SXSW Picks 2 Click: Austin acts cutting through the din
Thu, March 19, 1am, 720 Club Patio
Few bands outside metal seem willing to reach for the widest screen and pull the edges back into view. Boyfrndz achieves that epic feel effortlessly on 2014 LP Breeder. Unashamed to be tagged progressive, singer/guitarist Scott Martin, bassist Joseph Raines, drummer Aaron Perez, and guitarist Jason Erwin shatter windows with an eruption of melody, power, and emotion – honed by enough craft to keep the colors from running.
"The curious thing about us is that it all just comes out," Martin says. "I never really sit in my bedroom, brooding, like, 'I'm gonna write this totally dark song.' It's always the result of all of us getting together in the practice space, and whatever came out that day is what the next song would be."
The band's elemental noise hit the highway practically since its 2011 beginnings.
"We did our first three-week national tour six months after we started the band," notes Martin. "We didn't have any music at the time, so I booked it with two live YouTube videos. And we haven't really slowed down at all. I always knew that you couldn't just stay in one spot and expect anything to happen."
Not even the theft of the group's equipment and van while out last year kept it from finishing a tour.
"When it happened, we were like, 'How are we gonna keep going?'" says Martin. "We never were like, 'Let's go home.' There was no pity party. It was just, 'Well, let's figure this out.' So we did. We just pooled all our resources, borrowed my step-mom's SUV, got a U-Haul trailer, flew back to Texas, collected our shit and left."
Boyfrndz's majestic/monstrous blend has shared stages with an eclectic roster of acts, from Russian Circles and Death From Above 1979 to Marnie Stern and Deftones side project Palms.
"I think we do a lot better with heavier crowds," posits Martin. "We did really well on the Palms tour, because we were a little bit on the lighter side, a little bit weirder, but not something somebody wouldn't expect to be touring with a Chino Moreno project. But people tilted their heads a little bit when we did that support tour with El Ten Eleven. The indie kids were just like, 'What the hell is this?'"