The boy i used to be are a band making surprising indie pop in a genre where there aren’t many surprises left to be had. They do that by merging gloomy low fi influences such as Pavement and perhaps newer artists such as Alvvays and Cloud Nothings with the upbeat, trippy influences of Tame Impala, Pond and co. Whatever you think of those influences, they’re worth listening to if only for Edward Perry – the frontman – and his distinctive vocals which will surely send you to sleep (and I mean that as the highest compliment). Today’s song of the day, Pissy Elliot, is a prime cut of that. 

Unfortunately, like every other new guitar band, they’re entering what unarguably appears to be a declining industry. With that in mind, I asked Perry just how they see the field of play and what he plans to do about it. 

One Day One Song:

A lot of people are saying that they think guitar music is dead, how would you respond to that?

Edward Perry:

I think a lot of people think everything has been done already, so ‘guitar music’ may need to bring in other influences be they electronic or from other cultures to ‘survive’, but I think it’s doing just fine. There’s been some good guitar music albums but admittedly the albums by UMO and Tame Impala have been up there with the best, two guitar bands who have brought in more electronic influences than they had previously. It’s going to stick around for sure.

One Day One Song:

You mention that you think guitar music needs to adapt, including bringing in electronic influences. Do you try and do that with your own music?

Edward Perry:

Well I guess we do, it was more because we needed to when the project started. Originally it was just me and a laptop with drums and samples being played via that, then Max came in playing guitar and Callum has joined on bass but whilst we’re still getting a drummer together, we rely on electronic devices for our live show.

I do think the music would sound different if it hadn’t started off that way so I guess it’s got electronic influences but they’re not at the heart of the sound. I think I would say I’m more of a producer than a musician though.

One Day One Song:

Would you say those influences have helped you gain an audience to any extent? Would you say that bands with those sort of influences have any sort of edge?

Looking more lo-fi than your nan's stereo
Looking more lo-fi than your nan’s stereo
Edward Perry:

I think it makes us sound different. I personally don’t think we sound like an average indie band, but as niche as the sound seems to me, it seems to have quite a broad appeal. We get people old and young enjoying the music. Under all the influences we always want to have a good song. You can make a good song sound however you want because at the end of the day it’s a good song. I think bands with similar influences may have an edge because they’re not limiting themselves. They can go wherever they want with the music they’re making and with everyone having a laptop with software on there, time can be spent messing around with their music.

Maybe the influences we have and what we make has an edge but that’s the great thing about the internet, anyone can find any style of music they want from anywhere in the world, so there’s people willing to try different music. Hopefully with all those options around we’re good enough that people will take the time to listen to us.

One Day One Song:

Ah fair, so it’s really good for broadening the audience. Turning to your upcoming gig at the spinnaker tower, is that on one of the viewing platforms?

Edward Perry:

Yeah, well we all have so many devices and tabs open at all times, I think it’s natural to have different influences now than maybe musicians did years ago because surely our attention spans are smaller than previous generations. But I find it exciting, it’s a different challenge to keep people’s attention.

Unfortunately not! It’ll be downstairs in the cafe but we went and saw Eloise Keating play there last year and it has a good vibe with a view of the water behind you. I’m not sure if Spinnaker Tower know how loud we can be play but it’s going to be fun and our friends Indigo are playing too and they’re great.

One Day One Song:

Good stuff. That’s interesting what you say about having to keep on top of people’s attention spans. Finally, what’s next for the band? Any big plans?

Edward Perry:

Well we’ve got Forgotten Fields and Green Man Festival next month which is super exciting and before that we have our BBC Introducing South session on Saturday night. Eventually we’ll be a full band and we’ve got some plans we’re working towards but we won’t spoil the surprise just yet. We’ve already written a few new songs after putting out Grip and Bruising so it’s exciting.

One Day One Song:

Nice, I’m really looking forward to hearing you on the show on Saturday. Cheers very much for your time.

You can listen to more of The boy i used to be’s music here, and buy tickets to their next show from the link above.

Advertisements