Posted by: Necci – Sep 18, 2012
No introduction this week. Let's get to the goods:
photo by Phillip Harper
First we got to have a few words with Ian Hurdle of Boxer. This pop-punk band has just released a vinyl EP called Undertow. The band is about to head back into the studio in a couple weeks.
Are you all from Richmond?
Yes! All four of us born and raised. We all grew up in the West End of Richmond and have since moved into the city for various reasons: school, music, etc.
How did Boxer get together?
In a nutshell, Boxer pretty much formed from the ashes of the bands each of us played with throughout high school. However, the four of us have been playing music together in one configuration or another since we first picked up instruments. It just took us a few years to get the formula right I suppose, ha ha.
Where did you record this latest EP Undertow? What do you think of the recording process?
In my bedroom!! Not because we are cheap or don't consider quality, but because we were allowed the luxury of spending as much time as we felt necessary on any part. We all love taking full advantage of the recording process, allowing it to remain as creatively intensive as is the writing process. While there are often time parameters attached to a traditional studio experience, we naturally would have had trouble managing time to experiment in the ways we wanted to.
What's next for Boxer?
At the end of September, we will be heading up to Conshohocken, PA to record three new songs with Will Yip at Studio 4. The songs will be released on a split EP with Eyes Wide from Altoona, PA sometime in the next six months. No concrete plans on who we will be releasing with quite yet, but we are very excited!
What have you been listening to lately?
What we listen to is kinda all over the place! Lately our playlists have consisted a lot of: Beach House, Eyes Wide, Daylight, Tycho, Title Fight, Black Brothers, Whirr, St. Vincent, Basement, CSTVT, Fire & Ice, Now Now, Ceremony, The Joy Formidable, Harms Way, The National, The Smiths, and The Promise Ring.
Who did the album cover? What did you hope to convey with it?
The art was a collaboration between myself and two local artists: Parker Black and Phillip Harper. There was no specific story or meaning that we wanted to convey while designing it. However, achieving some sort of image that accurately summarized what we were trying to communicate musically was the goal. We wanted an image to agree with the "space" the music creates. As listening to music is an individual experience, we wanted to keep the art open for just as much interpretation as the record is.
How did you get signed to Reveille Records?
Bill at Reveille approached us a few months after we put the record online. After shooting a few emails back and forth, we knew Reveille was exactly what we were looking for in a label to do Undertow with. Working with Reveille has been such an incredible experience thus far. Don't sleep on this label!
Describe a favorite show you've played.
One of the coolest Boxer shows was at The Camel a few months back with Balance & Composure and Tigers Jaw. The show sold out pretty quickly so the place was totally packed out. People were listening from outside as well. There were these strange decorations all over the place. Tassels and streamers all over the ceiling. It felt like we were at Prom or something. When Tigers Jaw went on, people naturally went bonkers, piling up close to the ceiling. Kids started tearing the decorations down and throwing them everywhere! I felt like we were in some sort of music video!
What do you do for your day jobs?
Ian records bands for a living, Grayson waits tables at a ritzy, French restaurant called Can Can, Dewey works at Fresh Market, and Stewart dresses up as the dinosaur mascot for the Children's Museum!
What is your favorite thing about the Richmond music scene, or what needs a little work?
The Richmond music scene is my favorite in the whole country. It's awesome to live in a city where it's impossible to walk around without running into some sort of show or gallery opening. Music in Richmond has been thriving for as long as I can remember. There are so many bands, musicians, and new people to meet and work with. That being said, there is a very strong sense of community. Almost everyone contributes to the scene in one way or another. It rules. I would say that the only aspect of the Richmond music scene that is currently lacking is a reliable DIY venue. We were lucky enough to have an incredible DIY space up until several months ago. Unfortunately, no great venue lasts forever! However, I have faith that the scene will discover a new one very soon!!
Boxer has a show @ Strange Matter 11/16 for the Fire & Ice CD Release Show, with Tough Luck and Time Ends. Or check Boxer out @ Strange Matter on 11/19 with Turnover, Major League, and Maker. All ages, $8.
As I'm looking at it, Boxer has already sold out of the vinyl version [although maybe not--looks like their label still has copies -ed]. Boxer also just appeared on a compilation CD put out by Compsure Clothing.
Next we have Limbs from Harrisonburg playing the Bauhaus Haus with Gunboat, Little Smoke, and Rifle Recoil on August 17. The video, just of Limbs, includes half-naked sweaty boys playing post-punk amongst shadows and slight, controlled feedback.
video by Caitlin Patterson
Polo Rogers has released a track called "Small Market" from this summer's The Adventures of Polo Rogers: a Hip Hop Odyssey. A founding member of hip hop collective C.O.N.T.R.O.L., Rogers is also a graduate of VUU. I'm diggin' the shoutouts to various parts of the RVA. "Two up, two down," "Riding down Broad St. . . Rollin' through Jackson Ward. . ."
If you ever liked Soulive, or any funk for that matter, you should have made it out to the Alan Evans Trio's show at Capital Ale House on 9/12. Here is an eight-minute snippet of some of the sounds going on that night:
Symbols & Pencils is a project by Josh Vliet of BuddhaCat. His new release, The USS Marigold, sounds like a combination of Matthew E. White and Tom Waits. The all-analog recording is spiritual, freaky, and fairly experimental.
By Sarah Moore Lindsey (soundsofrva.com)