Artist Spotlight - Boy & Bear
It was a big year for Australian-based indie rock band, Boy & Bear. They toured extensively, wrote collaboratively as a band and recorded a kick-ass album ... the old fashioned way.
1. The band has done its fair share of touring throughout Europe. What are your three favorite cities and why?
Paris - it's a beautiful city to walk around. The food is always amazing and they even have good coffee there now too.
Amsterdam - Dutch people are really friendly, and the city is built around a network of canals and there is great food if you make a bit of effort.
Berlin - if you like visual history then Berlin is the place. It is also one of the coolest cities we've ever been to. People dress really well, there are great bars to have a drink, it's quite cheap there too and as a city seems to embrace alternative cultures too.
2. You mention that your new album, Limit of Love, is more organic and honest. What did you do differently on this album than on past releases for it to become more authentic?
Maybe more honest is a stretch as I think we've always made pretty honest music, but what we did differently was track the songs together live. This means that you respond to the energy of playing a song together and to how Dave is singing and how Tim is hitting the drumkit and hopefully that leads to a more together sound. In addition, we recorded to tape, so apart from sounding amazing, that also limits your ability to go and make changes to parts after the fact. Most songs consist of what the 5 of us could play at the time (plus our producer Ethan Johns on about half the songs) and then a few backing vocals, some percussion, and maybe one extra keyboard or guitar. It means each of those 5 or 6 parts really have to work because you can't "fix" it afterwards with additional layers of sounds.
3. You write together as a band. Is that a challenge or does it come together naturally? What’s the process like?
The process has been evolving as long as we've been a band. Traditionally it was Dave coming up with chords and melody on an acoustic guitar and us working on the song as a band from there. We still do that sometimes, but on Limit of Love we also had songs where it was more of ground up collective creation, and often without having an acoustic guitar in it. That changed the dynamic of the songs a little and freed Dave up to be able to focus on the melodies as opposed to chord structures and playing guitar.
4. For anyone who hasn’t seen your live shows (which I hear are AMAZING), what can one expect to see/hear/experience?
We try and deliver performances of what we have recorded. We're not really a band that at this point in our careers relies on heavy lights or pyrotechnics or choreographed dance moved etc, we play songs and we try and do it well and in a way that hopefully makes each experience of seeing us play live unique.
5. The Limit of Love album art is quite beautiful, but what exactly is it?
It's actually a photo that I took from the upper deck of a ferry that we took from Vancouver to Victoria in Canada. I always go up on the roof so that I can see out over the water and for some reason that day I was taking photos of the wash created by the ferry and a friend of ours who is a graphic designer saw a vision for it as an album cover and it really seemed to work.
Discover more about Boy & Bear here: