Photo’s by Bete Boe
As you might have already read, we love The Boxer Rebellion! With their new album ‘Promises’ being such a huge success and them attracting bigger audiences all over the world we thought it would be cool to do a little special. This special contained an article written by Guestblogger Meltem. But it also contained something else… Yep. An exclusive interview. With Nathan and Piers. On the afternoon, before taking on the audience (of the sold-out show) in Tivoli, we talked about ninja’s, Piers’ inability to listen to music without falling asleep and Graham Norton.
– Which one do you like the most?
Piers: In ten years time if I had to listen to one it would probably be ‘The Cold Still’. I think, for me, it will have more long-term durability than ‘Promises’. Personally it’s mostly because I just like listening to more down-beat stuff.
– But if you had to pick your favorite song on the new album, which one would it be?
Piers: I don’t like listening to it.. Once we’ve finished it.
Nathan: It’s weird. You know, I listen to it quite intensively while we are doing it and while we are mixing it and before it comes out. But as soon as it’s out. I think, because it can’t be changed? But I do like ‘Diamonds’ a lot.
Piers: I guess if I had to listen to one I’d go for ‘Diamonds’. But that’s because it’s at the beginning as well.
Nathan: It’s very much just laziness.
– Which bandmember does the most of the writing?
Nathan: I do most of the initial stuff. With the chords, the melody and the lyrics. But then it’s kind of pick the part. Everyone else does their own kind of thing. There is no really standard way of doing it.
– Where did you get your inspiration from to write Diamonds, for example?
Nathan: I think Piers had done a drum loop and we were just trying out some sounds on the keyboard. Then it just kind of went from there. It happened quite quickly.
– And were the lyrics based on something you’ve experienced yourself?
Nathan: No, it’s pretty hard to explain. It sounds like I am really full of myself for kind of bullshitting, but it was literally a thing of: I was at the keyboard and I just started to sing the lyric ‘I don’t look good next to diamonds’. Then I have that line and I’ll base the rest of the lyrics on it. It’s really cheesy how much of our music comes together.
Piers: Mostly our lyrics come in last.
Nathan: With this record it was a little bit different, though. What usually happens: we write an album and we’ll go record it. And I’ll do lyrics or finish them the day doing the vocals. This time around though, because we were writing while we were recording, I kind of got out of that mold which is good.
Piers: We always have some demo’s knocking around of Nathan, with a melody and some noise. We’re quite used to it, right now. It’s like a crap Sigur Rós, really. (laughs) But he gets there in the end.
– Were you inspired by other bands while making this record?
Piers: Listening to music is just like an hobby. I go through phases of really wanting to listen to music and I definitely go to phases of not wanting to listen to music at all. It’s because most of the time we are already around our own music. Without wanting to imply that all music feels like work, because it doesn’t, but I want to switch off from music quite a lot. I find it hard to get going on listening to stuff on some periods of the year, depending on what we are doing. At the moment I only listen to music when I want to fall asleep when on tour. There are a lot of albums I just don’t get to the end of. But in terms of writing, we are not ripping people off. We do use elements of what we like and just think ‘you know that sound is cool, let’s kind of swim around in that area’, so to speak. We’ve done that before without saying let’s try and write a song like this song, ’cause that never works.
Nathan: And there are just a limited number of chords to choose from, of course. So there we’ll be songs that sound like ‘Diamonds’, but it’s not our intention. Sometimes I just don’t want to listen to music. Purely because if a song comes on and I really like it, I’ll end up comparing it. I’ll think like: ‘Oh man, that’s so much better than what we just wrote.’
After having a good laugh with them and talking about Phil Collins, his wives and Miley Cyrus we decided to wrap it up and take the group photo. Nathan and Piers were such nice guys! It was really good to hear them actually take their music seriously and being open and honest about it.
If you live in Holland and want to catch them live some time: they play Eindhoven and Den Haag in February next year. If you don’t, then just head out to http://theboxerrebellion.com/ and check out the tour schedule!
Have a nice weekend!