After releasing his EP Painted Sky in 2013, London acoustic folk-pop artist Robbie Boyd dropped his debut album So Called Man on May 26th. Learn more about Robbie and the record, holding on to dreams, learning to juggle, flower power, and tap dancing lessons in our new interview below:
AMBY: Hey Robbie, cheers for speaking with us today. What have you been up to lately?
Robbie Boyd: I’ve mostly been preparing for my debut album launch party at The Garage in London on Wednesday 28th May, and everything that’s involved with releasing the album. Very exciting times!
AMBY: You recently released your debut album So Called Man. When it came to recording the album, what or who were your biggest influences?
Robbie Boyd: I love artists like Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, for that raw, organic sound they have; Haim, who are one of my newest favourite bands and have some great guitar riffs; and John Mayer, who I’ve long admired. I’ve always felt that my sound doesn’t fit into one particular category, and I think my broad range of influences from a songwriting perspective combined with the bands’ influences, definitely helped that with making this record. Ray Davies has always been a huge inspiration for me and I do love a bit of Noah & The Whale, so they’re probably in there somewhere too.
AMBY: What is the significance behind the record’s title So Called Man?
Robbie Boyd: It’s taken from the last lyrics of the final song on the album, ‘Never Never Land’, which is about maintaining youthful innocence, holding on to dreams, and not feeling like you have to fit in to society’s norms. The song means a lot to me and my first ever demo CD was called ‘What are you waiting for?’, which is another lyric from ‘Never Never Land’, so I guess there’s something about that song that I keep getting pulled back to.
AMBY: We love the video for your song Less Than Friends, taken from the record. What was the moment you had while recording the video?
Robbie Boyd: Probably learning how to juggle, even though it didn’t make the final edit! Seeing London at dawn from the rooftops was quite something.
AMBY: You’ve supported artists like The Kooks, Johnny Flynn, and The Feeling in the past. But if you could curate your own personal concert line-up, who would be part of it?
Robbie Boyd: Two Door Cinema Club, Paul Simon, Oasis, Prince, Coldplay, Mumford & Sons would headline, then I’d probably put James Taylor, Neil Young and Bob Dylan in the acoustic tent, and serving behind the bar and I’d give slots to some of my new favourite bands like Hudson Taylor, Lucy Rose, Frank Turner, and Kodaline.
AMBY: Where would you go in a time machine?
Robbie Boyd: I guess I’ve always had a bit of Swing and Jazz in me; Nina Simone, Brian Setzer, Louis Armstrong and Sunny, so I would quite like to have experienced the ‘30s, and of course a brief stint in the ‘60s, at the height of flower power, goes without saying. A little trip to the Woodstock or the Isle of Wight Festival in ’69 would have been alright!
AMBY: What was your first concert experience like? Did it have an impact on your music?
Robbie Boyd: One of the first gigs I remember going to was The Who at the Kentish Town Forum with my dad. Him lifting me on to his shoulders, the sense of anticipation and then that overwhelming feeling of electricity as they came on stage while the crowds roared out their lyrics. It was hugely exhilarating. Years later, the first time I played my songs with a band, the drummer was stuck in traffic so we had to start without him. He came on half way through a song and when those drums accompanied the second chorus I literally felt like I was flying.
AMBY: Lastly, what’s something about Robbie Boyd that nobody knows yet?
Robbie Boyd: I used to take tap dancing lessons as a kid!
Thank you Robbie Boyd, for giving us your answers!
Interview by Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout