Before hitting the stage at St. Catharine’s Scene Music Festival, we had the opportunity of giving Australia’s indie rock-folk group Boy & Bear a call to discuss their first-ever tour bus, good headphones, festival season, upcoming releases, and more — enjoy!
AMBY: Good morning! Thanks for having a chat with me today.
Boy and Bear: Awesome. Same with you.
AMBY: I recently saw a photo on your Facebook page saying the “US/CAN summer tour is currently underway”. How’s the tour been treating you?
Boy and Bear: It’s been good, actually. It’s been pretty relaxing, too, in terms of the schedule so far. There have been lots of shows and the weather is beautiful.
AMBY: You’ll be playing some festivals while on this tour. What’s your favourite part about festival season?
Boy and Bear: I love getting to turn up and see what’s happening. I don’t usually even look at the line-ups anymore before getting there; I have a look on the day we get there and see who we can watch. Some of the bands we’ve heard of and some we haven’t so it’s great being able to hang out and see people enjoying themselves in the sunshine.
AMBY: So you haven’t seen the line-up for Scene Festival tonight?
Boy and Bear: No, I haven’t actually. Who’s playing?
AMBY: You’re in for a treat – Matthew Good is playing, The Sheepdogs, Arkells, Lights…
Boy and Bear: That’s awesome.
AMBY: For this tour, you were all pretty excited about getting your first-ever tour bus. Do you have any bus stories you could share with our readers?
Boy and Bear: It’s so new to us because we’re sleeping on a bus and living in each others’ pockets the whole time. You don’t really have any time to yourself but it’s really nice! I don’t have any exciting stories, yet, but it’s the weirdest thing in the world; going to sleep in one place and waking up in another place is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Any other sort of travel you do, you get on a plane or train and know what’s happening. Here, you just get on a bus, shut the curtain on your bunk, and go to sleep. It’s taken some adjusting. We actually often think we’re in different cities than where we are [laughs]. It’s unusual but really cool.
AMBY: What’s been the biggest surprise as far as waking up and realizing which city you’re in?
Boy and Bear: We went down to Main Street of Ann Arbor which was really cool. We parked right in the middle of this cottage town and there was stuff everywhere. That was such a nice thing to arrive to. Sometimes you wake up in a weird car parking lot of a hotel or something you’re right in the middle of town. It’s sort of a lottery.
Boy and Bear: It’s nice, though.
AMBY: Now that you have that bus, what are some quintessential touring items you always have with you?
Boy and Bear: I think you have to have good headphones.
AMBY: For music or drowning people out on the bus?
Boy and Bear: [laughs] We get these noise cancelling ones and they are amazing. You can kind of shut the world out. I think that’s really good and it helps you concentrate as well. What else do you need? I like my camera. That’s an essential for me because you kind of wander around places and I like to take photos to send things to my friends and family. Those are the two things for me.
AMBY: When you have that extra time to wander around cities, would you say you’re all sightseers, food lovers, or what do you enjoy doing while in another city?
Boy and Bear: We’re pretty much creatures of habit; we love coffee and always try to find a place to have coffee. We then want to find some good food. Afterwards we’ll do some sightseeing.
AMBY: It’s been a few months since the release of your latest record, Harlequin Dream. With all the extensive touring, have you been writing on the road?
Boy and Bear: Not really. We haven’t had any time but we’ve got a few songs that we started on last year. We’ve wanted to but we literally haven’t had time to do anything; I think we’ve had two weeks off since February where we weren’t doing any touring. I think we’re pretty much gone for next year so it will be probably next year when we create time new material.
AMBY: Great. Now we’re at our last question, which is: what’s the best part of being in Boy and Bear?
Boy and Bear: It’s really awesome being able to play music for a living. The guys in the band are good guys. It’s the best job you could possibly have.
Thank you Boy & Bear, for giving us your answers!
Interview by Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout