The Robbie Boyd Band is a funky, feel good band from London. Despite being extremely busy fulfilling a prolific gig schedule, we were delighted when their lead singer, Robbie Boyd, agreed to complete a full in-depth feature interview. Read the full interview below where Robbie discuss, amongst other things, who he would like to collaborate with given a chance, what he does to relax and what he hopes the Robbie Boyd Band can achieve over the next 12 months.
Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?
We play feel good ‘Funky Folk’ music.
Q: What is your musical background?
I grew up listening to Buddy Holly, Simon and Garfunkel, The Beatles and The Who. I played the classical guitar for a while when I was younger and wanted to be like John Martyn, then moved on to the electric in my Rage Against the Machine days, and finally settled on the acoustic guitar. I also play the Ukulele and Piano. I started taking songwriting seriously about 3 years ago and have written over 150 songs since.
Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?
The last 12 months have been incredible. We’ve played on the same bill as The Kooks at Harvest at Jimmy’s Festival, Razorlight at Get Loaded in the Park and The Delays at The Shepherd’s Bush Empire. We’ve played gigs in Austria, France, Italy and soon to be in Germany and I’ve had songs played on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio London.
Q: Who inspires you musically?
James Taylor, Paul Simon, Ray Davies, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Billy Joel, Jackson Browne, Nick Drake, Bob Dylan, The Smiths, Fleetwood Mac the list is endless…
Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?
Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, Noah and The Whale, Ben Howard, Johnny Flynn, Mumford and Sons, Fleet Foxes, Beirut, Ray La Montagne, John Mayer, The Killers, Bloc Party, Radiohead, Coldplay…
Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?
I would love to support Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros or Arcade Fire. It’s a dream of mine to go to Nashville and work with country/folk artists, or just generally be on the road in the States and meet people along the way.
Q: What songs are you listening to at the moment?
Jamie Lawson – Wasn’t Expecting That, The Staves – Mexico, Noah and the Whale – Last Night on Earth (Whole Album).
Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?
Find some chords I like, sing over the top, write some words down, take the words away, edit them, go back to the song, find the right structure that fits the song, write a Middle 8 if it needs it, practice with the band, gig it, record it.
Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?
I think both are equally important – I find melody much easier to come up with, and I think that’s what people connect to and generally remember on first listen, but when it’s accompanied by good words that’s when people really start to appreciate the song and it increases the repeated listening factor.
Q: Where are you based?
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
I’ve been busking on the streets of London for about 3 years now and whenever I talk to anyone from another country, they always seems to want to live here, so I count myself lucky to be born here. I like London so much that I even wrote a song about it!
Q: What are you currently working on?
We’re releasing our first single “I won’t let you go” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36ZfYvTvI3U on 23 April, and our second single “Orion’s Belt” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UGdaMrsY6A with the EP “Autumn’s Flown” on 4 June. We also have a demo album “What are you waiting for” for sale.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
Playing on the same bill as the Kooks at Harvest at Jimmy’s Festival on my birthday in front of 3,000 people, having come straight from the airport after playing a gig in Milan, Italy the night before.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in over the next 12 months?
Record and release a full album that people like. Be aired on mainstream radio. Tour as many countries as possible. Play at Glastonbury 2013.
Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?
I’m based in London, I’m guessing you’re based in America so that would require some serious dedication from our fans! Having said that, at our recent sell-out show at The Bedford in London, people came all the way from Bristol, Ipswich, Leicester and Leeds just to watch us – and it was snowing that night!!
Q: What do you do to relax?
Listen to music, play the guitar or piano, watch TV (Friends, Two and a Half Men or Total Wipeout), eat, go for long walks, see my friends, read…
Q: Where would your favourite holiday (vacation) be and why?
Italy. It’s such a beautiful country with tasty food and lovely people. Or somewhere in South America.
Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring musicians what would it be?
Don’t ever give up if you think you’ve got something to offer. Listen to everyone’s advice even if you don’t agree with it at first (sometimes they’re right and someday you might). Be confident in knowing who you are. There are many great quotes by people like Nelson Mandela, Baz Lurhman, and Steve Jobs that have helped me find the courage to do what I do and put it much better than I could.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
I can talk like Donald Duck, I’m a qualified Sailing Instructor and as a child I was on the front cover of a country music album called ‘Country Friends’.
Editor’s Note: The Robbie Boyd Band embodies feel good music with both great technical ability and an incredible voice too. Definitely one of Song Revelation’s “Bands to Watch” for 2012 and beyond!
If you’d like to learn more about or get in touch with the Robbie Boyd Band just follow the links below:
YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/TheRobbieBoyd