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Emma and Jen interview Killian and Tim from Boy & Bear, chatting about their new Album ‘Limit Of Love’ and An Australia tour just announced.

With soon-to-be three full-length albums and hundreds of hours of gigs under their belt, the band are armed with plenty of material for a set list that will satisfy and captivate audiences. “Having had time away from playing live, we are definitely looking forward to returning to play some fairly iconic venues across the country,” says guitarist Killian Gavin. “I’ve seen a lot of artists live at these venues over the years and for us to be able to perform at them also is something we are really excited about.”

Joining Boy & Bear on stage across the country will be Triple J faves, Art of Sleeping and Montaigne

When Emma and I arrived at the studios and met Killian and Tim we had a discussion about Sea Shepherd as I was wearing one of their Tees. They told us a funny story about them having dinner on the boat with Tim wearing a leather jacket on it. Not a wise choice! He said he did not mean to! We had a laugh about it.

I told them it was nice to interview Aussies as I had had some tough interviews with time delay and language barrier problems lately. They laughed at that.

We then got down to business but asking about Splendour in the Grass.download

Emma and I were both at Splendour in the Grass or mud ….. should we say…. How was your experience at Splendour?

K: It was super muddy! We really enjoyed it!

E: The first two days we tried to stay away from the mud but the third day we were sliding everywhere. Jen was on crutches and they sank into the mud, it was not so good for her!

J: You have had a super busy last 2 years taken up with touring The US, Europe and Australia and writing and recording and now announcing an Australian tour, do you guys ever actually ever take a break and rest?

K: Yeah, we took a break, we got home mid December last year until the end of January. Then we started writing again, last year was intense there is no doubt about that, before that we wrote and released Harlequin Dream and before the we wrote it, we have always had the attitude that if people still like what we’re doing and coming to shows, we then need to keep working but definitely after last year we needed a break. So we had a month off then got back into the writing then did the record. We have had a bit of a break now and have started ramping it up now.

J: We both love your new album Limit of Love and feel that the message that you are conveying about worrying less about being perfect, and more about them feeling good, this really needs to be heard by this world right now. This is a very inspiring message, did you write songs based around this or did the idea form as songs were written?

K: It was definitely something that was formed.

T: Yes it was definitely something that naturally came together, like all things, it was always defining and evolving process about what you are on about and the process you record and everything like that. I think it was something that felt right at this time and to do something that felt right. It is hard to explain but it just felt right. It was almost like we were allowing things to be in that moment, whether the song was performed in a certain way. We did not want to lose our personality in the songs.

J: Limit of love’ was written as a collective unit unlike Harlequin Dream, and Moonfire as those were both written by Dave. Has this made your band more cohesive through the writing process?

K: I think the reason that we were able to be write together was the new relationships without trying to sound too deep but we all had become a lot closer. We have now being playing together as a band for 6 years and what drew me towards this band is the everyone is super respectful and listens to each other ideas. There has been the way it’s been since the start. We found that working together just clicked and we worked well. We had a shot of it in the past and it did not work so well but I suppose this was just good timing. A bit of an evolution of who this band is. Yeah we are pretty stocked to be part of it.

J: You rent a house for your writing sessions and shot the world out that sounds a great way of doing that.

T: Yeah we went up the central coast, then we went down the coast lower than Sydney, So it was written all in NSW on the coast. We rented a house and did three or four trips I guess. We worked on songs as we were touring when the ideas were coming through.

K: We did not really write or finish them until the trips.

J: With ‘Limit of Love’ you have gone back to the old way of recording, a more raw recording process straight playing live to tape, how different was that for you rather than playing and using a computer to layer?

K: Yes it was really different; we have always recorded the band live and studio, every single record or recording we have done. We have always played live in the studio but then use the computer to layer it. It is very hard to find a studio with a tape machine. The issue that you do find when using a computer is there is never-ending and unlimited opportunities and choices.

T: The thought of that is paralysing. You could just keep going on forever and we found that we could also edit and I think what is ruining a lot of music these days as you can make things perfect dare I say. Expressive art is not perfect and that is what makes it so attractive. So I think that we have learnt and slowly got the courage to say stuff all of that and let’s get rid of this endless possibilities and go back to tape. There is such a limited finite resources that you can use to make a record with that kind of process. You have to work with what you’ve got any need to make better decisions to make it compete with the computer but when you do that as well as saying it is incredibly liberating and defining I think what you will find is our personalities come through stronger because you don’t have anyone mixing and changing, there is nothing else but what you played.

