Artist Interview: The Boxtones
Tell us about yourself and your music:
The Boxtones are a Scottish & Canadian rock/pop band signed to Universal Music MENA, living and performing in the United Arab Emirates.
The Boxtones are recipients of the prestigious Ahlan! Hot 100 Title, winners of ‘Best UAE act’ at the annual Hype Awards, and Rolling Stone Magazine’s Street to Stage competition winners. Leading brands Shure, Vic Firth, Nord, Mesa Boogie and Protection Racket also endorse the band members.
To date, The Boxtones have performed alongside Stereophonics, Kaiser Chiefs, Travis, Pharrell Williams, The Who, Blur, Florence & The Machine, Enrique Iglesias, Lily Allen, Jason Derulo, Razorlight, Richard Ashcroft, The Charlatans, The Ting Tings and will open for Elton John in 2017 in Dubai…
The band music is a mixture of rock and pop, with both lead male and female vocals. The bands drummer is Gary’s sister – Gill, and her fiancé Will on keyboards. Patrick (bass) and Will are both from Canada, while Gary, Louise and Gill are from the UK.
The Boxtones sound has been described and infectious and energetic, complimented by great vocals and catchy hooks. Apple Music described the bands debut album with Universal Music as Catchy and Anthemic.
Talk to us more about your latest release:
On November 25th 2016, Universal Music released the band’s sophomore album ‘Home’ on all digital platforms worldwide including Apple Music, iTunes, Anghami and Spotify, as well as across all Virgin Megastores in the UAE. The album featured hit singles “Against the Odds” and “City of Mirrors” as well as the title track of the album “Home” which was received with great reviews and critical acclaim.
On September 2nd 2016 the band’s first single “Against the Odds” was released from their sophomore album ‘Home’, which was released on November 25th 2016. Download the first single here: https://UmusicMENA.lnk.to/TheBoxtonesATO
On October 21st 2016 a second single was released, “City of Mirrors” featuring international artist Two Tone: https://umusicmena.lnk.to/CityofMirrors
And on November 25th 2016, the new album ‘Home’ was released worldwide: https://UmusicMENA.lnk.to/TheBoxtonesHome
On December 9th 2016, The Boxtones worked with Dubai 92, and three performing art schools to create and record their latest single and music video for “Winter is Coming”. The track was released in conjunction with Dubai’s Winter Festival as a seasonal track and anthem for 2016.
Their latest release ‘Do I Look Like Somebody You Could Love’ was released on February 10th 2017 interntationally.
What inspired you to write this release?
‘Do I Look Like Somebody You Could Love’ is a kind of love / hate ballad rock track inspired by real life events. Louise and Gary are engaged to be married and have been for a few years, with touring, business and general life getting in the way of their plans each year to marry, the couple have spent a rocky road working and living together through the years. The lyrics in the song aren’t necessarily and specifically about them, but the story is of the struggle every couple takes and asking the inevitable question along the way, are we still in love, and can we survive?
Any plans to release a video?
The band have 4 music video releases out at the moment, with the video for Do I Look Like Somebody You Could Love coming out on February 10th on VEVO / Youtube.
Any plans to hit the road?
The band and their management are working hard this year to bring The Boxtones to Europe. The band are already getting a lot of UK press after the release of their album, and hope to support this with a tour of Europe and the UK in the Summer of 2017. In the meantime, the guys have shows in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon and Jordan to keep them busy until then.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
The Boxtones have undergone many transformations throughout the years. The core group of Gary, Gill and Louise remains since they started the band, but keys and bass have come and gone until recently with Will and Pat joining the band. Gary’s songwriting has taken many shapes and forms, with writing grunge alternative rock tunes in his early days, to acoustic thoughtful numbers on his own solo work, to pop rock commercial tracks not he recent album with the band, so the back catalogue of music from The Boxtones, Gary and his and his sisters old band – Fuse – cover a lot of ground. The band themselves are a mixture of Scottish and Canadian, with strong family ties (Gary and Gill – brother and sister, Gary and Louise are engaged, Gill and Will are engaged, Pat loves his cat) and an interesting story behind their roots having worked and performed in the Middle East for over 10 years, overcome adversity and a small but growing music scene with multicultural heritage and sounds from all walks of life.
Who have you been listening to lately?
Gary – Elipses – Biffy Clyro
Louise – Amy Winehouse
Pat – The Clash
Will – Psychotic Gardening
Gill – Metallicas new album on Vinyl
Tell us about your passions:
The alarm clock and the small of burning toast. Gary and Louise have a daughter who is up every morning without fail at 6am – even after a very late night gigging. Thats always a treat. Gill and Will have 3 cats, who attack them every morning to be fed. Pat often leaves his oven on, or doesn’t, but is concerned about it enough to always be up early to make sure…
What else is happening next in your world?
We have a very big announcement coming up in the next few days, which we cant say until the promoter announces it. We are doing countless radio interviews next week on Skype and on the phone to the UK radio stations, some of them BBC stations. We have some award ceremonies to attend in Dubai, some big gigs to play, some gigs to attend and see other artists perform, and some new movies we’ve been invited to go see too…so its gonna be a big few months ( and thats not counting planning and arranging the Summer tour ’17)…
Thanks for an awesome interview, Gary!