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Tabloid, Gulf News, UAE

Gulf News – 3rd February 2014

Soundbites: The Boxtones come out swinging

The Scottish-Canadian rock band based in the UAE is ready to unleash their debut album.

Starting in Scotland back in 2005 (or 2006, memory fails singer-guitarist Gary Tierney), The Boxtones were just a cover band. Now, after going through three line-up changes, winning Rolling Stone Middle East’s Street to Stage challenge and opening their own free-zone company to afford them the freedom to perform regularly, they’re one of the most active, original rock bands in the UAE.

Gary Tierney, his sister Gill (drums), Louise Peel (lead vocals), Will Janssen (keys) and Patrick Thibault (bass) are ready to launch their debut album, In the Pockets of Clowns — the title is a critique on the big-fish-little-fish structure of the music industry — on March 13th at The Stables.

Gary Tierney spoke to tabloid! about the band’s image, inspirations and aspirations.

Your debut album is officially coming out in March.

The album is getting a release in Virgin Megastores in March and will be available on the shelves. It’s already out now digitally, on about 27 online stores, including iTunes U.S and U.K. The Middle Eastern digital launch is being set up now and should be along shortly, thanks to Sony Music Middle East.

Who were your influences when putting this album together?

I wrote most of the tracks on this album over the years, playing around the world. I brought them to the guys in the band and we tailored them to suit our message, image, outlook and artistic nuances. Each of us is an independent musical genius, in my humble opinion! But no, really, we work really well together and we come from pretty varied backgrounds musically, so to pigeonhole the ‘band’s’ influence would be futile.

You have a cabaret aesthetic, as seen on the album cover. How does your image fit in with your sound?

The record is a story of love and loss, or giving and taking away, of a lot of hardships I endured over the years, and lyrically, a lot of personal reflections Louise and I have had. Being in a relationship together and being in the band puts a strain on anyone, as Louise and I have been for eight years. Then you have Gill, my sister, and her boyfriend, Will, who also have been working together now in The Boxtones for over a year. And there’s Pat — trying to leave as little a carbon footprint as humanly possible amid a chaotic musical career. So in answer to your question, it’s all a bit of a circus, a bit of a show, really, and ours is just a muddled mess of relationships and hard work.

What’s next for The Boxtones beyond the release of the new album?

Our big news is our tour [a U.K tour is in the plans]. But before that, we just found out we were selected to participate in the Worldwide Battle of the Bands called Hard Rock Rising through Hard Rock Cafe and ReverbNation. All people have to do is go onto the Hard Rock Cafe Dubai Facebook page, ‘Like’ the page, and download our new single ‘After All is Said and Done’ for free. If we get enough votes/downloads, we get to perform at Hard Rock Cafe for a chance to compete globally with 25 other bands — for a chance to perform at the Piazza del Popolo Square in Rome Italy.

For more on The Boxtones, go to

By Marwa Hamad