LYED x B Boys Interview
Captured Tracks signees B Boys (not to be mistaken for DJ Kool Herc’s breakdancing congregates in the mid-70s) are releasing their first album “Dada” on June 16th following their successful 2016 EP “No Worry No Mind.” While sharing a label roster alongside indie rock mammoths Mac Demarco, Perfect Pussy, Wild Nothing and DIIV may evoke anxiety in the average artist, B Boys are approaching their first album exactly like they do with their music – with carefree avidity.
The band’s most recently released single and video “Energy” portray this notion entirely. Urgency and brashness are present throughout, but complimented with a playful pop element and Britton’s eccentric video moves – reinforcing the band’s mantra of never taking themselves too seriously.
I caught up with B Boys members Andrew Kerr, Brendon Avalos and Britton Walker before their sold out show at Union Pool in Brooklyn to discuss “Dada” and quickly uncovered their whimsical approach to music translates directly to their personalities.
How did you guys come up with the band name B Boys? A “b-boy” back in the day was a break dancer described as highly energetic and of causing disturbance, which I find your songs to be and do. Was that intentional, or am I totally off?
Brendon: It’s a lot simpler than that. We don’t really associate too much with b boy culture, but my name’s Brendon, his name’s Britton and actually goes by “B Boy”…
Lissa: But what about Andrew?
Andrew: I’m the wild card.
Brendon: We call him Bandrew. It’s as simple as that – our names start with Bs.
Britton: It was a Google calendar mishap from another band. We didn’t have a band name at the time and I went by “B Boy” for a long time, and then [Brendon] was a ‘B’ and we just started calling everyone ‘B,’ and then everyone started calling everyone else ‘B’ all over the place…
You guys are about to put out your new album “Dada” on June 16th and released a new single “Energy” in March with the video release shortly thereafter – how do you feel about releasing the album? Is there a lot more pressure or anxiety associated with an album release, or do you feel like it’s the same process that you underwent with your EP?
Brendon: I think it’s relatively the same. It’s like when you’re releasing the album, you work so long to write the songs, then you record them, then you have to wait for a pressing plant. It just is a long slog of something that you’ve already done. You’re just so anxious for people to hear it. I just want this thing to be out, like, today. We’re just waiting for all of these release dates which is the only thing that’s really annoying. Our EP came out faster, which was nice – this one is just like “OK, let it be out!”
The name of the album, “Dada” – is that referring to Dadaism? If so, does that relate to the art that you’re putting out right now and what other artists are doing from a political or international standpoint?
Brendon: Dadaism is something that I’ve personally been drawn into as an artist and visual person with just the idea of collaging a bunch of ideas together to make a new idea. It’s taking what you’ve created in the past and chopping it up or mixing it around to create something new. Just with the playfulness and the looseness of it, we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We just like to have fun and I feel like that’s how we write songs. They’re very piecemealed together – just cutting and pasting stuff together until it works. It’s not a crazy, iterative process. We just jam out and have fun.
In addition to jamming out and having fun, I didn’t know if there was also a certain creative process or ritual you guys adhere to as well…?
Brendon: We stretch, burn the incense, turn down the lights…
Britton: Give each other a hug.
Brendon: I think the big thing is we all have fun chemistry with each other, so it’s just fun. We have a good time. As far as the album name goes, “Dada,” I think we’ve had that name since we first started…
Andrew: One of our friends had a dream that our album was called “Dada,” so we just have been thinking about it ever since that happened.
Brendon: We just like the phonetic sound of “B Boys” and “Dada.” It’s very simple and silly. Our website is “bboysdada,” and that was even before we had the EP.
Lissa: Yeah, I saw that and didn’t know if it was after you guys decided you were going to do this album…
Andrew: It was our master PR scheme!
Brendon: We just thought it was funny. It’s kind of helped shaped the idea of the record and us as a band, I guess.
What’s your plan after the album release? I know you guys previously toured with Parquet Courts, are you going on tour again post-release?
Brendon: We’re doing a tour with Merchandise across the U.S. and then we’re going to Europe and doing a month-long tour there in September. This is the first time we’re going to Europe to play music, which has been a dream of mine since I started playing.
Any other info you want to share with readers about the new album, or just in general?
Britton: Stay hydrated, be nice to each other, and press your Chinos.
“Dada” will be available Friday, June 16th via Captured Tracks.