Monday, November 16, 2009


Tuesday, October 30, 2007 

With a tour schedule that would decimate many lesser bands, 5-piece Canadian group Boys Night Out are, thankfully, all about maintaining an energetic expression of their truth. Upfront and loud, they epitomise the tradition of grabbing an instrument, a bunch of friends who share ideals, making your own rules and revolting into style. Despite this, Davis claims that people of all ages come to the shows, some of which are, in fact All Ages. "We get anything from 13 year old boys and girls up to husbands and wives in their 40s. I always love talking to older people at shows and hearing how they appreciate what we're doing, that means the most. Obviously it's mainly kids and we love playing to the kids because they bring the energy and that's what makes the concerts fun, but hearing from people who've got diverse taste and who have been seeing music for decades, that really hits home for me. There are some places that don't know us that well, but most places in Canada we play we've been to a lot so the kids are really into it and have a lot of fun."

This recent relentless touring is to introduce their new, self-titled album, which the band call a 'bare-knuckled declaration' and a 'definitive statement', and when compared to their previous effort, it most definitely is. "Our last record Trainwreck was a concept album." Davis says matter-of-factly. "The idea behind the record was based on a short-story I had written, which I altered so we could write the album around it. That in itself created a whole new type of music and way of looking at what we were doing. That's very different from the way we made this record which was done more on a song-by-song basis. Musically we wanted to have more fun with it, and make more of a straightforward rock record, Trainwreck did have to follow a concept, it was moody, and kind of like a musical rollercoaster at times - varying genres, heavy music with poppier stuff and synths and acoustic guitars, it was really a medley of different styles, whereas with the new record we wanted to a more concentrated approach."

This change in subject matter, sound and pace - if not in intensity and energy - is indicative of the new songs that Davis is impelled to pen, making Boys Night Out a vastly different beast. "It was definitely very different to write," offers Davis. "One of the reasons our new record is self-titled is because it is a very personal one for us, it was really a chance to get back to singing about ourselves, about us as a band, whereas Trainwreck was completely stepping away and writing from a new point of view which was awesome and a healthy thing for us to do, but I think with this record we needed the opportunity to get back to ourselves and write about something different, something more realistic for us."

That fans of the band were as passionate about Boys Night Out being the conveyors of an existential story of mortality, isolation, murder and insanity as they were about hearing their in-yr-face aggressive melodies and mile-a-minute anthems of valour, violence and self-abuse is testament to Davis's ability to tell a story. "Getting with the lyrics is always a big part of why fans connect with the music they like, but it's a bit bizarre at times. With Trainwreck, which is a dark and abstract concept album, the number of people who contacted us and told us how much they connected with the story and how much this record helped them through dark doesn't necessarily matter how weird what you're saying is, people will always find their own meaning in the words and connect with it." The sleek riffs and beats give Davis a lyrical freedom he uses in a trademarked way; catchphrases of imagery underpinned by strong ethics.

Borne from a passion for early Victory Records and 80s hardcore, Boys Night Out have gone from resilience through denial and focus to being the life of the party. "To be totally honest with you, me and [lead singer] Connor [Lovat-Fraser] were straight edge for most of our teenage years, I was straight edge for 8 years and he for 10. We've been in straight edge and hardcore bands since we were really young. Boys Night Out from the get go was embracing the darker and dirtier side of things; violence, self-abuse, alcohol and everything else. When I say this new record is a personal record I mean it's a chance for us to talk about these issues. With songs like Get Your Head Straight and Up With Me it's a chance to look at the other side of things, we're trying to offer the possibility that there is a way out. We're not saying we're perfect or that we've found that way out, that we're clean or anything else, but that there is hopefully light at the end of the tunnel."
Something that Davis knows all about, though in his case this light can take many forms, in his case, breaking edge. "I was about 19 or 20. It was something that I needed to have in my life, I don't regret anything. I don't regret the time I was straight edge and I don't regret breaking as it shaped me and I wouldn't change any of my life experiences at all," Davis claims with all the zeal you can imagine him embracing it with in the first place.

For a band so build on values and a muscular expression of them, what happens if someone opposes them? Like hardline straight edgers who reject people who take the sounds but not the attitudes? "Then we've found someone who's not going to want to listen to our music. We're definitely not writing to appeal to the masses or the lowest common denominator, we're writing for us. We write music that means a lot us and to help us feel better and the goal is to have at least some people relate to that. We're definitely not out to try and influence someone's lifestyle or tell anyone this is how they ought to live, we're entirely just putting music out there, if they can get on board with what we're saying and they can find some meaning in it for them that can make them happy then great, but if not then hey, there is a whole lot of other music out there and they definitely don't have to listen to us."

No comments:

Post a Comment