With sell out shows in Australia’s capital cities, Boy and Bear are heading to Hobart’s Wrest Point Showroom this November to rock Tassie fans with their Under a Southern Sun tour. Singer/ songwriter Dave Hosking overcomes a massive hangover to chat about his experiences with Boy and Bear.
Boy and Bear broke onto the scene in 2009, and the all-male Sydney band have since scored five ARIAs for their Indie-folk hits.
After the success of their 2011 debut LP Moonfire, Boy and Bear are back with newly released Harlequin Dream, and Dave reflects on how much he’s grown during Boy and Bears’ earliest years.
“I’ve learned a hell of a lot from things like songwriting and touring, to performance, to people management, and effectively working with teams,” Dave says.
“In amongst all that, I’ve been lucky enough to travel the world to learn about cities that I’ve never dreamed of going to, so it’s been pretty rich in regards to experience.”
While Dave considers himself lucky to have started out with a bang, he is conscious of the difficulties faced by modern musicians who enter a rapidly evolving industry that’s betrayed by piracy and grows increasingly competitive.
“If you decide you want to become a musician then you’re already moving into an unstable environment – you’ve picked a fairly difficult occupation to try and make a buck out of,” Dave acknowledges.
“To some extent, you already know it’s going to be difficult, and I think the fact that its changing and shifting does lead to instability, but also leads to really exciting opportunity. On one hand, it is nerve-racking at times, but on the other side, things are changing and it’s exciting to be part of.”
While the music industry is changing shape around Boy and Bear, the band are also keeping up as they evolve and experiment within the realms of their flagrantly Indie sound.
“I think we’ll always experiment to some extent,” Dave says.
“I can’t see us getting into death metal or hardcore hip-hop or anything, but I think it’ll always change. I can’t sit still. I like the idea of at least refining and moving somewhere, but I can’t see it moving too far from acoustic guitar.”
Dave is optimistic that the band will meet any challenge eye to eye with the ultimate aim of becoming an iconic Australian band – and they’re well and truly on their way.
“I think as long as we can keep getting better and keep pushing ourselves then we give ourselves a chance of doing something really special. I don’t think we should do much more than that. Everyone’s really dedicated and loves what we do in terms of our job, and we know how lucky we are. Hopefully we’ll still be doing this in 20 years time.”
Dave’s ambition has so far met with success, and new release Harlequin Dream topped the ARIA Album Chart in its first week running. Over a period of seven months, Boy and Bear worked in Sydney’s Alberts Studio to record the LP in the same workspace used by AC/DC, the Easybeats, and other classic Aussie bands.
“It was a beautiful studio, and it was familiar to us,” Dave says.
“It means a space like that isn’t intimidating and you can just sort of settle in and get to work. We made practical decisions – it removed all romanticism from the process. It was a really enjoyable experience, until probably the last session where everyone started to lose their marbles a little bit. Anyone who’s been in the studio for a relatively long time knows that it does some pretty weird things to you after a while.”
After the recording, Dave travelled to Bali to recover in style, and has since regained his marbles with some healthy exercise.
“I run and swim, and they’re the things that keep me sane – and try to spend time from my friends and family. I’ve been doing a bit of soul searching for the past few months.”
Boy and Bear’s efforts can be seen when they hit the Tassie stage for their Harlequin Dream tour’s Hobart stop – and Dave reveals little about what’s in store.
“There’s a new set design – it’s a little bit more adventurous than what we’ve done in the past. I won’t give it away just yet, but it’ll be good, it’ll be a real mixed bag.”
BOY AND BEAR WILL ROAR AT THE WREST POINT SHOWROOM ON NOVEMBER 16 AT 8PM. TICKETS AVAILABLE FROM WWW.TIXTAS.COM.AU.
BY STEPHANIE ESLAKE
This article featured in Warp Magazine, November 2013
Image source: Warp Magazine