From their massive cover of Fall At Your Feet from Crowded House to their list of radio-heavy singles, Boy & Bear produce one incredible track after another. Jon Hart spoke to Kyle Butcher off the back of Splendour in the Grass about their incredible set, their brand new third album Limit Of Love and how the new tracks are shaping up for their first Australian tour in over a year.
K: First things first: how was Splendour?
J: It was great man. It was unbelievably muddy so we weren’t prepared. A couple of years ago we all bought gumboots before the event and it was really easy to get around… this time we forgot. Our mobility was somewhat reduced but we had a lot of fun and we caught up with people we hadn’t really seen in a little while and we had a really cool little set on the G.W McLennan stage late at night. It was really exciting for us because we played a couple of new songs, and there was something about the energy that goes along with that. We hadn’t played a show in about 6 months.
K: How were the nerves leading up to playing Walk the Wire for the first time?
J: Yeah, I’ve been to a lot of shows where bands overdo the new stuff, and it can fall a bit flat, so I was hoping it would go down okay. The single wasn’t out yet but we thought it was the right thing to do because we had toured a bit off the back of the last record so we just gave it a go and I’m glad we did, because people seemed to respond really nicely which was cool.
K: Was there much of a learning curve for you guys with live tracking the new album?
J: I think there was a little bit, but it was more of a mental process. We’ve all grown up recording for the most part into a computer, because that’s what you do when you have no money and you’re trying to record songs. Once we actually got in there and saw how things were sounding, it was really exciting. It was something that turned into a really great decision, but there were a few moments of questioning at the start of things. Once you do it on tape you’re really committing to it.
K: I really like Showdown and Foxhole off your new release, and I can imagine how incredible those tracks would be live. What track from Limit of Love are you most looking forward to playing?
J: There are other tracks that I’m excited about playing, but there’s something in Showdown that just gets me. We just mucked around last week, knowing we had a tour in November overseas and playing Showdown was a lot of fun. We hadn’t thought about it since recording but we decided to do it and I can’t wait to do that one live.
K: You guys live tracked Limit of Love, does that mean we’ll see all of the tracks making live sets at one time or another?
J: I certainly can’t see why we wouldn’t play everything on the new record. We don’t want to give everyone all the new stuff if they want the old stuff, so we’ll get the mix right. I think every new song will get a run, for sure.
K: What are your feelings around the upcoming tour dates for Australia?
J: We’re pushing into a different style of venue with the new dates, we’re generally a theatres band to date. You sort of get comfortable in your surrounds, and theatres are pretty similar. The new record has some bigger moments and a different kind of energy that we haven’t been able to bring out before, so having it in a different space will be very exciting for us. There’s a certain thing we have here, in Australia, that we like and we’re looking forward to getting back out on the road here.
With a brief mention of new potential covers for the new tour, ranging from The Beatles to Ryan Adams, our conversation came to a close.
_ _ _
Boy & Bear hit Brisbane’s Riverstage on 13 February 2016.