Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ Boy & Bear

Boy & Bear
Getting their start in 2009, Boy & Bear have shared the stage with Laura Marling, Mumford & Sons and Angus & Julia Stone. Before you anoint them as Aussie Mumfords, give Harlequin Dream a listen. The sophomore release, produced by Wayne Connolly (The Paper Kites), is a bit more than just a ‘folk record’. The album draws influences from old-school stuff like Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles or Paul Simon. These lads from Sydney are a big deal Down Under, and the buzz has certainly crossed over. After an impressive SXSW, the quintet is on their North America tour with sold out shows and first time dates in Canada.

I caught up with Tim Hart, drummer extraordinaire, and found out about tour updates, his love for Pho, and being un rock’n roll!

AMBY: Perusing through the band’s Instagram lead me to the conclusion that you aren’t in too many photos. So, I have 3 guesses as to why? a) you are camera shy b) you are the one taking the photos c) you are usually working on your solo material in chill time.

Boy & Bear: I have to say that’s quiet well thought out. It’s more of a coincidence that my brother Jon takes the photos pretty much. In terms of working on my solo stuff, that definitely does happen in jam time. It’s more of a coincidental than anything or maybe Jon is playing favourites there and I should call him out on that.

AMBY: I think you should. Now, how has the touring been going on so far?

Boy & Bear: It’s going amazing. We have been away for about 6 weeks. Started in Europe, then did SXSW and started North American tour in Denver. It has been quiet overwhelming for us to be selling out shows. For a band that doesn’t have big singles, in terms of if we think about pop world, we make albums. Its nice to have people come out and know the words. Can’t wait to get in Canada, especially with the size of some of the venues we are playing.

AMBY: On this current tour, there have been shows, especially in Canada, that have changed to bigger venues due to demand. That must be validating to see such kind of support, especially given you are from Down Under?

Boy & Bear: Absolutely! You know we have been told a few times that there is a fair bit of crossover between Australia and Canada. People seem to understand each other fairly well and have similar taste. It’s encouraging to come and play to people that are there to hear the music.

These songs started in our bedroom. You record them and let it out in the world and you don’t know what’s going to happen. You don’t know whether people are going to connect with it and feel any sort of reason to come to a show, especially when you are on the other side of the world. It does really feel validating when people are interested in what you do.

AMBY: You’ve mentioned that part you detest the most about touring is finding good food to eat. How have you managed so far on this tour?

Boy & Bear: To be honest, Europe and UK was easy. We found it a little more challenging in the States, especially on the long drives. But, whenever we can, we get to a Whole Foods or Trader Joes. Everyone has been pretty conscious about being healthy and not going home 5 sizes larger. It is something that we seek out. Although had a bit of a fail between New York and Boston few nights ago,  we just cracked and all just had fast food.It is a challenge man because you gotta eat out every night. Sometimes there is just no other option.

AMBY: What sucks is that a lot of the healthier options aren’t open late. So, you have to resort to the 24/7 Diners that serve greasy food to get a post-show meal.

Boy & Bear: We’ve found the best way to go about it, especially in the States, is to find the Chinatowns or get Vietnamese or Thai Food. Sydney has quiet a lot of options when it comes to South East Asian food. I am open to food suggestions in Toronto.

AMBY: Most of the places in Chinatown here in Toronto are open late. So you can grab some Chinese or Thai or Pho?

Boy & Bear: Oh my gosh man, Pho is my favourite ever! I also love Indonesian food! I mainly cook curries or something vaguely South-east Asian back home

AMBY: If you were in a witness protection program, what would be your alias?

Boy & Bear: You would have to have 2 first names. Maybe, my alias could be Greg Darren. I would have to have crazier hair and wouldn’t be trustworthy and smoking in corners.

AMBY: What’s something about the band that no one knows yet?

Boy & Bear: To be honest, we are fairly open people. The fact that we are really not that rock n’roll can be a surprise. We don’t go around sleeping with random girls and do lots of drugs. Our decadence is going around finding nice food and paying too much money for it. I love that we value that over all the bullshit of the music industry that people might buy into from time to time.


Thank you Boy & Bear, for giving us your answers!

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Nilabjo Banerjee | @nilabjo

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