INTERVIEW with Boy & Bear’s Killian Gavin
Prefacing a tour of Europe and the US, followed closely by a homecoming regional tour of Australia, Melting Pot’s Josh Forner had the opportunity of catching up with indie/folk sensation Boy & Bear’s guitarist, Killian Gavin for a Q&A chat.
Q: So, Killian: A number 1 debut for the album ‘Harlequin Dream’; recording experiences in one of the world’s ‘homes of music’ in Nashville, and; sold out shows across Europe ahead of a U.S. tour… are you guys still pinching yourselves?
A: Yeah, absolutely! You never really stop pinching yourself, really, and you never lose that excitement. You’re always constantly thinking that the grass is always greener on the other side. We’ve had a change of a band member (bassist Jake Tarasenko being replaced by Dave Symes [Seeker, Lover, Keeper/Sarah Blasko]) and we obviously hope to never lose any members, because it does slow things down, but everyone works hard together to make it happen, and it hasn’t changed the direction of our music.
Q: So, tell me what it was like recording in Nashville? I have no doubt that it resembles a special moment in all your lives.
A: Well we recorded our first album in Nashville, which really has that sort of ‘romantic’ element to it. You grow up as a kid wanting to record there and follow in the footsteps of some of the amazing people that have been through. But I suppose, it also adds more pressure, having a famous producer; but we really had some amazing experiences.
We took a different approach to the new record which we recorded back home in Sydney. I guess, there was just a different energy in the air overseas, and we were able to belt things out really quickly. That’s something we’ve done different this time around, having that first experience really helps in, well I hate to say it, but ‘simplifying’ everything, but also taking the time to sort of get it right. But yeah, it’s certainly a different type of energy when you’re recording at home.
Q: I guess to have your popularity now replicated overseas with these Sold Out shows must be a great validation of the way your product & your music is developing?
A: It’s amazing just to be overseas. We haven’t really thought about it to be honest. The Sold Out shows are really more than you could ever ask or dream about, considering it is our first attempt touring overseas. We’re just really happy to be having that experience.
Q: And when it all ends, there’s this spectacular homecoming planned. Would you like to tell us a little bit more about that?
A: Well, we always try to tour regionally, as we tend to find that they are really fun shows. In saying that, we’ve never done a complete regional tour, and this one includes some places we’ve never been before.
(excitedly:) It really is an honour to play for these people. Some of these venues are just these beautiful 500-1000 seat theatres and we really enjoy playing those shows. It’s going to be a fun and beautiful tour, we just have lots of thanks being able to have the opportunity. We’re bringing our music to fans who may not be able to see it otherwise.
Q: And, I suppose, adding to that, you get to inspire others who may be taking up music themselves in these communities?
A: Absolutely; that’s such a big part of it. We love providing these opportunities for other creative people who may be inspired by what we do, and so many great acts have started in country towns, so if we can be a part of making that happen, that’s just and added bonus of doing what we love.
Q: Do you find that your creative process has changed at all since ‘With Emperor Antarctica’? What do you believe has driven your ongoing success?
A: That’s a really hard question, but a good one! I think it all comes down to working as hard as you can to get to here. We’ve written upwards of 60 or 70 songs that just won’t ever see the light of day; you have to do that to keep refining what you do. We did more writing recently in December even to refine our creative process. You sit on those for a while, you come back, and if you’re still feeling it, I guess you pursue those songs.
Q: And, I guess, finally; what’s next for Boy & Bear?
A: Well, we’ve got a whole year of touring a head of us, obviously starting with Europe & the U.S. and then we return home for the regional tour in April. Following that, we’re back overseas, so yeah, a busy year of touring.
Boy & Bear’s second LP, ‘Harlequin Dream’ is out now, featuring hit singles ‘Southern Sun’; ‘Three-Headed Woman’ and the title track, ‘Harlequin Dream’. Their Australian regional tour kicks off in McKay on Wednesday, April 16th and concludes in Dubbo with an All Ages Show on Saturday May 31st.
For tickets and further information on the Harlequin Dream Regional Tour, please visit www.boyandbear.com
The views expressed in this article are the views of the author and not necessarily the views of Melting Pot.
Author DetailsJosh Forner
Josh Forner is a folk/pop songwriter from Melbourne, Australia and Virginia, USA. Forner was born in Melbourne on July 2 1988, and spent the first 18 months of his life there before moving with his parents to the town of Reston in Virginia, USA. At the age of 3, Forner and his mother returned to Melbourne, where he has stayed ever since.
Josh sings of love, primarily (wow, what a shock right?), but also on his list of ‘hot topics’ are politics, famine, poverty and - of course – landscapes: the folk writer’s favourite.
He’s played with some of Melbourne’s stalwarts including Timothy Cannon, Bridget Pross, Mr Brady, Pro Rata, Gabriel Lynch & Kyle Taylor, and has contributed two of his tracks to non-profit compilation CDs in the past.
Josh’s repertoire continues to grow. He released his first album, a 10-track LP entitled ‘Leading to Nowhere’ at The Workers Club on May 28th, 2013. Forner has since returned to the studio to begin work on a 5-track solo EP to be released by the end of 2013. Following that, he has plans for album number two in 2014.