For a New York-based band, the desert might seems like a surprising setting for a music video but when garage duo BOYTOY decided to spend their winter in Los Angeles last winter, it became way too cool of a choice to pass up.
The video for “Your Girl” (from BOYTOY’s 2015 album Grackle) was directed by fellow New Yorker Braydon Olson, who happened to be in Los Angeles while the band was in town. “I always liked his still photos and when I saw the video he made for the Fences for their song “Judy” I wanted to work with him for a music video and he was down to take on the project,” said Utracht-Oakner. “We met up in LA and all discussed video ideas and possibilities and potentials.” The group decided to go on a camping trip in the desert and shoot the video during their stay.
Although the title Grackle was partly inspired by a Mexican folk tradition about a bird that does not have a voice of its own so it steals the songs of other creatures, BOYTOY says that did not play into the video concept or choice of Southwestern landscape. “After making our last music video we were ready to do something prettier and since none of us had ever been to Joshua Tree it seemed like the perfect location. I think the only real folklore it plays into is the ole’ hippie in a desert does acid, climbs rocks, loses suitcase,” said Van Dyke.
About that suitcase. In the video you can see the band’s red and brown suitcases. Utracht-Oakner had used the brown one to carry her pedals, which she had taken out already to shoot about 100 yards away from the group’s campsite. “There didn’t seem to be anyone else around,” said Utracht-Oakner. Even Van Dyke had taken the car to run an errand. After filming a bit more, Olson and Utracht-Oakner went back to camp for a break, leaving the suitcase and a prop bat near a bush and a rock.
“When we went back to the site fifteen minutes later my suitcase was gone. The bat was there but the suitcase was nowhere to be found. I felt crazy for awhile about it. Like someone stole my suitcase in the middle of the desert, or the desert worms ate it, or a black hole or something. It still bugs me. Who has my suitcase?” Utracht-Oakner said.
“See, this is the folklore I was talking about,” said Van Dyke.
Thankfully, no other mysterious happenings interrupted the shoot, and you can hardly tell from watching the final video that the set may or may not have been affected by a real life or mythical mischief-maker. Utracht-Oakner and Van Dyke are cool as cucumbers in their hot desert surroundings, jamming on their guitars (a Fender “pawn shop series strat/tele” and Gibson Les Paul, respectively) among sand, sun, and cacti.
This fall, Boytoy will head overseas to tour Europe (a first international tour for both the musicians), accompanied by Chase Noelle from Thelma and the Sleaze on drums. They are also planning for a new album for 2017. In the meantime, they hope to have a new 7” ready to go before they hit the road and they aim to press it in multiple concepts.
“We recorded it in a studio I share with a couple dudes so for the next week or so I’ll be mixing and then printing it all to tape,” said Van Dyke. “We might press dub plates to have something new while we finish writing the rest of this next record. It’d be cool to have these 7″ concepts all be on dub plates so that they each have their own little character.”
Check out the video for “Your Girl” below. Grackle is out now on PaperCup Music .