Blessthefall have had a bit of a lineup change since they first started making music, just over ten years ago. Their latest album, 'Hollow Bodies', came out in August, before the band took off on a UK tour. And that's where we come in, to catch up with frontman Beau Bokan...
How's the tour going?
Beau: The tour's going awesome. Last night was Leeds and it was bonkers. They set the bar really high for the rest of the tour.
What do you remember from your first show with Blessthefall?
Beau: My first show with Blessthefall, we played in a basement. It was underground, in a basement, the roof was here maybe? (gestures just above his head) It was packed out. It was my very first show with them, I was like super nervous, didn't want to forget the words. It was crazy. The backstage [area] was like a closet, so we'd play our songs, do a set, and we'd all fit in this closet! I remember me and all the guys just hugging, and being so stoked that we'd got our first show. It couldn't have been any better than this packed out basement. It was very cosy.
How important was it that 'Hollow Bodies' made a statement that the band had progressed since 'Awakening'?
Beau: Very important. Personally, I feel like there's so many bands that are out now. There's like a million other bands, and it's so easy to record a record now. You can make it sound good on a computer, you know what I mean? You don't have to sing good or scream good as long as you have the proper programming. I feel like there's so much competition for us, so it's hard to remain relevant and keep people interested in your music. So the fact that 'Hollow Bodies' came out perfect for us, everyone is really appreciating our change, our maturing sound, how hard we worked on the record. It's really like we have this new breath of life almost.
What do you thing Kevin Lyman of Warped Tour saw in you that made him put you on the main stage?
Beau: I don't know! He is such a smart dude, he's been doing this for like, 20 years? He knows what bands are doing great, what bands have a buzz going on around them, he knows what sort of music is starting to get popular. Last summer, he came out and watched us on the main stage a few times, kind of like testers. They brought bands from our stage onto the main stage. He had us open up the show on the main stage, we were so nervous. We saw him after and we were like, "Thanks for giving us this opportunity," and he was like, "I'm just getting warmed up!". A lot of people don't believe in our band, Kevin did, and we proved him right!
Do you tend to listen to the same genre of music as you play?
Beau: No, not at all really. I'm all over the spectrum as far as what I like. As far as bands closest to us, in our genre, that I would listen to, there's August Burns Red, Stick To Your Guns, maybe Killswitch Engage, stuff like that. But I love dance music, pop music, hip hop, R 'n' B. A bit of everything.
What have you been listening to in the van lately?
Beau: Lately, Jay Z's Holy Grail. Or Kanye West, old Kanye's really good. I don't like the new record so much.
Are there any songs you wish you'd written?
Beau: Any Michael Jackson song. Man In The Mirror. I remember when I was a kid, just feeling...something. It was so emotional listening to him sing, and the lyrics... So when we write music, I kind of go to songs, like Coldplay, that really move you. I wanna bring that to whoever's listening to our music.
If you had to play 2 covers when you went on stage tonight, what would they be?
Beau: Probably Blink 182. Any song from Blink. Anything from their catalogue, I can probably sing it. And maybe New Found Glory or something, they're fun to play.
Are there any questions you ask yourself on a daily basis?
Beau: How did I get here?! How did I get to this spot? [We're] pretty big now. I've been in a band before that kind of failed, I wasn't very good at singing at all. What gave me the inspiration and the drive to keep trying? Because I look back at these videos and I'm so bad. So I don't know if it was just hard work and God's blessing. I think he kept pushing me without me even realising it. So that's my question. There's gotta be a reason for me, and our band being where we are. There's a purpose for us.
What are your New Years' resolutions? Do you have any plans for next year?
Beau: Try to reach a whole new fan base. Travel across the world to places we've never been to. Reach out to more new people and new fans. That's it!