J: What was it like working with Ethan Johns in Bath? He has a great reputation for instinctive recording.

K: Incredible, he is just well we have all been fans of Ethan and what he has done in the past, like Ryan Adams records and he has a real thing and what I love is when we got into the studio, instead of being this overwhelming experience and a dominant presence he was so encouraging. When he heard something goo he would say that his hairs were standing up on his arms and that is what he wanted. We did a few takes and we stuffed up a bit, some beats that were out or a lyric wrong, his ability to sense when something was wrong is really good. It was just amazing, he has this gift. He is also a great story teller, it was kind of like a rock and roll history. His dad has recorded some may great bands for example The Who and like it was 6 weeks of rock and roll history and great times. If a producer gets repeat work then there is something going on there. He might get repeat work from us too!

Watch their clip on recording Limit of Love.

J: I read that Dave was unhappy with the way his voice sounded on Foxhole. I am glad that you all kept it that way, it adds a depth to the song.

K: That song is a perfect example, he had to really let go, Dave thought that he could do better that Ethan said just trust me on this, it is amazing and Dave came around to it. That is a quintessential example of this, when you can’t fix it and can’t make it more perfect.

T: The vulnerability I think speaks so loud of that song and what it needed to be is that feeling of vulnerability and putting yourself out there in an imperfect way. Ethan was very passionate about us not doing that again. The song that you hear was actually the first take of that song.

J: Really?

T: Yeah we did about two or three more takes but we felt nothing quite matched it. A week later Dave was still trying to get us to redo it. (all laughing) He loves it now as well I think he is removed the emotion from it.

J: I connect most to ‘ Breakdown Slow’ I think because these lyrics are really meaningful to me.

Like a walking effigy                 Boy & Bear Lucinda Goodwin 1

The pedestal was left for me

But I was so afraid,

That it wouldn’t hold my weight.

 You see I built an aviary

To hold in all my memories

But I was still afraid

That it might just fly away

 I’m breaking down all so slow.                       Photo credit

So this is what you get for chasing dreams     Lucinda Goodwin

 J: Although I think my fav song is Limit of Love as that keeps playing over and over in my head. The start of that song sounds really great. I was asking Emma all day which is her favourite song and what did you say Emma?

E: It is always going to be Part Time Believer! (all laughing). Actually at Splendour we could only stay for half of your set and when you played that first I was so happy. I was like, I am in Heaven right now!

(all Laughing)

K: That song was the Genesis of a bit of a change for us. A shift away from a stylised type of music. I think we probably did fit into the indie folk thing before Part Time Believer and that was coming back to the root of our parents music, like Classic albums.

T: That was the last song written for Moon Fire. So it came really late and that was like a turning point, every song from then on went on a different direction.

E: I first heard of you guys when a friend posted on instagram and I thought I would have a look, this is like a year ago. That was the first song that I listened to and I fell in love with this song!

J: That is why we drove 3 days to go to Splendour to see you guys.

K: Wow that is a lot of driving.

E: Well my boyfriend and I are on our L’s so we got lots of hours up.

T: You could get your P’s in one trip almost!

(all Laughing)

J: Is there a song that you both connect the most?

Killian: Off the new record? There is for me, is there for you? ( Killian to Tim)

K: I’m not saying that is my favourite song of the record but it’s the one I connection the most. It is called ‘Just Dumb’. We recorded it late at night it was probably the only song that we recorded super super late at night. We did two takes of it, we could of kept either one but we kept the second take. I listened to it and I had so much fun doing this record and it takes me back to that experience.

T: I am probably divided between Breakdance Slow and Just Dumb. It always ebs and flows and different songs come into it. Both those songs sit in a similar emotional vein and create a certain response that’s sort of nostalgic and reflective, introspective feeling if you what I mean.

Breakdance Slow I remember when we recorded it, it was the first song that we did and when we listened back that feeling I got I was like woah, we have never recorded like this before the sound of that really washed over me and I’ll never forget, and each time I listen to the song it will bring back memories of us recording.

