With an infectious on-stage presence, Dear Boy is making some serious moves in the California alt-rock scene.
The project that would eventually become Dear Boy came about in London when Scarlet Grey members Ben Grey and Keith Cooper started a new writing venture. It was intended to be the next step in Scarlet Grey’s musical progression, but engendered something completely different. Knowing that this new batch of songs couldn’t go on with the same band, Ben and Keith brought on Austin Hayman and Nils Bue, and Dear Boy was born. They released the five songs from London on their debut EP and the rest is history in the making. While their latest songs are a collaborative product from all four members, it still follows the path that Keith and Ben had started in London.
To be honest, when I first heard the name “Dear Boy”, I pictured a crop of cute indie chicks smoothly serenading their ex-lovers – what I discovered instead was a paradoxical stream of melodic yet energetic beats with hints of pop-punk and indie rock with some new flavor sprinkled on top. So where did the name come from? The names credit actually goes to a British gal who waited on a homesick half-band in creative limbo. During their London trip, Keith and Ben were out to eat on Thanksgiving. As you (hopefully) know, Thanksgiving isn’t really a “thing” in London, unless you come across some Yankee ex-pats. The waitress referred to them as “dear boys” and something about the name got into their blood and it was clear that this was the name for their next chapter.
2015 is shaping up to be a great year for these dear boys. They have already played a slew of shows, having kicked off March with a few dates in Orange County. Mid-March will see them venturing to the first of what is sure to be a spree of festivals for them this year with SXSW in Austin. This will be their second year playing the SX circuit, but with a few more gigs on their schedule. I caught up with Austin Hayman at Dear Boy’s Bardot gig a few weeks back. “We have a really crazy week at SX - we’re playing a whole bunch of shows, that’s going to be really fun!”
When asked if a record deal is on the horizon for 2015, Austin let me know that while they’ve had some good talks, they haven’t made a decision yet. “You have to be really selective about who you want to work with, especially with your first album because it can really make or break you.”
One of Dear Boy’s undeniable strengths is their ability to connect with their fans – both on stage and off. Sure, Ben Grey has mastered control of his brooding musician hair flip, to a point where it seems almost choreographed with the rest of the show. But they also definitely engage the audience in the show while on stage, making sure to wave at those fans that are in the crowd night after night. After the show it’s hard to pin any of them down, not because they’re busy with the after party or rushing to sneak out the back, but because they actually stop and talk to their fans. “One of the things we’re the most proud of is the community we’ve helped create amidst the congestion of LA,” shared Ben. “We’re all in this together and it’d be impossible to forget the people who have helped take us this far. We've been incredibly lucky.”
Find the latest updates on Dear Boy at http://www.dearboyofficial.com/