The lushly orchestrated title track for Frontier Ruckus‘ latest album, Enter The Kingdom, was “a crowning achievement” for the group’s Matthew Milia. And he wanted the song’s video — premiered exclusively below — to follow suit.
Enter Jay Curtis Miller, a filmmaker from Ohio. “He came to our show in Cincinnati and said, ‘This song means so much to me. Let me make a video for it,” Milia tells Billboard. “I gave him carte blanche and he got all these actors involved, started sending me head shots and everything. It turned into a whole production — which was fine. I wanted this one to feel like a real film.”
Unlike the nostalgic, Super 8 videos the rootsy Detroit quartet tends to make on its own, the “Enter The Kingdom” clip is a full-blown, atmospheric narrative about a family torn apart after the mother’s death, and a bride who doesn’t have a father to dance with at her wedding. Miller employs flashbacks and intimate close-ups to convey the sadness and longing of the story — which, spoiler alert, has a heartwarming ending.
“(The video) takes it to a place I could never have guessed with the song,” Milia acknowledges. “My personal attachment of what the song means to me is not a very universal one, but that’s necessary for a video so people can get a connection to it. The video deals with some very heavy stuff, but the song does deal with stuff that translates to that — the fragility of the American household and family unit, and stuff like that. That (the video) went to a different place is fine by me.”
Miller offered Frontier Ruckus an opportunity to be in the video, as the wedding band, but the group “wanted to sit this one out,” according to Milia.
After some extensive touring to promote the Enter The Kingdom album — the group’s fifth, which came out mid-February — Frontier Ruckus is getting back to work on new material. The band hopes to have most of its next album finished by the end of the summer, while Milia is also working on a solo album. The group is also taking a minute this year to quietly celebrate 15 years together
“The music industry is not designed for sustainability anymore, so just being a band in general is a damn near impossible pursuit,” Milia notes. “The fact we can still do it is super satisfying, even though we struggle day in and day out to find new ways to get people to still care.”