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Interview: Boy & Bear

1313989378 19 Interview: Boy & BearYou guys just played at Splendour in the Grass – how was it?

It was really great! We had such a good time. It ended up being a lot bigger than we thought it was going to be.

You had a massive crowd there.

Yeah we did, we really weren’t expecting that. It was really overwhelming! It was so nice to see that many people come out to support us. I guess you could say we were all pinching ourselves afterwards!

It must be really weird being up there and seeing that massive crowd – what are you thinking when you walk onstage?

To be honest, I always think it’s like the best thing in the world – the audience just looks amazing from up there. I guess it’s better than being stuck in-between heaps of people you don’t know and being kicked in the head or similar [Laughs]

I always think it would be awesome to take some pictures from up there.

We always take a few sneaky pictures if we can, just for keepsake! Jon’s always got a few pictures from our gigs lying around.

Did you catch any of the other acts at Splendour, what was your favourite?

Well most of us left the day after we played, but we managed to catch most of the acts that played on Friday. Jon and Dave decided to stay on for a bit longer, so they were there for most of the festival.

I think overall though my favourite act was The Hives – I’ve seen them before a few times and they’re always awesome. They’re so – I don’t think chauvinistic is the right word – but they’re such showmen and that’s a great thing to watch. they have so much attitude but they manage to pull it off. They’re so cocky but it makes them so cool – and those two don’t usually go hand in hand!

You guys charged on to the music scene with ‘Fall at your Feet’ – did you expect the song to get such a reaction?

No, definitely not! We’d done the EP before that obviously, which we were really stoked about, and then we got asked to be a part of that project (The songs of Tim and Neil Finn). We literally spent two days on that song and then we were done. We had this cool moment where everyone came together with their own ideas about the song. Jake was like, “I’ve got this drumbeat in my head” – but he doesn’t actually play the drums! [Laughs]

I think I read you guys were the first band to get a cover into Triple J’s Hottest 100 top 10, is that right?

I didn’t know that! That’s pretty cool. We were really happy with how it went.

Your new album, Moonfire, comes out today – how did you decide on the name, what does it mean?

Moonfire was the name of this $2 DVD that Jake bought in a chemist while we were on tour and it was hands-down the worst movie I’ve ever seen. We were driving to Byron Bay or something like that, and he saw it for two bucks. It had this ridiculous cover with truckers and Nazi flags all over it and all this weird stuff. It was truly the worst film any of us had ever seen. I still have no idea what it was about [Laughs] It was pathetic!

So we never intended to call the album Moonfire – it was done as a joke, but after a few weeks we couldn’t change it, everyone was used to it!

1313989380 84 Interview: Boy & BearWhat’s your favourite song from the album and why?

I think my favourite song is probably ‘My only One’ – I really enjoy playing that song live. I play electric guitar and it has a lot of parts in it that are really fun for me to play. It’s also really dark and quite long – it takes a while to get the message across as to what the song is about. I really like the way it grows.

Who would you say are your main influences?

Good question. I think a lot of us have similar influences, but at the same time we sort of cross over as well. We listen to a lot of new bands but we also listen to our parent’s old collections as well.

Then there will be stuff that I listen to that nobody else does and vice versa with them. so our musical tastes are really quite broad. But I would say the majority of us all enjoy the Fleet Foxes and Neil Young, along with bands like Arcade fire and The Mars Volta.

Did any of you guys catch The Mars Volta at Splendour?

I didn’t realise they were up there! Oh wow! They’re tough to “get” live aren’t they? I’ve seen them before – their performances are pretty demanding.

You guys were all in different bands to start with – how did you end up coming together and forming Boy & Bear, and what does the name mean?

We know each other mainly through uni – we all pretty much tie into this creative arts degree at Macquarie Uni. The band name itself has a really lame reason behind it. We got it off the internet! [Laughs] We used this band name generator, threw a few words that we liked into it and that’s what came up. so we quickly went to Google to check it hadn’t already been taken and we just liked it, so it stuck!

Did you have to try the band generator a few times before you settled on Boy & Bear?

Oh man, it took weeks! We had this email trail that went on for weeks with all these different results and we were all like, “we don’t know!” but in the end we just had to pick one, and it ended up being Boy & Bear [Laughs]

How well do you guys get along on tour?

Oh it can be hard at times, but that’s part of the fun, you know! whenever you put a certain amount of people together in a room and spend as much time together as we do, you can’t avoid that, but you learn to be “better” at it if that makes sense.

At the end of the day we know each other backwards and forwards, and we’ve all become such great friends with each other over the last few years. We actually really genuinely get along and when we’re not on tour, we don’t like to admit it, but we still hang out with each other! [Laughs]

So you miss each other when you’re not on tour?

Yeah! The band is kind of like a safety blanket. We’ll call each other up and be like, “heyyyy…what are you doing? want to hang out?” all my other friends are working anyway!

What’s next for you guys?

Well we’re going on tour to Chicago and new York, and then we’ll be back here for a tour at the end of the year, which will be great. That’s not announced yet actually, so maybe I shouldn’t have said that [Laughs] (Luckily for Killian the tour was announced today – see boyandbear.com for details).

And then next year we’ll spend a fair bit of time overseas touring and promoting the new album, which will be really fun.

Moonfire is out now through Island/Universal.

1313989381 67 Interview: Boy & Bear

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