What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
Stewart: Boyracer has existed since my teenage years, formed loosely in 1989 with school friends, as most bands do. The 1st record came out in 1992 when I was 20. There have been maybe 60 different people in the band since then. Live lineups are always different. Its fun to play with different people, regardless of proficiency, always encouraged and it usually works out. I lucked out when Christina joined, because in terms of her songwriting contributions, her style and approach is as if I’ve been writing songs with her much longer than the two years she’s been in the band. Ive been making records 30 years, but I still dont think of myself as a singer. Im aware my vocals are much stronger on the new LP than previous releases. And most of that is down to the vocal interactions with Christina. I think our vocals are great together.
Christina: I was so thrilled when Stewart asked me to be in Boyracer, and have been loving collaborating with him ever since. I really admire his songwriting and musicianship so it is definitely exciting to work with him. I agree that our vocals sound pretty great together as well!
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
Stewart: Assuaged, is one of my favourite words. Look it up!. The LP came about very quickly. I’ve never been one to overthink anything. Or to spend hours rehearsing. Honing your craft has its place, but I never do more than 3 takes of anything when Im recording. I work better when I limit myself. I’m not dismissing my own music by amy means, and I can understand why other bands are very precious about their own music, and spend months trying to make something perfect. But that’s not me. Perfection is unattainable. Imperfections are what makes a song special or memorable. I am all about gut reaction and raw emotion. Assuaged came very quickly out of nowhere, and was written, recorded, mixed and sent off to the pressing plant all within a few months. Christina wrote half the songs, I wrote the other half, and we basically just swapped files and finished each others songs. Matty Green, OG Sarah Records guitarist was also very much involved, wrote one of the songs, and added bass and guitar on a good chunk of the album. We also got Penny from the Cannanes on trumpet. There is never a masterplan. Which Im realising I think has probably always been my masterplan…
Christina: It was a lot of fun to record this record in such a short amount of time. I’d sit down at my computer, open up my email, and there’d be a new song (or three!) from Stew to add stuff to. I’d lock myself away in my band-space and record my parts, often times at 2 or 3 am, haha. It’s nice to look back at the past year and have good memories of making Assuaged, while the outside world was so chaotic and stressful.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
Stewart: The Jesus and Mary Chain. I remember being 15 years old seeing them play “In A Hole” on UK TV. I couldn’t understand the guitar sound at time, it sounded like a vacuum cleaner. I hadn’t heard feedback guitars before. It seemed powerful and raw and real. My own punk rock awakening. The truly inspiring thing about it was that it was obvious the Mary Chain weren’t great musicians, but had such a remarkable command of their own sound, it didnt matter. I remember thinking I want to play guitar and make it sound like a glass smashing. It was a perfect union of music and non-music. Write a pop song, then destroy it with feedback guitars.
Christina: When I was in fourth grade, my older sister bought “Live Through This” by Hole on CD. I was so little at the time, yet I listened over and over and realized that so much more was possible with music than what I was exposed to previously. I wanted to grow up and have a band, and knew it’d be ok to be an angry girl with a loud guitar.
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
Stewart: Boyracer are very concise, and always have been. I cant be arsed with padding or spending three weeks miking a snare drum. Too many bands repeat ideas, and stretch their songs to the 3 minute ideal. But most of Boyracers songs are 2 minutes, or less. Still pop songs, but with no flab. I took a lot of my early cues from Buzzcocks. If you cant say what you need to in under 3 minutes you probably have too much to say.
Christina: I agree. Generally 3 minute songs are too long for me. Obviously there are some exceptions, but my attention span prefers shorter, catchy songs with unpredictable changes, melodies and sounds. All of which I think Boyracer has.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
JAMC psychocandy / THE JAM the gift / ADAM AND THE ANTS kings of the wild frontier
THE OUTSIDERS / DARJEELING LIMITED / CARRY ON SCREAMING
ROGER McGOUGH / BRIAN PATTERN / JOHN FANTE
HOLE – Live Through This / SLOAN – Twice Removed / MY BLOODY VALENTINE – m v b
Best In Show / My Cousin Vinny / The Goonies
Patti Smith – Just Kids / Virginia Woolf / Carrie Brownstein – Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
Stewart: Used to be live, possibly still is, but I haven’t done it in awhile! I enjoy the unpredictability and chaos of playing live. I used to hate recording, as it always felt like it took to long, Im very much always in the moment. And I like the idea of all pop music being disposable. But now I probably find recording more satisfying, as Im able to tailor the sounds in my head to better effect.
Christina: I love to play live. I feel euphoric, high, free… its exciting, full of mystery. I also enjoy recording… but writing songs – when it pours out of me, getting lost in that moment and playing live takes the cake for me.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
Stewart: I once ate a meal next to Joe Walsh and hung out for a couple of hours. He was a super cool guy, most gracious and seemed genuinely interested in my music and how I operated at a grass roots level. We talked about punk rock. Not at all what I was expecting. Not once did he make any reference to his own musical legacy. Which was both very cool of him, and spared my embarrassment. Because I fucking hate the Eagles. Hahaha…
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
Stewart: Ack. Well… I dont know about unique. I’ve spent 30 years dialing it in. There are songs that are special to me for differing reasons, and in my head what makes them unique is the circumstances in how they were recorded.
Christina: To me, Stewart’s songs are so dynamic, they are all unique. I never know what to expect, yet they are always distinctive. They are always Boyracer.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
Stewart: There will be shows. West Coast tour Jan 2022. And we’re very prolific. Assuaged is our 14th full length. Im feeling like Ive hit a purple patch in the last couple of years, so expect album number 15 in 2022….
Christina: Definitely looking forward to Jan 2022 – a special Oakland Weekender festival in the works (save the date Jan 6-8th) on top of other shows planned, and yes more new music!
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
Christina: Drinks With The Girls is one of my favorites off of Assuaged so I wanted to make a video for it. Stewart had some Boyracer balloons made recently for our Right or Wrong cassette EP, and I had an idea to use it for the opening and closing of the video. It came together super easily. There were leftover bday balloons lying around my house and the idea hit me! I busted out a sharpie and created the faces to make the movie stars of our video. Really happy with how it came together. I got attached to a couple of characters in the video while editing it, and was sad to watch them slowly wither away around my house the rest of the week.
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
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