Are you in a music rut? You know.. when you have played out every band you've been vibin' the last couple weeks, the radio seems to be constantly on repeat and you wish that you could discover something new to stimulate your musical eardrums? Well, you're in luck because I have just the band for you: Boy & Bear.
I've been following these Aussie native's for quite some time and they do not disappoint. Their classic indie-rock-meets-Americana sound is ever-evolving.. paired with heartfelt vocals and a genuinely solid group of guys, you can't go wrong.
Formed in 2009, the band consists of David Hosking (vocals and guitar), Killian Gavin (vocals and guitar), Timothy Hart (drums and vocals), Jonathan Hart (vocals, banjo, mandolin and keyboards) and David Symes (bass). The band has released two albums, Moonfire (August 2011) and Harlequin Dream, (August 2013) both reaching the top ten of the Australian album charts.
Currently, the band is on their third lap (this year!) around the globe and kicked off their most recent tour in Los Angeles at the Fonda Theatre (Don't worry - If you missed it, they are playing in San Francisco November 1st!).
We were able to catch up with Killian Gavin and Dave Symes before the show (after the guys took a quick walk around the bustling Hollywood streets, grabbing snacks at a nearby Trader Joe's). Take a peek at our video & interview below.
Want More? You CAn READ THE WHOLE INTERVIEW BELOW:
Welcome to California!
D & K: Thanks! We’re happy to be here.
So it’s been a year since you released Harlequin Dreams. How has this last year been for you?
K: It’s been pretty far out – We left, literally, about a year ago to start touring and this is our third lap of the globe right now. It’s been long, it’s been fun and it’s been great. It’s been so awesome to travel through here and Americas and all over Europe to play shows. We've been busy! It’s sorta like a blink and then you blink again and it’s a year later.
Are you guys looking forward to going home after this tour wraps up?
D: Ya, sorta – but it’s exciting to be here. We just arrived again [to the States] yesterday - and before that we were just touring all around Australia for a whole month, so we were able to go home. It’s great to have a change of scenery and actually be back to America.
This is your third time back to the States, right?
D&K: This year. Yea. [laughing]
That sounds exhausting [laughs]. Well, I know when you are playing for crowds, the energy is different from place to place. Is there a place that sticks out to you more than another?
K: I hate to give some credit to your North American friends up in Canada but they are a great audience. They’ve been really supportive – not that America is not by any means – but they are a particularly, different kind of crowd. They are in their own little category of "Happiness". I don’t know what it is.
Do you prefer playing festivals or more intimate settings?
D: I think the difference is good for us, as a band. I think we have a show that actually suits theatres and more intimate gigs but it's also really great at festivals. We really enjoy the variety and I think it’s important for us to play both of them.
Well, seeing this is your third lap around the world - what are some of your favorite venues that you’ve played?
K: Well, I’m biased being a Sydney boy and because I grew up in Sydney. There’s a particular room called the Enmore Theater – which is the kind of a venue that I went and saw all my favorite bands growing up. We’ve played it four or five times now and it was always my goal in life to play there so I’m stoked to have been able to tick that box off the bucket list. Other than that, what was really cool, although a smaller venue here, the Troubadour. It’s a really cool room with the sorta of U-shaped crowd and there is so much history there. [Dave agreeing]. Another one we love is the Paradiso in Amsterdam. It’s pretty famous and really old and cool. I think it’s an old church actually.
Do you have a favorite song off the new album?
D: I think it changes for me. I think in terms of playing live – we allow our songs to keep growing so I have different favorites all the time but I really like the song called “Stranger.”
K: "Old Time Blues." Although, all year I’ve been saying “Real Estate” and I think it’s just finally switched.
How about on the first album, Moonfire?
D: I like "Big Man", personally.
K: "Part-time Believer."
Do you have a favorite place you like to write?
K: It’s sort of an odd process. The writing, we don’t really do on the road. I know Dave (the other Dave) he’s always coming up with some ideas and little melodies but hardly a complete idea. When we finish touring, we’ll get together as a band and hire a house for a couple days and try to start the process. Try to get into a different headspace. Also, on tour, you don’t really get your instruments with you often. It’s always with the crew and the venue and traveling around to it’s definitely a different process, different world – so when we finish touring, we’ll start that again.
