Boy & Bear: “Our Fans Encourage Us To Be Ourselves”

MF: Some of Harlequin Dream was written while the band was still touring Moonfire. Has that become a habit?

DS: Yeah, I think that happens and it’s already happened now. We’ve already got a few new ideas that are sort of brewing around on the iPhone Voice Memos, you know? [laughs] ’cause, you know, you can imagine that you’re out there playing, and music is an amazing sort of thing that you kind of get turned on by other bands. You get inspired by a certain record that you’re listening to and you can’t help but pick up a guitar and sort of have a little fiddle and when you’re all together…touring is the best time to get together and try some stuff out. It does just seem to happen, so hopefully that continues this year and then by the end of the year, hopefully we’ve got a bunch of new ideas that we can hopefully record again and perhaps have another record on the way.

MF: It’s a rather extensive run you guys have ahead of you. What motivated the regional tour?

DS: We’ve always wanted to play as much around Australia as we can and we love to play. Doing the last couple of city tours was great but we are all sort of hungry to do a bit more, because it doesn’t take much to do a five cities kind of thing. And we feel it’s important to take the music to all corners of the country. It’s a big space and not everyone can travel to the city to see you and hopefully our music speaks to a wider audience than just people in the cities. And it’s just fun playing in some of the more remote towns and it’s good for us to be able to do that, I think, and to make the effort to do it. It was always part of the plan. And there’s places we’re not going on this one but we’ll hopefully hit either later in the year or next year or something.

MF: Is it different playing to fans who perhaps don’t get to experience live music as often as those living in the city?

DS: I guess the difference, the obvious difference is if you’re living in a town where bands don’t often come through and then there is something that you wanted to go see, I guess it feels more like a special occasion, you know? Like if you only go out to a restaurant once a year, it’s a special occasion when you go out. I think sometimes you’re playing in smaller places where they don’t have entertainment coming in. I don’t think it’s different in that…the show we put on is the same, it has the same energy and the same level of show, but maybe for the audience it’s a bit more exciting for them. I’m not sure. It’s exciting for us as well to end up somewhere that we’ve never been to before, you get to check out the local town. It can be great. You get to find out where the best burger is and that sort of thing and fishing spots [laughs]

MF: Tim said that the band’s experience with Joe Chiccarelli in Nashville was informative but too stressful to bear again. What was it like behind the scenes of the second album and what did you guys learn recording in Sydney with Wayne Connolly?

DS: I think the band made a conscious effort to record in Australia this time, just to keep it more local, to work with some of the great engineers, producers and musicians that are here in Sydney, and we’re all Sydney boys. I guess just because of that decision…I think that recording overseas is something that the band will probably do again at some point, you know, it’s something we’ll never say ‘no’ to. But it was a more relaxed process this time.

Everyone’s from Sydney so we were all able to sort of be creative and work within our own local home environment and Wayne also was from here, so we were working in the studio that he works in a lot, and he’s got a lot of his toys and gear there.

So we were just able to take our time a little bit. We didn’t take forever or anything, but it can be…I guess the stress of overseas can be you’re trying to do a whole lot in a short amount of time. And obviously you’re spending a lot more money with everyone living away from home and things like that. You know, the American thing is a lot more sometimes highly strung than the way we do things here, because they’re always moving onto the next thing [laughs] Recording in Sydney was a nice experience, for sure.

MF: What can fans who’ve perhaps seen you guys before expect from the upcoming tour dates?

DS: We’re gonna probably change up, obviously, the way we play some of the songs. I think our songs, the way we sort of see it is that they’re always alive, they’re always growing. Even since we’ve recorded Harlequin Dream and doing the first tour, I think that a lot of those songs have taken on a new life, just by doing a handful of gigs and shows. So hopefully more of that, hopefully more development from the band on the new material and some of the older stuff as well, hopefully we’ll be changing that up a little bit. But we’ll definitely be playing as much of the new record as we can as well as, you know, we’ll keep changing up all the older songs that we play from the EP and the first record.

MF: Is there something from your experience working with Sarah Blasko that has now been incorporated into the fabric of Boy & Bear?

DS: I guess, like, well, with the band, like I said before, how you learn from all your other experiences. With music you tend to feed the next thing, I guess some of my other, my personal experience from playing with Sarah, yeah, I guess I’ve brought some of those things across and the boys are always interested in how other things work.

