BY ANDREA HOFFMAN
Britton Walker, Andrew Kerr, and Brendon Avalos came together to form B Boys in 2014 and released their first EP No Worry No Mind two years later. They’ve also been signed to the independent, Brooklyn-based record label, Captured Tracks, and are currently on their biggest tour yet across the US. Today they released their first full-length album, Dada, and they’ve taken the time to tell us all about it in front of Los Angeles music venue, The Echo.
UNCLEAR: So how’s the tour going so far? What’s it like? This is a pretty big tour you guys are on.
BRITTON: "So far so good, there’s been a lot of long drives, middle of America is a weird place, west coast is really cool, legal weed, cool people."
ANDREW: "Shoutout to legal weed."
BRITTON: "Shoutout to legal weed. Shoutout to CBD. Yeah, but we’ve been having a really good time. We did the first couple shows by ourselves—Pittsburgh, Columbus and St. Louis. Then we met up with Merchandise in Oklahoma City and we’ve been having a lot of fun with them. So far so good, I mean, I think now I’m starting to lose my mind a little bit but it’s not in a bad way or anything."
UNCLEAR: What’s different about your full-length album, Dada, from your EP, No Worry No Mind? How do you think you’ve all grown since then?
ANDREW: "I think our songwriting process has always kind of stayed the same. It’s pretty similar in the sense that we just kind of like to take the urgency of our jam sessions and then kind of work off from there. This record, we planned it out a little bit more, we demoed the songs for a little longer and took our time figuring out layers we wanted to add and different production and stuff like that."
BRITTON: "Yeah, the last one was like, 'We have eight songs.'"
ANDREW: "Yeah, 'This is what we’re gonna record because this is the time we have.'"
BRITTON: "This new one was like, 'What kind of song should come after this song?' They were all still from jamming but there was more planning from beginning to end."
UNCLEAR: Since you have put more planning into it, what kind of vibe do you want people to get from it or how do you think that planning translated into the work?
BRITTON: "I mean, I just feel like I want someone to sing to it."
[At this point of the interview, Brendon walks up from down the street and joins the rest of the band.]
BRITTON: "You missed one question. How’s tour going so far?"
BRENDON: "It’s going great, I just had some soup."
ANDREW: "We’re also talking about how we hope this record is received differently than the EP."
BRENDON: "I just hope people hear it. I want people to make a judgement on it. I’d rather them have an opinion on it than just us go into obscurity and just be like, 'Yeah I’ve never even heard of them.'"
UNCLEAR: Makes sense.
BRITTON: "Yeah, that’s a pretty honest answer."
BRENDON: "It’s kind of hard to even figure out how to get it out to people these days like there’s normal media outlets that kind of can work or not. You know you just get a write up somewhere you’re like, 'Well that was like five minutes in digital trash world.'"
UNCLEAR: Exactly, there’s just so much going on.
BRENDON: "Yeah, and there’s like a new band every five minutes. Anytime there’s an article or whatever it’s just like, 'Oh there, that lasted thirty seconds,' and then someone clicks refresh and it’s gone."
UNCLEAR: I heard you guys are also going on tour in the UK and Europe.
BRITTON: "Yeah, in September."
BRENDON: "For a couple of months too. We’re pretty excited."
UNCLEAR: Are you guys going as support for someone?
ANDREW: "No, just on our own."
UNCLEAR: Do you feel excited or nervous about that?
BRITTON: "Both, but more excited than anything."
BRENDON: "Yeah more excited, but we just have to figure out all the logistics [of the tour]. I guess that’s what I’m thinking about anyway. But it’ll be nice when we get there."
UNCLEAR: It’s definitely different driving through multiple countries instead of just driving through different states.
BRITTON: "We’ll probably have someone help us drive."
BRENDON: "Yeah, we’ll have a driver and stuff. Since none of us have ever really toured over there, I don’t know how any of the money situation works."
UNCLEAR: You might have to change currencies every day depending on where you are.
BRENDON: "Well it’s all the euro except for the UK I think."
ANDREW: "We’re playing Switzerland though and I think they're on different money too."
BRITTON: "And Eastern Europe, I think they’re on different currency too."
BRENDON: "So hopefully we get someone honest that does a good job, whoever it is."
UNCLEAR: So I was wondering, what’s the title of the album about, Dada, right?
BRENDON: "Andrew has got this one."
ANDREW: "It’s just a funny sounding word. My friend Matt, when we first started the band, said he had a dream that we had this record called Dada so we always knew we were gonna call it that. We’ve just been making connections from there to different things like the art movement, this restaurant in my parents’ neighborhood in Delray Beach, whatever you want you know? It’s just a funny sounding word and we just like the way it flows."
BRENDON: "That’s the main factor, like most of our things it has to roll off the tongue or have some kind of alliteration. Even our songwriting and our hooks, that’s where it kind of starts."
ANDREW: "We like to joke around so if it sounds funny then we usually take it to a serious place from there."
BRITTON: "And we had a title track for [the album] but it just never made it. It might go on the next record."
BRENDON: "We had the song first I think, but the song never came to be so we just trashed it."
BRITTON: "It was one tight riff and one good vocal line."
BRENDON: "And we don’t have anything else. Couldn’t crack the egg on that one."
UNCLEAR: Well you can always come back to it, right?
BRITTON: "Yeah, and we will. That’s the goal."
UNCLEAR: What are you looking forward to doing in the future with your music? What’s something that you really want to do?
BRENDON: "Spend more time in the studio! That’s like one of my favorite parts, the recording and the production process of the music. And then having an idea and by the time it comes to fruition, hearing how that actually sounds. It’s always different than what you imagine, but it’s always interesting and cool to think of the stuff that you’ve been imagining and then hearing it come to be in a slightly different way. But also you’re like, 'That idea was actually good!' versus like, 'I’m trash.'"
ANDREW: "I’m looking forward to it maybe taking us to different countries we’ve never been to before and just meeting new people. Sharing music. Keep playing and keep putting records out."
BRITTON: "With the opportunity of maybe bottle service down the line."
BRENDON: "Yeah, we’re trying to go to Ibiza. For any clubs in Ibiza we have an all linen outfit. But yeah, traveling is like one of the coolest things to do with music. We have friends that play in bands that go to Japan, Australia, all over Europe and you do it, hopefully, for free. That’s the goal. That’s one of the coolest experiences definitely."
UNCLEAR: It’s the dream for sure.
BRENDON: "Yeah, free vacation while you’re working."