J: Can you tell us if there is a special meaning in the artwork or is it a crashing wave?

K:There is not really a deep special meaning but John, Tim’s brother that plays Keys is a photographer and has been for many years. He told the photo when we were on a ferry from Vancouver to Victoria. I think we ended up going with that for the album, as it relates to the way we recorded album. The simplicity, stripped back analogue self, that photo represented that to us.

K: The art designer that we gave it to, to come up with the concept he really likes that photo and he said that I think you should choose this as your cover. He related to it in the same way. He is a friend of ours too and I think he understands us as people as well. There is a fragility to that photo I think and I love it, we were looking yesterday and how it was coming up on the iTunes page and maybe because it was new but it was really striking and it is clean and crisp.

J: I was looking for a meaning in it and got lost in the swirl of waves.

J: Emma is a photographer, and when she first started she took thousands of pictures of waves, and would have to pull the car over because she found a photo opportunity because of its free or a fence or even a flower. (all laughing)

E: We have a beach house at Mount Martha and we are always down there and that’s when I started taking pictures of waves.

K: Cool

T: Awesome!

J: You have released one single so far, Walk the Wire can you tell us what the next single will be?

T: We don’t know yet, there are so many options. It is a discussion that our manager and labels will talk about.

K: There are a few on there that could be options. Sorry to be so vague. (Laughing)

J; Was the song Limit of Love always going to be the opening and title track?

T: No! Breakdown Slow was going to be the opening track. For the whole time we wrote the room and recorded Break Down Slow was definitely be the opening track, no one had questioned it, it just made so much sense to us. It was really late in the game and John came up with the idea first and it really resonated with me. Eventually all of us agreed that limit of love was a great way to start the album. It is very different from something that we have done before. It is somewhat hypnotic when I put it on, the way the groove is so repetitive and the idea of it is kind of a loop and when I put it on, sometimes you have records that you want to skip the first song and you just want to move on to the rest of the record, you now what I mean? That does the opposite for me. Personally I sometimes think that I just want you hear the first song and then turn it off. (Laughing)

J: Are you stoked for the Australian tour you just announced for next year?

Yes I can’t wait! I love touring Australia. I mean this is where we started and we are so humbled that people still want to come to our shows. It will be different for us this tour. We are super excited about it and we will be fresh as we will have 2 or 3 weeks off before the Aussie tour. We will be fresh and ready to go so we can’t wait.

J: Any festivals for you next year?

T: Not sure, they are things that come in dribs and drabs so we wont know till next year.

J: You guys were really brave to try something new and record Limit of Love straight onto tape. It certainly has paid off as the album is an album to be proud of and we both wish you all the best for it.

Thanks so much really appreciate it Jen and Emma. Cheers guys.

TRACKLISTING OF “LIMIT OF LOVE”    B&B1

1. Limit of Love
2. Walk the Wire
3. Where’d You Go
4. Hollow Ground
5. Breakdown Slow
6. Showdown
7. A Thousand Faces
8. Man Alone
9. Ghost 11
10. Just Dumb
11. Fox Hole

Limit of Love album is released on October 9th through Universal Music Australia

Pre orders here

BOY & BEAR – LIMIT OF LOVE TOUR

presented by triple j

 FRI 22 JAN | ODEON THEATRE, HOBART TAS

Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix Outlets

 SAT 23 JAN | FESTIVAL HALL, MELBOURNE VIC

Tickets available from www.ticketmaster.com.au | 136 100 | All Ticketmaster Outlets

 FRI 29 JAN | THEBARTON THEATRE, ADELAIDE SA

Tickets available from www.ticketmaster.com.au | 136 100 | All Ticketmaster Outlets

 SAT 30 JAN | RED HILL AUDITORIUM, PERTH WA

Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix Outlets

 FRI 12 FEB | HORDERN PAVILION, SYDNEY NSW

Tickets available from www.ticketek.com.au | 132 849 | All Ticketek Outlets

 SAT 13 FEB | RIVERSTAGE, BRISBANE QLD

Tickets available from www.ticketmaster.com.au | 136 100 | All Ticketmaster Outlets

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1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. Boy & Bear new Album ‘Limit of Love’ Review. Released on 9th of October! | Music Injection

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