After the Brand New show at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore a few weekends ago, I was fortunate to be able to sit down with Jordan from Boy Crazy and ask him a few questions in the comfort of his mini-van. I’ve got the whole interview here for everybody to read. Enjoy!
Make sure you’ve read my short write-up and listened to the band before reading the interview!
Boy Crazy – Egyptian Plover and the Crocodile Boy Crazy – I’m Not a Tigress, I’m a Tiger
What’s your name and what do you do in the band?
My name’s Jordan and I play drums in Boy Crazy.
So the first time I heard about you guys was at the Alexisonfire show at the Ottobar. To be honest, I thought you were just some shitty pop-punk band at first. Obviously I was wrong, but do people get the wrong impression about your band a lot based on your name?
A lot of people think it’s the New Found Glory thing. And also, a lot of the bands we play with are pop-punk, just because it’s the kind of “in thing” now and they draw really well. But it’s cool because we get to stand out as an instrumental band playing with all these different bands that aren’t like us. But yeah, Boy Crazy, everyone thinks we’re gay. It’s cool, people remember the name.
How’s the search for a vocalist going?
Very poorly. We have kids come over and it’s very American Idol. They’ll just stand there and instantly from the first time they touch the mic, the four of us will look at each other and just know it’s miserable. And it’s so hard not to laugh when kids come over. It’s so bad. I think we’re kind of at the point where we’re happy doing the instrumental thing, especially with putting a CD out and being to start some touring. I think we’re not putting so much of an urgency on finding a singer right now because the instrumental thing is working.
How many kids do you have wanting to audition for the band?
Everyday I get kids online. I put my phone number on MySpace which is the dumbest thing ever, so random people call me saying “Yo, I wanna sing! Fuck yeah!” But yeah, everyday there’s people asking.
Do you think the way your music is written it’s hard to find a vocalist to go along with it?
Yeah, everything that’s written for the CD we play live. It isn’t written with a singer in mind. You know, especially our guitar player, he basically is the voice of the band. When we’re writing we want to make sure there are melodies there that are memorable that complete the music without a vocalist. So it’s tough. When we talk to singers they’re like “Man, I have no idea what to do,” just because we didn’t really leave space for them to fill in the blanks.
How would you describe your music?
It’s tough. It’s rock and roll, I mean, that’s the easiest way to say it. It’s energetic and it’s fun. We do the electronic stuff and a lot of technical guitar.
Justin (bass): It’s not techie though. It’s very ambient. It’s a lot of, you know, dancy riffs mixed into a big rock and roll kind of feel that makes it very memorable and a very entertaining live show.
That one song on your MySpace reminded me of the Sound of Animals Fighting…
We get that a lot.
Yeah, so when you make your music do you have any influences? Do you keep any bands in mind?
It’s really hard to say because we’re all into totally into separate things. Brian, our guitarist, he’s all into Bjork and Aphex Twin, a lot stuff like that. He also does all the electronic programming. That’s where he finds his influences. But at the same time he’s into Rod Stewart and that kind of stuff. I’m the biggest Hilary Duff fan and I love Fiona Apple. Them [Justin and Stanley] back there, they’re into Every Time I Die and stuff like that, so that’s where a lot of the rock and roll stuff comes in. I guess the bands we’re into, it’s not directly influencing what we write. I don’t know, it’s really hard to say. We’re all everywhere, and that’s why I think the music is “out there.”
So how did you get Emerald Moon’s attention? Did you find them? Did they find you?
Actually, from what we heard, they were scouting the band Make Your Stand at a show in Bel Air and ended up seeing us. They’ve heard of us through some other bands. We posted a secret PureVolume page with the unmixed and unmastered songs that we had recorded for the CD just so the singers could listen when they came over and tried out. Somehow people on Emerald Moon got a hold of that and contacted us. We went out to dinner and it was pretty much it from there. It was kind of cool because we had no intentions of releasing the record with the help of a record label.
How’s it been with them so far?
It’s been good. Obviously, all the AbsolutePunk stuff and press we’ve been getting has been all through Emerald Moon. We’re self-booking a tour right now. Just by having “We’re Boy Crazy on Emerald Moon records” helps a lot.
So since you’ve signed your touring plans having probably changed.
Yeah, this summer. We’re actually booking it right now. Starting mid-June we’re going to go out for five weeks and circle the U.S. completely.
I’m not too familiar with it, so what’s the Baltimore music scene like?
The scene is good. A couple of years ago we were with another band and our friends Adelphi, who signed to Drive-Thru records, they put us on our first show as a band. Through them we met All Time Low who was on Emerald Moon and now moved up to Hopeless. Both of those bands introduced us to the scene and became our friends. It’s cool because we stick out a lot from all the pop-punk bands, screamo bands, and that kind of stuff. So when we play with them, we’re that band without a singer. We’re that band that people might remember the most. But the scene’s very strong and there’s a lot of good venues that we play constantly and the kids come out every time.
How was your record release show at Recher Theatre?
It was awesome. It actually sold out before the doors even opened. There were about 800 kids. Everyone responded to it well. We sold a shitload of CD’s. Everything worked out perfectly.
So I guess you have a pretty big fan base around here?
Yeah. We’ve been Boy Crazy, doing the thing without a singer for a little over a year now, and just playing every single weekend. It’s more than music for us. It’s making friends with the kids that come out and all the bands. If you’re cool to them they’ll be cool to you back and support you. It’s really good for us.
Have you been writing anything new? Any plans for a full-length?
The thing is, we really didn’t know what we were doing as far as continuing a band without a singer, so we had this music and we decided that we wanted to release something because we’ve been playing for so long. We put out the EP, we’re still working on a DVD, just something to tie us over. If we find a singer then who knows what’ll happen. If not, we don’t really know. But at practice we’re just kind of jamming and not really putting full songs together or having a set goal in mind. I guess, as far as the band right now, it’s the DVD we’re working on.
What’s the DVD going to be like?
It’s just a lot of dumb footage of us doing stupid shit, plus live footage, interviews, and stuff like that. We were going to release it with the EP originally, but we felt like it took away from what we were trying to do as a piece of art with the EP: taking a lot of time with artwork, having a story in mind of what we were trying to express. So we figured, best bet is wait till later in the summer, go on tour for a little bit, get some better footage of the band, and then release the DVD by itself.
Who did the artwork for the EP?
The artwork was done by a guy called Raymond Clecker. He’s a friend of Paul Levitt, who recorded the CD. He did two separate paintings on canvas and then we sent it out to this guy, Mario [Garza] in California. He put it into photoshop, did some magic, and made it look awesome.
Did you tell him what you wanted or did you let him do his own thing?
We wanted Ray to have his artistic freedom because we felt that was really important, for him to get his idea across. We told him what the CD meant to us and what we had in our minds. He through out ideas and it kind of snowballed from there. But a lot of it was his input, which we liked.
That’s all I’ve got to ask, but does anybody else want to say anything?
If you’re reading this, and we’re coming to your town this summer, please check us out. We just ask that everybody gives us one chance (and ten dollars). We pride ourselves on being a really good live band. We feel that we’ve put out an incredible record. If you can’t hold your own live, it’s not worth it. We try to make it as much fun as possible for everybody there and try to include everybody whether they’re into us or not. So if we’re somewhere near you, check us out at least once and hopefully you’ll enjoy it. Even if you’re not into the music, we’ll at least try to give you a fun time.