Boy and Bear Interview

By: Amy Aiello

What you see is what you get from the guys of Boy & Bear: simplicity, humility, kindness, intelligence, and passion for their music. This class-act band is really more of a family who respects one another, and appreciates all the good fortune that comes their way.

CMG: What is one of your favorite experiences over the past few years?

B&B: Going on tour with Laura Marling. We got to play the London Palladium, Which is in Oxford Circus, but it’s this beautiful theatre that looks like it’s in some kind of a Disney movie.

We got to play there which was incredible. We got to play this festival back home, which was pretty incredible as well. We did a show in New York last year at the Mercury Lounge; that was a bit of a weird moment to have that be one of the first venues to play when getting here.

CMG: When you found Out about Lollapalooza, how did you feel, who told you, etc?

B&B: We found out from out booking agent/manager. To be honest, most of us hadn’t heard about the festival, but it’s pretty crazy. Looking at the lineup, it’s a real privilege. When you come from the other side of the world, you don’t really get the chance to see some of these bands.

CMG: How do you feel about social networking stuff, Spotify… things that might take away from album sales and such?

B&B: Everyone knows that you don’t make much money from record sales, so we think it’s more important to get exposure and access to our music. It’s allowed us to be over here playing music, otherwise we might be stuck on our island.

CMG: what sorts of things do you do on your tour bus to pass time?

B&B: I don’t know, we play games like cherades or games to engage your mind. I think the game we play most is this animal alphabet game. You start on the letter A, and you go around naming animals whose name begins with the letter A. You keep going around until you have a fail. The first person to not be able to name an animal gets a point, and the goal is to have the lowest point total.

It sounds boring, but it really gives you an opportunity to chastise for someone not being smart enough. We had a hilarious one with our sound guy. We were on the letter G, and he couldn’t think of anything. There was a Greyhound bus that passed by, and he kept saying, “I can’t think of anything.” We’ve all seen this bus, and were all cracking up.

CMG: How about pranks? Do you guys joke around with each other?

B&B: We don’t play pranks on each other because we’re scared. If you start, you’re just opening the flood gates to have pranks played back on you. The fear of the whole thing is worse than having the prank played on you in the first place.

CMG: You guys have a unique platform to reach the world. Have you utilized this?

B&B: Yes, we do a lot of rocket science. The last NASA mission.? That was us. We’re not really sure about mixing music and politics. We’re pretty fortunate to get to do the job that we get to do.

I think so long as you have integrity and treat people well in whatever you’re doing, that’s okay. I don’t think we have any political aim to what we’re doing at all. We’re just musicians, I mean we can tell you something, but it’s not like we’re particularly informed.

CMG: What to you boys would make it feel as though you’ve ‘made it,’ or do you already?

B&B: We feel pretty good already. But we’d like to have enough cash to pay rent. You want to be able to loosely live a normal life while playing and making good music. To know that you’ve put out a record that is the best you can possibly do, and have people want to buy it.

The band just wrapped up their U.S. tour, and will be playing shows in their native Australia beginning in November. No word yet on when Boy
& Bear plans to return to the U.S.

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