Over the past decade, Australian indie-rock music legends Boy & Bear have experienced their fair share of highs and lows. After years of selling out shows, touring the world and consistently topping album charts, the band entered what ended up being a four-year-long hiatus. Frontman Dave Hosking was diagnosed with a chronic illness after struggling with debilitating symptoms for several years. Dave eventually figured out how to manage his pain and, with support from his bandmates, returned to the music industry in 2018. Now, Boy & Bear are back and better than ever!
We were lucky enough to chat with Dave about the band’s latest album Suck on Light and life on tour.
You’ve been on hiatus for a couple of years. How does it feel to be back on the road?
It feels bloody great. We’re pretty lucky we get to do what we do and after the challenges of the last few years, it just feels particularly good to be back up on stage, playing music, together. It’s a lot of fun.
What were some of the biggest inspirations behind Suck on Light?
Suck on Light conceptually was really about my illness and some of the challenges as well as rewards that have come from that experience. It was always going to be difficult to not write about something like that, as it really dominated my life for a while there.
Which song(s) from this tour have you most enjoyed performing?
It’s always fun playing new songs. ‘Bird of Paradise’ has been particularly cool and I’m now playing a percussion pad up front in that song so it’s a whole new experience for me. For the most part, I even manage to stay in time.
Are there any songs you’re tired of performing?
I hate to say it but ‘Feeding Line’ gets a bit old for me sometimes. I’ve learnt though to try and appreciate songs that were written by a younger, less experienced version of myself. I have to be kind to him as he did pretty well.
What’s your funniest tour story, either from this tour or a previous tour?
We once had a favourite tour manager of ours accidentally feed in massive delays to the on-stage monitors as well as forget to turn the lights on, he was a bit distracted that night. All I had was my own voice blaring back at me on repeat whilst trying to wrangle my guitar in the dark.
If you could collaborate with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
There are so many amazing great artists, it really does blow me away. It would be pretty interesting to sit down with Kanye. I don’t know what I could offer him but I think he’s like a mad scientist, always doing interesting stuff. That would be pretty inspiring to be around.
You’re obviously all very talented musicians. Does anyone in the band have any hidden talents?
Well, I can juggle, not exactly a showstopper but still, keeps people interested for at least 30 seconds or so. Oh, and Jon is a really amazing photographer. Check out @jonsphotos on Instagram.
What’s the last song you listened to on your playlist?
Lana Del Rey - 'Hope is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman Like Me to Have'.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Not really these days. I like to have a bit of a stretch, limber up a little. Sip on a beer.
Don’t miss out! Secure your tickets to Boy & Bear here.
Listen to Boy & Bear’s handpicked “Best Of” playlist on Spotify here.