The video for “Cowboy on the Run,” premiering exclusively on Billboard today (Oct. 14), provides a visual souvenir of Bandits on the Run’s recording of its latest EP, Bandits Live at the Power Station.
True to its name, the Brooklyn-based roots trio, assisted by producer William Garrett and engineer Ian Kagey, essentially snuck into the famed New York recording studio earlier this year to make the four-song set, which also includes a cover of Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black.”
“It was later at night, maybe 11, and the studio wasn’t booked,” Bandits’ Regina “Clarissa” Strayhorn tells Billboard. “William is good friends with our now good friend Ian; He called Ian and said, ‘Can we sneak ’em in there?’ and Ian said, ‘Yes,’ and we went in and did the whole EP in one night, maybe three or four hours. And then afterward we had to sneak back out.”
For Strayhorn, then, the clip for the doo-wop flavored “Cowboy on the Run” is proof of Bandits’ successful caper.
“I love it because it really shows off that fantastic space we were in,” she says, “in this iconic studio where all these legends have recorded. When you walk in it, it’s hard not to have this sense of reverence. There’s just so much history and you can feel it in the way the recordings came out. [The EP] feels so warm, and there’s magic juju about the place. So, yeah, we wanted to show us at our core, doing our thing in an iconic space.”
Bandits Live at the Power Station is the second release from the trio — which started out busking in New York subway stations — following a full-length album in 2016. The three musicians — Strayhorn, singer-guitarist Adrian “Roy Dodger” Enscoe and singer-cellist Sydney “Bonanza Jellyfish” Shepherd — do consider themselves musical bandits of a sort, appropriating different styles and fusing them together in their songs.
“What we’re doing is creating an atmosphere where people can feel free to play a little bit and feel a sense of spontaneity and silliness. We as people like to do things we’re not supposed to do. We like to surprise people,” she explains. “So, Bandits on the Run seemed like a perfect name, ’cause that’s what we always try to do with our music, try to interrupt the monotony.”
And, Strayhorn adds, there will be more Bandits music coming in the not too far future. “We’re writing and creating new music and trying to sneak into another iconic studio — I can’t say more than that,” she reveals. “We liked doing it this time, so we’re trying to do it again. Hopefully in spring we can have new releases for everyone.”
The video for “Cowboy on the Run” is below.