So I guess there’s definitely some influence there, like you know, Tim has his own solo project, so he’s often out doing that stuff and I think that whenever he gets to be the main singer, he brings a lot from that experience into his own performance on the drums, you know?

The band are big big fans of Sarah’s music, so there’s definitely some influence. For myself, I think Sarah’s incredible and I feel I was really fortunate to experience recording and paying with her in the past. I feel very lucky to have that experience. She’s a really amazing artist actually, Sarah.

MF: You’ve said your favourite Harlequin Dream track is different each week. What is it this week?

DS: [laughs] Oh, well, it hasn’t been on my radar, but I have to say maybe A Moment’s Grace. I did actually hear that being played the other day and it’s something I really enjoyed. It really took me to a place, actually. ’cause recording that track was…it was a different kind of canvas that one, it was sort of built really small and then we coloured it in with just these random little layers and it’s just slightly different from every other track.

Boy & Bear Australian Tour 2014

Wednesday, 16th April
Mackay Entertainment Centre, Mackay (All Ages)
Tix: Mackay Entertainment Centre | 07 4961 9777

Thursday, 17th April
Magnums, Airlie Beach QLD
Tix: Ticketmaster | 136 100

Saturday, 19th April
Brothers, Cairns QLD (15+ must be accompanied by adult)
Tix: Brothers | 07 4053 8333

Sunday, 20th April
The Venue, Townsville QLD
Tix: Ticketek | 132 849

Tuesday, 22nd April
Pilbeam Theatre, Rockhampton QLD (All Ages)
Tix: Pilbeam Theatre | 07 4924 5600

Wednesday, 23rd April
Harvey Road Tavern, Gladstone
Tix: Ticketmaster | 136 100

Thursday, 24th April
Sugarland Tavern, Bundaberg
Tix: Oztix | 1300 762 545

Saturday, 26th April
Sunshine Coast Function Centre, Caloundra
Tix: Moshtix | 1300 GET TIX

Sunday, 27th April
Empire Theatre, Toowoomba (All Ages)
Tix: Empire Theatre | 1300 655 299

Wednesday, 30th April
Divers Tavern, Broome
Tix: Oztix | 1300 762 545

Friday, 2nd May
Discovery, Darwin
Tix: Discovery Darwin & Oztix | 1300 762 545

Thursday, 8th May
Black Swan Hotel, Bendigo
Tix: Oztix | 1300 762 545

Friday, 9th May
Regent Cinema, Ballarat (All Ages)
Tix: Regent Cinema | 03 5330 5555

Saturday, 10th May
Deakin’s Costa Hall, Geelong (All Ages)
Tix: GPAC | 03 5225 1200

Sunday, 11th May
Lighthouse Theatre, Warrnambool (All Ages)
Tix: Lighthouse Theatre | 03 5559 4999

Wednesday, 14th May
Lismore Workers Club, Lismore
Tix: Offbeat Operations

Thursday, 15th May
C.ex Club, Coffs Harbour
Tix: Offbeat Operations

Friday, 16th May
Panthers, Port Macquarie
Tix: Oztix | 1300 762 545

Saturday, 17th May
Panthers, Newcastle (All Ages)
Tix: Moshtix | 1300 GET TIX

Sunday, 18th May
Entrance Leagues Club, Bateau Bay
Tix: Oztix | 1300 762 545

Wednesday, 21st May
The Crow Bar @ CSU, Wagga

Thursday, 22nd May
Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre, Nowra (All Ages)
Tix: Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre | 1300 788 503

Friday, 23rd May
ANU Bar, Canberra
Tix: Ticketek | 132 849

Saturday, 24th May
Albury Entertainment Centre, Albury (All Ages)
Tix: Albury City

Sunday, 25th May
Eastbank Centre, Shepparton (All Ages)
Tix: Riverlinks Venues | 03 5832 9511

Wednesday, 28th May
West Tamworth Leagues Club, Tamworth
Tix: West Tamworth Leagues Club | 02 6765 7588

Thursday, 29th May
Charles Sturt University, Bathurst
Tix: Oztix | 1300 762 545

Friday, 30th May
Orange Ex Services Club, Orange
Tix: Orange Ex Services Club | 02 6362 5611

Saturday, 31st May
Dubbo Ex Services Club, Dubbo
Tix: Dubbo RSL & Oztix | 1300 762 545

Also appearing at West Coast Blues ‘n’ Roots festival.

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