The Boxtones are a Scottish/Canadian 5 piece award winning band based in Dubai and signed to Universal Music MENA.
The band consists of: Louise Peel (Lead Vocals), Gary Tierney (Lead Guitar, Lead Vocals), Gill Tierney (Drums, Vocals), Will Janssen (Keyboards, Guitar, Vocals) and Patrick Thibault on Bass and vocals.
Since setting up their own Dubai-based company in early 2013 as full-time musicians, The Boxtones with their energetic and engaging live performances have captivated hundreds of thousands of fans at all of the big events in the region. Such events include Yasalam Beats on the Beach, Formula One Abu Dhabi Party in the Park, Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens and more.
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 and Vic Firth also endorse the band.
The Boxtones have so far performed alongside Stereophonics, Kaiser Chiefs, Pharrell Williams, The Who, Blur, Florence & The Machine, Enrique Iglesias, Lily Allen, Jason Derulo, Travis, Razorlight, Richard Ashcroft, The Charlatans, The Ting Tings and many more.
The album was produced by Gary Tierney and Elvis Garagic at Sound Struck Studios in Dubai.
INTERVIEW – Groove Mag get down to the nitty gritty with the band
How would you describe your music?
Gary: The band’s music comes from a rock and roll background, but people have often said that we sound like a whole bunch of bands that live in widely different genres. I write a lot of the tracks, and my background was the grunge days of the 90’s so I used to write a lot of heavy songs, with a lot of shouting. The band as we are today draws from the high energy of that decade, and the pop sensibilities of today’s music scene. I mean we have a rap, a folk and a near RnB song on our new album…ha ha (kind of).
Your Top songs in charts right now?
Will: Because our music has many elements/genres, I can see any of our 10-tracks from the album ‘Home’ featured on the charts. If I look at the charts right now, my favourite songs are ‘Starboy’ by fellow Canadians The Weeknd, from the Suicide Squad soundtrack, ‘Heathens’ by Twenty One Pilots and lastly, ‘Say You Won’t Let Go’ by James Arthur as we follow each other on Twitter!
What’s your favourite colour?
Pat: My favourite one is orange, but I do like neon green and dark purple as well. I love to mix and match contrasting neon colours, ocular violence. Off stage I sometimes accidentally end up dressing like The Joker, which I try to avoid as I’m mostly hanging with the guys who tend to stick to 50 shades of black. It’s a good thing Louise is here to create a balance as she tends to be quite colourful.
What’s your favourite food and do you still manage to eat healthily while working hard in the studio?
Will: Red Bull is all you ever need to get through any recording situation. Although the drummer may tend to speed up without knowing it, but that’s what a click track is for… But seriously, having a good source of nutrition and diet can get you through the long days and nights of a recording session. I recommend eggs in the morning, salads for lunch and most importantly, staying hydrated with plenty of water!
Louise: I’m a pescatarian who is trying to become a vegetarian so for me I generally just eat veggies although I have a terrible sweet tooth. I try and swim or run as much as possible because you need energy to perform live otherwise singing and dancing at the same time are made a lot harder and any physical exertion can really hamper the flexibility of your vocals. As I’m usually the only one who can move around freely on stage its usually up to me to keep the stage fluid and draw the eyes of the audience to the right part of the stage at the right time so it helps if you have some stamina.
Do you ever play any covers?
Gill: We make a living from covers. Playing other people’s songs pays the bills and allows us to be able to manage living in one of the most expensive cities in the world! We have a repertoire of over 600 cover songs and I think it’s made us all better musicians playing so many different genres over the years.
Any advice for other musos?
Gary: Never Stop Never Stopping. I watched that movie with Andy Samberg recently. It was stupid, but really funny. I highly recommend it if you’re going to start a band ‘X-Factor way’… Honestly though, it’s a tough business, and only tougher out here in Dubai, but if you really love it, and have thick thick skin, then go for it, and don’t let anyone tell you that you can't.
What’s a day like in your life?
Gill: Our job is unlike many others. There’s no set work day or clocking in and out, it’s constant. We work when most of our friends are off and have some time off when they are all working, it’s pretty topsy-turvy. We started our own company and we work for ourselves which ultimately means when we aren’t performing or practicing music, we are doing all the behind the scenes admin, networking, promotion, planning and general slog to keep the machine running. It’s tiring and can be pretty stressful living in each other’s pockets every day, but it just makes the rewards that much more sweet in the end!
Most comfortable playing live or twiddling knobs in the studio?
Louise: Live work always wins hands down. Recording can drive me insane because I’m so critical of myself and want to keep doing more and more takes until I’m happy, which I never am. I much prefer the give and take you have with a live audience and the candid unscripted moments it brings. It’s all about connection and that’s the best place to exercise that.
The Boxtones on the web:
NEW VIDEO – ‘Against The Odds’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRbgXIy6yio