Is it just me or is Austin, TX breeding some of the most summer-y music this summer has to offer? And I don’t mean bullshit summer music about crashing your car into a bridge and loving it, I’m talking real deal poppy rock music that is actually good and thought provoking in some form. And yet it seems that many of these releases creep by under the radar of the masses. Why do these seemingly over accessible releases continue to resonate only in the underground basements of devoted music seekers? Well, that’s a think-piece and succession of rant-y tweets for another time. The focus here is Boyfrndz, an Austin band that you may or may not have heard of that released on of my favorite free (name yo price!) releases of the summer, ‘Natures’. If I jogged in the mornings, I would be listening to ‘Natures’, if I… Well, let’s not do the list of things that I could be doing while listening to ‘Natures’ and sum it up like this; If I took my entire summer, made a montage out of it, and had to pick the backing tracks, I would choose ‘Natures’, so I asked frontman Scott Martin some questions about being in a rad band:
TE: What’s it like being in a rad band? Just kidding that’s not my question. How did the three of you get together to start Boyfndz? I know you have been involved with other bands throughout the years
SCOTT: Well, Aaron and I have been friends since high school. He’s been in bands since I’ve known him… I’d been trying to get into a project with him since then and just couldn’t stick it until a couple years ago. Joe and I are musical life partners, it seems… He was in my first band ever, and we left together to form Boyfrndz… When Aaron and I started ripping together, Joe and I just kinda put two and two together.
TE: This project is a bit more ‘pop-y’ if you want to call it that, than past endeavors. Can you speak on that a bit? Was that a conscience decision?
SCOTT: Sure, I think it just ended up that way… We originally wanted to do a more intense weirdo punk type band but it just didn’t end up that way. We never thought out anything before writing it, it always came through Aaron and I’s improv sessions. The songs still come this way.
TE: When we were brainstorming ideas for the “Moving Parts” music video I asked you about the lyrics and you mentioned that they don’t necessarily mean anything in particular. If that’s the case how do you go about writing and choosing your lyrics?
SCOTT: I always write the melodies first. Way before I even consider putting lyrics down… I’ve played through tours ad-libbing lyrics on the fly. I usually just do that until I fit words and phrases I like into the syllable phrases I’ve been riffing on. It’s more fun, and organic for me, than sitting in my bedroom hashing it out.
TE: Have you ever prescribed meaning to lyrics after you have written them? Like, ‘oh I was in that mood when I came up with that, that totally makes sense now’
SCOTT: Yeah, for sure. It ends up coming together in its own way. They usually mirror the tone of the song, because its how I feel about certain parts while I’m rapping them out in the rehearsal space or in the studio.
TE: You guys are putting this LP out on your own. Can we talk about the challenges / rewards of choosing to take this route as opposed to the more traditional route?
SCOTT: We are. Its certainly challenging, financially, at least. We’re coming up with all of this money ourselves, out of our pockets. We really don’t make much at all at our shows, so we work hard getting the money together at our day jobs so we can keep the the wheels turning. We could have taken the other route and just waited around for someone to do it… We definitely would be less broke, but we also wouldn’t have accomplished as much as we have wanted to. We just hope that eventually it’ll be a self sustaining thing, which is all we’re really aiming at now.
TE: You guys also recently started a crowd-funding campaign for the record, how did that idea come about and what was your experience with that? I know some people have reservations and strong opinions when it comes to crowd funding.
SCOTT: We were just going to pay for it out of pocket, initially but everything that goes into putting something out was just getting overwhelming, so we gave it a shot. Thankfully it worked out, and a lot of people donated and we made our mark. We had our reservations, though… It kind of humiliating. To be begging people for money that way… It’s obviously a truly useful and helpful thing, but people really want to believe the funding just comes from somewhere, and sometimes, it just doesn’t. I think we probably lost some “cool cred”, but we don’t give a fuck. We’re just happy to have the level of support we do at this point to have made it happen. Very lucky to have that in the music game these days…
TE: Can I ask the ever predictable interview question and ask if there where any contemporary influences on this new record?
SCOTT: Well our influences are pretty all over the place in general. I’ve been loving the new Grizzly Bear record, and the new Queens of The Stone Age, Tame Impala, the newest Tera Melos release, the new Feuding Fathers is amazing too. Also always jamming this r&b artist Bilal’s record “Love for Sale”… been digging on Raleigh Moncrief for a while, and Death Grips. Meanwhile Aaron is super into hip hop and r&b these days; Dilla, Robert Glasper, MF Doom, etc. Joeys always been a jazz guy, and general rock enthusiast. We all listen to everything though, it keeps our minds open. That new Whirr record is really cool too. We’re doing a couple shows with them next weekend. Stoked for that.
TE: Yeah Whirr is great! Speaking of shows, you guys have a bunch of dates coming up but what are plans for after tour?
SCOTT: After tour we’re planning on going into the studio again to start recording our next release. We’ll be finishing the rest of the US dates we had to postpone early next year, with some festival dates in the works as well. Aaron, and our new guitarist Jesse’s other band East Cameron Folkcore will be in Germany touring for a month, so we’ll be taking a little breather too.
TE: In closing, is there anything else you would want to add? Or any more questions you would want to throw in?
SCOTT: I think that well covers it, Thanks for being interested, amigo.
Stream / Download ‘Natures’ below:
7/30 – Austin, TX @ Holy Mountain w Twin Steps
Aug 2 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada w WHIRR
Aug 3 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk w WHIRR
August 9 – Austin, TX @ MUSEUM OF HUMAN ACHIEVEMENT w/ CADDYWHOMPUS
August 17 – Austin, TX @ SECOND HOUSE SUMMER PARTY (Boyfrndz tour kick off/ Feuding fathers record release) DETAILS/LINEUP TBA
August 22 – Houston, TX @ FITZGERALDS w SUNRISE & AMMUNITION
August 23 – New Orleans, LA @ ONE EYED JACKS w CADDYWHOMPUS, ALL PEOPLE
August 24 – Athens, GA @ CALEDONIA LOUNGE
August 25 – Philadelphia, PA @ TBA
August 27 – Brooklyn, NY @ KNITTING FACTORY w CELESTIAL SHORE
August 28 – Pittsburgh, PA @ SMILING MOOSE w EDHOCHULI
August 29 – Cleveland, OH @ HAPPY DOG
August 30 – Chicago, IL @ THE EMPTY BOTTLE w WATERHOUSE
August 31 – Lawrence, KS @ JACKPOT SALOON w PINK ROYAL, ALIEN JONES
September 1 – Denver, CO @ HI-DIVE w COMMON ANOMALY
September 3 – Norman, OK @ THE DELI w TALLOWS & SONIC VIOLENCE
September 4 – Denton, TX @ HAILEYS w BABAR & CLEAN UP