Last month we had the honour of hosting a virtual Q&A session with a powerhouse trio, Boyce Avenue. Thanks to Taylor Guitars, fans from Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia took this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet with all members of the band virtually to ask them their burning questions.
For those who missed the chance to ask the band your questions personally, we feel you shouldn’t miss out on the brilliant discussions that took place on that day. We’ll be publishing the discussions that took place in a series of blog posts down the line, so you can still learn a thing or two from Boyce Avenue!
You guys are such seasoned touring professionals and you’ve played in some really iconic venues around the world. The first one that really stands out was the Royal Albert Hall back in 2017. To all the aspiring musicians out there, what was that like?
Alejandro: Yes, the Royal Albert Hall was one of the most amazing shows we have ever been a part of or played. Stepping onto that stage, I will never forget that feeling. It was a long process to get there – we gradually increased our venue sizes in London, always with the end goal being to play at the Royal Albert Hall.
Playing there was just a sense of accomplishment of working hard and building over years. Seeing all the fans and then our closest family and friends in their balcony booths and then there was the pit of all the people standing in the front. It was just the culmination of a lot of hard work and support from the fans, family, promoters, booking agents and everyone who stuck around.
Fabian: I think what’s really cool for any musician coming up the ranks, it doesn’t matter how big the venue is – it’s seems like every venue has some sort of historic presence. And I think for us, that’s always been one of the most fun and cool things to do.
One of the coolest aspects about being in a band is I’ve always loved every venue we played in. We like seeing who else has played there – there are so many dressing rooms where they’ll have pictures of all these famous artists who have played. It doesn’t matter how big the venue is. There’s a place in Glasgow called King Tut’s where I believe that’s where Oasis played when they got discovered by the record label. There’s also a small little venue in Ann Arbor, Detroit that we’ve played called the Blind Pig. It’s a tiny little club but that’s where Nirvana got its start. It’s one of my favourite things to do – which is to research what bands I love have played the same venues we’ve played because you feel like we’re part of a family with them.
We’ll be honest – at the end of the day, if nobody was listening, and nobody was supporting or spreading the word and coming out to shows, it’d be kind of tough to stay that inspired. I think a lot of it is just the support from the fans and that keeps us going as well. And the combination of that and just the love for it and getting to do it together as brothers.
How do you keep inspired and passionate about your musical craft after so many years?
A: I think we were just raised with a certain work ethic. It’s something to do with knowing who you are, knowing what your passions are, and just knowing what makes you unique. Our dad has been doing what he loves in the same occupation for more than 40 years. So has my mom! She was a teacher for about 40 years too. I think they must have instilled something in us for sure.
With the combination of being in this together, we get to include all our family and friends, it just keeps us going. And above all, it’s the fans. We’ll be honest – at the end of the day, if nobody was listening, and nobody was supporting or spreading the word and coming out to shows, it’d be kind of tough to stay that inspired. I think a lot of it is just the support from the fans and that keeps us going as well. And the combination of that and just the love for it and getting to do it together as brothers.
It’s been a while since you guys produced new original songs from the band. The last was in 2016 – The Road Less Traveled. Will you guys be coming out with a new album with original songs from the band?
Daniel: It turns out that songwriting has been the road less travelled. We’ve taken this opportunity because of the pandemic, to try to spend time with our families. We’ve spent so much time on the road over the last decade, that when the pandemic hit, we all kind of took it as an opportunity to spend some time with loved ones and our own separate families.
But we have been talking about the fact that we would like to start writing original music again. We’re in such a different place now in our lives and it feels like it’s the right time for us to start tapping into some of the emotions we’ve had. Since that album, a lot has changed in our lives. So we are excited to see what comes from it, but we haven’t actually done a lot of songwriting just yet, we think that’s kind of the next thing.
A: Yeah, it’s funny that one of the things we really wanted to do even before approaching another original album was to put out a Christmas song, as silly as this may seem, but it was a big deal for us and a big accomplishment. For years and years, we had gotten requests from our parents, family and fans. Christmas being such a cherished time of the year, and some of our favourite music is Christmas music, we knew in our core at some point this was something we really wanted to do first. In 2019 we released “Oh, Holy Night” and last year we released “Silent Night”. We’re going to try to do at least one more this year. But there’s only so much time we have, so we’d prioritise different things, or continue releasing the videos from the Royal Albert Hall concert film.
I feel like when we do originals again, we’ll probably release them the way we release covers. It won’t be trying to just release a massive 12-song album all at once – it’ll be more incremental releases, where we’ll do a single and release a single every few months with a corresponding music video.
Sometimes it comes very easily, but then sometimes it’s a labour of love where it takes many days just trying to solve that puzzle. A lot of times those end up being some of the most rewarding ones, where you finally feel like you’ve cracked it and you end up being really proud of it for years to come.
When you do covers of some great songs, they often sound ”elevated” compared to the originals. What’s your process for deciding how to approach classics like Everlong or Wonderwall and improve on the original?
A: It depends a lot on the song. For example, “Iris” or “Fast Cars” where the arrangement as is resonates so much with us that we wouldn’t want to change it. “Tears in Heaven” or “Your Song” by Elton John are other examples where part of the joy of covering it was getting to play that iconic part – that piano or guitar part that’s just so iconic.
But for other songs, where it’s the lyrics or melody that resonated with us, it’s fun to try to put our own spin on the instrumental side of things. Sometimes it’s just too tough to beat the original because it was done so well, so we try to find our own lane and maybe decide to do it on piano instead of guitar. There’s a lot of stuff that goes into that part of the process, even just deciding what instrument. Sometimes it comes very easily, but then sometimes it’s a labour of love where it takes many days just trying to solve that puzzle. A lot of times those end up being some of the most rewarding ones, where you finally feel like you’ve cracked it and you end up being really proud of it for years to come.
In our next blog post, Boyce Avenue talk about performing online, leveraging digital platforms like YouTube, being in a sibling band and more. Watch this space.
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