Boys in the Well
3227 N. Davidson St.
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
Watch & Listen
Mainstays of the Austin music scene for nearly a decade, anthemic ambient rock band The Rocketboys have steadily built a loyal following over the course of two LPs and a handful of EPs. Their dynamic, majestic songs have earned comparisons to Coldplay, Arcade Fire and Band of Horses, and they’ve captured audiences nationwide with a soaring, stirring live show.
After nearly five years without a full-length release, The Rocketboys return with Certain Circles-- a seasoned and cohesive LP that combines the grandiosity of the band’s debut 20,000 Ghosts with the soul of sophomore effort Build Anyway-- with a sprinkling of their 2015 EP Left | Right's pop-sensibility.
The band's brief stint on an indie label in 2015, despite bringing notable accolades (single Viva Voce on GLEE and over 1 million Spotify streams), left them never quite feeling comfortable in their own artistic skin. Once they parted ways, songs that had been set aside during that time for not being “hit-worthy” resurfaced, and new songs were written with a focus on creating beautiful music regardless of immediate commercial appeal.
“It’s liberating to return to doing what we love, remember why we were playing music in the first place," says keyboardist Justin Wiseman. "We’re incredibly proud of all of the music we’ve created, but with this LP, it feels like we’re back to doing what we do best.”
Lead singer and guitarist Brandon Kinder agrees. “We’d gone from small Austin studios, to big LA super studios, to bedrooms, to literally the back of the van. This time, we mostly recorded at my home studio in Austin because we wanted to be able to spend a lot of time experimenting with sounds and parts. It was nice not to feel the pressure of an expensive studio. I think this is the best thing we’ve ever done because of the extra time we were able to spend chasing down ideas.”
For their last few releases, Kinder says, the band had drifted toward writing songs with an agenda behind them. And it was never really supposed to be that way.
"When we started this band (in college in Abilene, Texas, circa 2005), it wasn’t to make money, or to write a hit, or to hear our voices on the radio," Kinder says. "We just wrote songs that we thought were cool, and we had fun playing them.
"I wouldn’t trade the experiences we’ve had for anything, because I think we’ve grown a lot as songwriters and musicians because of it. But I wanted to get back to that innocence, back to writing with our fans in mind, and not a dollar sign.”
"It’s why we love standing in front of a microphone and an audience-- and about what it is to chase a dream until you almost want to give up. Most of the songs on Certain Circles reflect that journey.”
Adds Wiseman, "Although we loved the songs on Left | Right and relish the successes it brought, we knew there was something better in terms of what this band can be. Ironically, we wrote many of the songs before and after that label stint during some long periods of just...waiting.”
The title Certain Circles refers to a Venn diagram. "It’s one group pulling us one way, and a different group pulling us another," says Kinder. “We didn’t realize until we started making this record that there were some groups of people who had one idea of what they thought The Rocketboys should be, and there were other groups, other circles that had another idea of who we are. And at least for me, I lost my direction. I just thought I’d plow along and see what happened. But when we started making this record, we realized we wanted to take it back to where we started, and that's just making music that we love.”
Talk, a live staple of the band for almost two years, makes its recorded debut on the new LP. "It was going to be one of the main songs on Left | Right, but at the last minute it was axed," says Wiseman. "To be able to re-think it gave us a chance to give the song far more meaning. I think it’s probably one of the best songs we’ve ever done. It always gets a big reaction when we perform it live.”
The Land that No one Promised Us went through an evolution on its way to the final tracklist. “Originally it was a super-poppy and fun song, and it would’ve probably ended up being our most upbeat track ever," says Wiseman. "Then randomly Brandon did a version of it on piano, playing all seventh (jazzier) chords and way slower. At first it sounded like a joke. But then we couldn’t get past this new take, as it fit the lyrics perfectly. Brandon also did an amazing job with the guitar solo and some other little nuances.”
Kinder describes one of his favorite tracks "You’re Just Going To Let Me Down Again" (an angst-ridden accusation of a song) "...it was already one of the best in my opinion, but we were able to add some really interesting keyboard stuff on it," he says. "And Away We Go -- the ending still gives me goosebumps everytime I listen to it.”
The Rocketboys’ traditional DIY spirit lives on. The band did much of the recording themselves, but employed engineer Kevin Butler (Black Books, Quiet Company) and Andy Freeman (Eisley, Manchester Orchestra) to mix. It’s a natural progression for a band -- a streamlined, but ambitious effort. Certain Circles stands to bring nostalgia to longtime fans while standing out as The Rocketboys' best, most creative material to-date. The end result sublimely captures the arc of the band's circuitous career. Ten years of highs and lows are compressed neatly into 40 minutes of music.
Having previously toured with bands ranging from Twenty One Pilots, The Mowgli’s, and Relient K, and fresh from a nationwide tour backing Thrice frontman Dustin Kensrue, The Rocketboys previewed much of Certain Circles on a short fall tour at the end of 2016 and several tracks were released this year culminating in the full release of Certain Circles on May 12, 2017.
Boys in the Well
Since forming in early 2010, Boys In The Well have been writing honest music and playing energetic shows for anyone and everyone willing to listen. These four young men from the mountains of North Carolina - with their meaningful lyrics, catchy melodies, and fire in their hearts - hope to give their music to the world. They set up to create spirited yet melancholic magic, and they wind up drawing us quickly into their hearts in anticipation for what’s coming next. Their stories and songs of love and loss are universal and true, painting a vibrant tapestry in our minds.
Danny and Justin Lanier began writing music together late in 2009, while playing sporadic shows throughout the Charlotte area. They were fortunate enough to pick up John Daniels on the banjo in early 2010, creating the unique sound that became Boys In The Well. After their first session playing together, they found the chemistry and camaraderie undeniable; this enabled them to write and perfect their first batch of songs.
The Boys spent much of November in the studio, recording their first EP, Mostly Honest. With the help of Dustin Harrell and Bucky McCann at Crash Creative Studios in Asheville, NC; the first batch of songs became an EP that sought to cover a wide spectrum of emotion and style. With the realization of this dream released in early 2011, they were left with an ambitious list of performance dates and venues.
Shortly after Mostly Honest was recorded, John Edwards joined the band, completing the lineup and solidifying the band. Edwards provides a smooth and consistent structure for the band, enabling them to progress as songwriters and performers.
Since the conclusion of Mostly Honest, The four Boys have added another dozen songs to their repertoire, including fast-paced energetic songs like "Wild Return", while maintaining the ability to flip the switch and perform slower, more thought-provoking songs like "So It Seems (Lost)" and "Lovers' Truce".
With their desire to remain true to the music, the members of Boys In The Well often share musical responsibilities on stage. Their multi-faceted approach to songwriting allows these friends to express themselves fully through their music, adapting to a song's needs. Because of this, they are free to give you some of the most true and organic music possible. You will often see these gentlemen switch instruments between songs, if not in the middle of one. This wide range of instruments and styles keeps their performances fresh and engaging while the music itself gives you a sense of camaraderie, as though you’re part of the family.
Defined as honest folk with alternative undertones, these four friends bring a much-needed earnestness into the musical world, leaving you with fire in your heart and laughter on your lips. With their ambiguous title, Boys In The Well will inspire you to laugh, think, and cry with the honest fervor of lost love and reclaimed joy.
$8.00 - $10.00