feel very fortunate. Sometimes it comes in flurries, and sometimes it goes months and months without it happening. That’s your job just to stick with it, it feels like such a blessing whenever it happens. The times I will try to directly write or sit down and be in that zone, I don’t feel that really works for me all that often. “Slider,” for instance, all those songs were written in about a three-week period of time.
SP: You toured a lot for that album. Do you enjoy touring?
BD: We’ve done a lot of touring over the last five years. I like to tour; it’s a nice experience to have these little communities of musicians that we get to go touch in on and be a part of for a night or two a few times a year, and to have a different audience of people to share our music with. Touring doesn’t even feel like much a choice as much of a compulsion.
SP: You seem to have a close-knit group of fans. Do you recognize a lot of the same faces when you’re touring or do you get a high influx of new fans?
BD: We’re always trying to make new connections, and I don’t mean that in some business way, but in a personal way. I will say one thing we’ve noticed is that the people that connect, they become instant friends, and we end up sleeping on their couches and having coffee with them in the morning after the show. And once you have that connection, you’re friends at that point.
SP: Your new album is titled “Patsy.” What can you tell us about that album?
BD: “Patsy” is going to pick up where “Slider” left off. There are some songs that I feel are more succinct than a lot of “Slider.” On “Slider” we let every song take its course and there are a lot of long songs. The unfortunate aspect of that is I felt there were a lot of avenues where it never really got to get any justice because the songs are just too long. A lot of “Patsy” is a little more succinct in the approach, apart from “Cellars,” which is the longest song I’ve ever written. It’s a little bit of everything.
SP: “Slider” was definitely very emotionally charged. Would you say “Patsy” is the same way?
BD: All of my music is emotionally charged, lyrically. I would say it’s a different stage of my existence. “Slider” was primarily coming to terms with the loss of a relationship that was really profound in my life and I’m not really in that spot necessarily. Songwriting is really personal for me so it’s kind of just whatever themes I’m thinking about. For “Patsy,” I’d prefer to let people have their own experience with what it means to them.
SP: What are you mostly looking forward to with the Valentine’s Day show?
BD: We are looking forward to having a wonderful holiday evening and sharing this release with Field Tripp, they’re a very important and inspirational band to us and we love them. I’m excited to get down to Tempe and have a good, big show with some bands that we like energetically. And ultimately to give people a chance to connect with this song. I think it’s one of the most important songs that I’ve written. For me it’s one of my favorite songs of ours, at least yet. I’m vastly excited for people to have a chance to have it and hear it.
Decker. will be performing at The Sail Inn on Friday, Feb. 14. Admission is $10 and the first 100 people to arrive will receive free CDs from decker. and Field Tripp. The show begins at 8 p.m. You can also download decker.’s new song, “Cellars,” for free here until Saturday morning.
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