In honor of day three of Wild Moccasins week, East of 8th is featuring one of our favorite music videos from Wild Moccasins. The video for “Eye Makeup” is an interesting one, but the story behind the song and its unique video is even more intriguing.

Often overlooked, clothes, makeup and the glitz and glamor that go into live performances are huge aspects of a musician’s career. According to indie-pop band Wild Moccasins, when they get on stage, they don’t want to be anyone but themselves. They simply want to perform because it’s what they love to do.

The release of “Eye Makeup,” an upbeat song about the efforts that go into putting on live shows, was followed by a quirky and fun music video in 2015. From walking down the streets of Texas to putting on makeup with a group of drag queens, the video shows lead singer and keyboardist Zahira Gutierrez preparing for a performance at a gay bar. When explaining how the concept for the video came about, Gutierrez says the video was created by two local Houston filmmakers, Ivette Lucas and Patrick Bresnan, who collectively refer to themselves as Otis Lucas.

“They were living in Houston at the time, and I was always drawn to the films they make. They were always so real. They usually make documentaries. They were so honest, and I just love their work. One day I just asked them ‘Would you want to work with us and collaborate with us on making a music video?’ and we just started talking. They had just finished working on a documentary on Robert’s Lafitte, which is the bar you see in the music video. It’s the oldest gay bar in Texas. It’s super bizarre, but it’s super cool if you know where to go,” explains Gutierrez.

With its countless scenes showing drag queens and the intricate outfits and makeup, it’s no surprise the video took months of preparation. The band reveals the creation of the video also formed new friendships for the band. The drag queens featured in the video are individuals who perform in drag for a living and the band reveals they keep in touch with many of the queens seen in the video. “For a few months, we would just go back and forth and hang out with the queens of the bar. We would talk to them and we became friends and we decided we were all going to make this video together. [Otis Lucas] had just finished making a documentary about them, so they were totally down,” says Gutierrez.

Wild Moccasins have praised their hometown of Houston in the past for being nothing short of accepting, and the band admits the drag queens in the video were no exception. “Some of the queens are over 60 years old. They were so great and so funny and so welcoming to us for how many visits we would go over there. We definitely look different from the people that usually go there, but they never made us feel weird. They made fun of us, of course, but that’s just how things go when you go into a drag queen show,” explains Gutierrez. Despite some differences in their careers, Gutierrez admits she could find common ground with the queens because they all find joy in performing. “It was really just an incredible thing to do and I am super happy we got to work with those queens. I could bond with them every night about what it’s like to perform and what’s it like to put on makeup and put on your dress and get on stage and be a totally different person,” she says.

“A lot of it too is what the song means to [Zahira], which is the idea of putting on a performance, putting on makeup, and doing it honestly and for nothing other than the love of performing. A lot of the reason it was so nice to have the queens be a part of it was that they do it just for the love of performing and they do so much when they get up there,” adds guitarist and vocalist, Cody Swann.

Check out “Eye Makeup” and click HERE for details about the band and their show at The High Watt on March 8th:

[This mini-review was handcrafted by Eo8’s own Bri Goebel.]

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