Part 2 of the Boyce Avenue Live Session is here! In this blog post, Alejandro, Daniel and Fabian discuss about live streaming their performances, how they think technology will impact musicians over the next ten years and what it’s like being in a sibling band.
For those first time readers of this series, you can get up to speed by reading the first part of the event. We had the massive privilege of hosting a virtual Q&A session with Boyce Avenue thanks to Taylor Guitars. Fans from Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia got the chance to talk to the members of Boyce Avenue and we want to give everyone the opportunity to find out what went down that day with this series of blog posts.
During this pandemic, have any of you guys attended an online concert? What do you think about it and would you consider doing one?
Fabian: I think it depends. It’s different for every band. Some of the bands I grew up listening to who aren’t as familiar with the online space or didn’t have a strong social media platform – they’re still used to touring the old school way. It’s refreshing to see them do these live streams and jump in the deep end when it comes to social media. It’s just a cool way of seeing them do something different.
To be honest, I would rather we do covers on our YouTube channel, and we do something like this (this Q&A live session) where we just specifically talk to fans and answer questions because then you get the best of both worlds. It’s like a meet and greet, and live music.
I’ve seen some Switchfoot live streams, Manchester Orchestra live streams, and it’s kind of cool to see them do that. But for us, we’ve kinda already been doing this almost every Sunday! We’ve been releasing a live stream cover song since we’ve been so heavy and deep into social media since 2007. So a live stream concert just doesn’t seem that different from what we’ve already been doing.
The beauty of doing actual physical touring and shows was that we could actually go out and meet and see the fans. But now that we don’t have that. To be honest, I would rather we do covers on our YouTube channel, and we do something like this (this Q&A live session) where we just specifically talk to fans and answer questions because then you get the best of both worlds. It’s like a meet and greet, and live music. But the live stream concert, it just doesn’t work as well for us. But we’ll probably do it, and we’d love to do it.
Musicians have experienced monumental changes in the past Century in regards to where our income is derived, how we reach audiences, and the longevity of our careers. What do you think the future lives of musicians look like in ten years, and in particular, yours as band that leveraged digital platforms before it became mainstream?
Alejandro: Wow, that’s a great question! We’ll try to give a decent answer! I think it’s tough to predict something beyond ten years. I think within the next ten years, it’s still going to be streaming – that’s definitely where it’s at, whether it’s in the form of more live streams online or YouTube keeps dominating the video space. After ten years, all bets are off – we could be playing like holograms on Mars!
Daniel: Whoa, too far! [laughs]
F: I think the line between the viewer and the performer is quickly starting to disappear. And it’s becoming much more aware that the fans and viewers have much more say and input into where the live show goes, or where song compositions go. For example, one of my favourite bands, Oasis, lead songwriter Noel Gallagher has been very sold school with his approach – traditional rock and roll star. I remember seeing a social media post hed did where he was like “Hey guys, been working on this demo, it’s not quite finished and I don’t even know if I like it. But I just wanted to upload it and share it with you guys.” For Noel to do something like that is just so out of character because I’ve always viewed him as a badass rockstar who didn’t care what anyone thought about what he wrote. He just does writes what he wants, and he releases it. It’s just a sign of the times that songs can be uploaded even before they’re finished – ideas can just be shared, different things can be tweaked.
A songwriter can even go through a Patreon page, integrate the fans and ask for suggestions on where a song should go. Collaborations between fans and viewers could get really interesting.
A: I think for us, the main thing is just having the gene of being willing to evolve, while at the same time, knowing who you are. There are some things that just make sense to us. We started mainly on MySpace and YouTube at the same time, but we were getting more traction on MySpace back then. We knew when to put more energy into YouTube when the shift was happening. Then we saw predominantly that our sales were on iTunes. And then we also needed to move over to Spotify. Once you study the analytics, and you can see that digital stills are going down as the streams are going up, you learn. We will continue to evolve as we’ve always done.
But one thing I am actually proud of – as much as we do evolve – is knowing when to stay in our lane – what makes us happy and keeps us going. We noticed a lot of content creators out there that are so obsessed with following the trend that they burn out. And next thing you know, they have a video trending sobbing about why they’re quitting YouTube! For us, it’s been 14 videos, it’s been 14 years, and we feel just as fresh as we did 14 years ago.
We’re brothers, there’s no way where we would rather be doing stuff with somebody else – we’re best friends. There’s nothing like knowing that you have the support of a sibling versus even just a close friend.
What’s the difficulties/joys of being a sibling band?
A: We love it. I wouldn’t have it any other way and I think that goes hand in hand with our longevity. There are a lot of bands, some of our favourite bands in fact, who put out three albums, had a successful six-year run, but two of the members didn’t get along, or one of them wanted to go solo. For whatever reason, a lot of them end up disbanding even in successful times.
But I feel like there’s something with us where it’s just built-in. We’re brothers, there’s no way where we would rather be doing stuff with somebody else – we’re best friends. There’s nothing like knowing that you have the support of a sibling versus even just a close friend. There’s always a safety net.
Then there’s logistics. There are lots of times where, especially when we were starting out and especially on tour, where you’re sharing expenses, you’re not making that much money, times are tough, venues are small, you can only fit so many people on a tour bus, that kind of stuff. But it’s always been nice that we have one set of parents and our wives can come out and be part of a family. Whereas you could see where it would balloon into potential chaos with other people.
Comparing now to when you first started doing music, how much time do you spend doing administrative stuff like planning shoots or covers and performances versus doing the actual music?
Daniel: It’s funny, but it’s about the same. Although in the earlier days of Boyce Avenue, we had a fuller team, more people around us, and we even experimented by being on a label and distribution company at some point. There were more pieces to the puzzle. More people helped us in that regard, and we were trying to do more of the mainstream stuff like getting publicity, having a publicist get certain things.
Now at this point in our career, you have a smaller, more close-knit team. We don’t have as much of the push right now to get publicity to be on the papers, or get on a TV show – we just want to do what makes us happy, write music, make videos, tour and communicate with the fans directly through social media. That’s it!
We don’t have as much of the push right now to get publicity to be on the papers, or get on a TV show – we just want to do what makes us happy, write music, make videos, tour and communicate with the fans directly through social media.
It’s the same amount of work, the balance is the same, but it’s a little more rewarding in the sense that right now, we’re not chasing these things that are out of our control, we’re just taking care of the things that have always been under our control.
In the last instalment of the series, Boyce Avenue finally get to talking about recording and their guitars – not just any guitars – their Taylor Guitars. Watch this space!