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New Sound Express Interview

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 Boxtone’s new album ‘Home’ was released on 25 November 2016 and features the anthemic single Against The Odds, City of Mirrors” feat Ft Two Tone and ‘Home’ . The album was produced by Gary Tierney and Elvis Garagic at SoundStruck Studios in Dubai.

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)

What is your new single about and where did the inspiration come from ? Gary: The latest single to be released is called “Do I Look Like Somebody You Could Love” and it’s really a story about Louise and I and our relationship over the years. It has it’s lows, and it has it’s highs. As we wrote the lyrics together we each got off our chest what we wanted to say, and then said through it all “do we look like people the other could love?” We are still here, so I think the answer is yes. 

What inspired you to start a career in the music business ? Gary: I have always loved music from a very young age. My mum and dad were The Beatles and The Stones, so every weekend we would have a stand-off between who would be played. Often it ended up both and we were assaulted with ‘Sgt. Pepper’s’ and ‘Start Me Up’ constantly. I got a keyboard for Christmas when I was 5 or 6, and just lived on it. It had light up keys so you could follow the notes. I got my first guitar at 18 I think, and because it was cooler, I dropped the keyboard and learned guitar. Singing came afterwards and Gill and I started our first band when she was about 11. We both have never looked back, music is everything.

What are your fave tracks or artists of all time ? Gary: We each have different tastes which I think reflects in the music we make, I’ll let the guys tell you, but mine has to be The Beatles and the Stones growing up, to Metallica and Biffy Clyro currently.

Tell us about your creative process. Who writes and produces your material and what instruments or software do you use in creating your sound ? Gary: I record ideas on my phone. Everywhere, anywhere. Modern technology has really helped the musician in so many ways, as before I had a dictaphone, now I just use an App. I get home, or when I get some time, I sit in my home studio and record the keyboards or guitars first depending on the idea. Then it’s the vocals or melody, followed by the drums and bass. Its not always this way, but most of the time the song comes from a melody or a drum beat I like or hear somewhere…then it just takes shape. I’m gone for at least 8 to 10 hours when I go in there…it has to be finished before I let anyone hear it. We then all sit together and rip it apart (if it needs it) and arrange the song into a Boxtones song…

Does singing come natural to you or did you have lessons ? Gary: No I’ve never had lessons, neither has Louise. CHECK OUT THE VIDEO FOR AGAINST THE ODDS