D: The last time we did that, we hired a house about an hour an a half north of Sydney, near the beach up there, and just played all day. We'd go for a swim in the morning, cooked a big dinner at night. I think for us, just being all together, food, a bit of exercise – it’s always really helps our writing.
K: Ya, getting out of your own space – getting out into the sticks or the beach – is really helpful for our productivity. It just goes through the roof and we have so many more ideas. Opposed to being in a rehearsal studio somewhere – that usually has a boring, bad vibe – it’s not very inspiring, by any means. I feel like if we put in the time to go somewhere and set up a nice place – it’s good for us. That’s how we did the first and second record.
I think I could find some inspiration off a beach in Australia!
D: It’s not a bad place to end up. We’re very lucky.
I always hear about the surfing there.
K: Love Surfing.
D: Oh yeah. Big surfing culture there. Me – very basically – but I always love to get into the water.
Have you guys tried surfing here yet? In California?
D: We got a swim in yesterday! We didn’t surf, but we went down to Santa Monica and jumped in. It was really refreshing.
K: Yea, it was beautiful. I haven’t surfed ever in America though. I tend to go over to Bali a lot (in Indonesia) – there’s some really great surfing there.
Do you guys ever get sick of each other?
K: Never. [laughs] Sort of.
D: We’re pretty good actually, considering we spend so much time together. I think everyone really understands each other’s space and what they need – but we do a lot together. We all hang out eating, going around and seeing space. We’re a pretty good group of guys.
K: It’ll be about a year and a half on the road by the time we finish, you gotta be able to get along to make that happen.
Have any advise on how you stay balanced while you are touring?
D: I’m not sure if there is one piece of advice. I think it changes all the time and it’s different for everybody but I think as long as you are enjoying what you do and you keep yourself inspired to make your life better and better – then you’ll be happy in your career which makes dealing with your personal life that much easier.
K: It’s definitely difficult. But we put a lot of effort into exercising, even if we don’t quite look like it, we try. Going for a run, or anything like that, definitely does help to keep your head sane. It helps you manage everything else when you are feeling good about life. There is definitely a learning curve and you are always learning how to do it better. And sometimes, what works one day, might not work another. But we’ve had about six years now of practicing and trying and we’re in a pretty good place.
Where do you find your inspiration?
D: Musically, there are lots of things out there. Lots of music and stuff from many decades ago – there are so many things to check out on the internet. I, personally, really love seeing other bands play around the world. It gives me an amazing amount of inspiration. Apart from that, I think trying to get out and see some of the cities we are at. I always feel better when I get out and can walk around and take in the culture.
I know you guys just came back from Trader Joe’s (before we met up) – what’d you buy?
D: We bought some Vanilla Essence actually – extract is what you call it here. We’re going to clean the fridge because it’s our first day on the bus and it doesn’t smell that amazing. So we are gong to clean the fridge with a little vanilla extract. It’s the Aussie way of cleaning things.
We, at Established California, are all about the pursuit of a "Golden State of Mind". What does that mean to you?
D: It sounds like a great name for an album! [laughs] I think it’s about lifestyle – which is similar to the Australia lifestyle with health and swimming and good food.
K: I feel like “Kale” sums it up for me. Not to tease anyone about their city [laughs]
D: Kale and Quinoa.
K: and Goji Berries. I think that’s a big thing for LA – or at least that’s the stereotype.
Is that what the world thinks of us? [laughs]
K: Mediation, Tattoos, Yoga… Kale – that, for me, sums it up. To be honest though, Sydney’s pretty similar.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lindsay Vacek has a passion for style, details and design. As a Fashion Editorial Photographer, she's worked in the Entertainment Industry for over 10 years and has a love for adventure and travel. She spends her spare time globe-trotting her way through foreign countries and loves new cultures, food, music and the arts.
Being a California Native, Lindsay loves meeting new people and sharing her version of life with others. With an infinite list of things-to-do, places-to-go and sights-to-see - she believe everyone can have a little more California in their own lives.