Dusting off his songwriting chops and heading back to the studio, Brandon Decker of Sedona’s decker. laid down his dusty desert folk on the soon-to-be-released Patsy in Tucson.
Following the local and national acclaim of the band’s last full-length record, Slider, Patsy takes a look at the scapegoats of history with Decker’s trademark folksy, expansive sound as it’s released in Phoenix on Saturday, February 21 at Last Exit Live.
College Times: Slider received a lot of praise when it was released. Do you feel a lot of pressure following it up?
Decker: I certainly feel a drive or compulsion to be better at my craft and my life in general. Not so much in terms of what Slider was or was not, but we definitely wanted this record to be a growth and be the best it could be. Every one of these—I’ve done 5 now—is a challenge to do it better. I think I definitely had the idea to not sacrifice on anything.
I read that you wrote the album’s title track after reading about Lee Harvey Oswald for a few hours. What’s the fascination with him?
I’d say the initial Patsy idea was kind of incidental at best. I had decided I wanted to put out an EP in 2014 and call it Patsy. Lee Harvey Oswald imagery was certainly at the forefront when I thought this up but it wasn’t really fleshed out so much. As usually happens, a few last-minute songs came about and they were definitely written with the intent of this theme of being a patsy. The album is songs of the everyman; songs about how our lives are reactive by nature, about survival instinct and grappling with certain inevitability and motivations. Right before we hit studio, I decided I needed a song about Lee Harvey Oswald. That said, a buddy recently pointed out to me the truth that, no matter where you stand, the Kennedy assassination was one of the most important moments of the 20th century and my fascination deals with what I would consider certain obvious improprieties
Tell me a little about the recording process. Why did you choose to do it in Tucson?
WaveLab/Craig Schumacher had made two of my favorite records: Slush back in the mid-90’s from a band called OP8, which was Howe Gelb and John and Joey from Calexico, plus Lisa Germano and Iron & Wine’s collaboration with Calexico called In the Reins. Come to find out they were in Tucson and Dry River Yacht Club had just made a record there. I had no intention of making a record anytime soon because they’re so expensive and draining, but it just kind of came to be and we were so excited to be down there. It’s truly a world class facility and Craig and his engineer, Chris Schultz, are world-class professionals. That said, it was so wonderful to spend these chunks of time right in the middle of downtown eating, sleeping and breathing music and Tucson.
decker. album release w/The Haymarket Squares, Field Tripp, The Through & Through Gospel Review, Last Exit Live, 717 S. Central Avenue, Phoenix, 602.271.7000, lastexitlive.com, Saturday, February 21, 9 p.m., $10