Throw away your razors… Here’s an interview with The Beards! @the_beards @thesyndotcom
Adelaide’s The Beards want one thing to be abundantly clear… No razors allowed. The quartet, consisting of Nathanial Beard, Facey McStubblington, Johann Beardraven, and John Beardman, Jr. are the world’s foremost ambassadors of beard culture, and missionaries for a more equal and just bearded society.
With their kazoos, egg shakers, and enough facial hair to mop floors across the globe, The Beards are, quite obviously, the reigning champions of facial hair awareness. “If you’re dad doesn’t have a beard, you’ve got 2 moms. 2 beardless moms.” This was the first song I ever heard by The Beards and, after changing my shorts from laughing so hard, here’s an interview with quite possibly the coolest Australians I will ever meet.
G- How’s it going everybody and thank you very much for taking the time to speak with Live High Five!
G- You got in nice and early this morning (3/13), am I correct?
N – Yes we’re here and, first of all, before we get started, I just want to say how disappointed we are to be interviewed by a guy without a beard.
Band in complete agreement.
N – We were told before we got here that there would be only bearded interviews.
J – The last thing we want to see when we wake up is a beardless face.
F – It disappoints us.
N – Really upsetting.
G- My day job requires a clean face for some odd reason, but I made sure to not shave for the past couple of days.
N- Well, you need to question that reason. There’s no logic behind asking someone to shave their beard off, and it’s the responsibility of every man capable of growing a beard to question that and to say ‘Do you have any right to ask me to shave.’
G- Goddamnit you’re right!
N- I’m always right, because I have a beard.
J- You can trust him. He’s got a really good beard. Look at that beard!
N- It’s good.
G- Santa Claus has a beard.
J- That’s right. Good bloke!
N- He’s a top bloke!
G- Well, I promise for the next interview, I’m at least an inch deep.
G- But first and foremost, for our readers who might not know who you guys are, let’s introduce yourselves. Tell us who you are, what you play, and how long you’ve been growing your beards?
N- Ok. I’m Nathaniel Beard, and I’ve been growing my beard all my life.
John- I’m John Beardman, Jr. I play the drums and cymbals, and I’ve been growing my beards for the past 5 years.
F- I’m Facey McStubblington and I’ve been growing my beard for as long as I can remember, and all of today as well.
J- Hi. I’m Johann Beardraven and I sing about beards in The Beards, and play keyboards and saxophone, and I don’t know how long I’ve been growing my beard. My brain has wiped any memory of pre-beard existence because that part of my life was so forgettable and so dark.
John- I like to think I really wasn’t really living until I grew my beard.
N- Wasted life.
J- Now look at you… You’re a helluva guy!
John – Aww thanks, yeah!
N- There are photos of me before I grew my beard , and I’ve burnt them all.
John- And we’re a band.
J- Yeah we play songs.
N- We play true music, which is about beards.
G- Dig that.
N- We like beards, too.
N- We’re an anti anti-beard band.
By now, I’m gigging incessantly, and this remains a constant throughout the interview. Also, everyone continuously agrees and says ‘Yeah’ when the other talks, so keep in that frame of mind. These guys are a riot, and dead serious about their beards!
G- Ok, so I know you played Houston last night and apparently it was a good show. You arrived very early this morning so you haven’t really been able to delve into SXSW yet, but is this your first time in Austin for SXSW, and what do you expect of the experience?
N- Yeah it is our first time here, and we were told, before we got here, that this was a beard convention.
J- The world’s biggest beard convention.
F- SXSBeard is what we were told.
N- We were told. It appears that that is not entirely true.
N- I think our manager might have lied to us a little bit about that.
N- So we’re expecting to be hugely disappointed by the percentage of people that don’t have beards.
F- I’ve just done the walk over here, and there were some beardless people.
N- Yeah. You threw up.
F- I threw up in the street. Just wretched. Purged my stomach.
John- It was disgusting.
N- See, in Australia, everyone has a beard now. That’s the thing. That’s because of us.
F- We did that. We’ve grown accustomed to a bearded society, and it really makes me sick to the core to look at a beardless face, and to listen to a song that’s not about beards.
N- Yeah. I freak out! I start yelling.
F- I’m very easily made sick to the core.
G- Alright. So now, to get into your history a little bit, how long have The Beards been a band, when did you first get started, and when did you realize that this was a beard band and that this was your calling?
J- Well, we started out as just some guys, with beards.
John- Yeah we weren’t a band.
J- We weren’t a band.
F- We were barely men, really.
J- Our beards were short, but they were coming along at that point, and we didn’t know how to play any music at that time. We were just 4 bearded guys hanging out. We really liked beards, and we would talk about beards, and occasionally have bearded poetry readings, and occasionally just yell the word ‘Beard” at each other. Really loudly into each others’ beard, to try to encourage follicle growth.
F- It works, too.
J- And that seemed to go really well. And then, we learned instruments. As our beards grew, we got better at music.
N- I recall that our beards got to a particular length and, at that point, I was an accomplished bass guitarist.
F- And out songwriting skills evolved as well, from just yelling the word ‘beard’ into sentences.
John- We’d choose a note, hit that note, and it’d be a beard pleasing note.
J- We know heaps of notes. We know all of them, really.
F- All the notes?
J- Pretty much, yeah.
N- I know 5 of them.
J- All 3 chords, too.
J- Yeah. For ‘beard.’
G- So, you guys currently have 3 releases out at this time, am I correct?
J- Not enough yet, but we’re working hard.
G- Do you have any plans to go in for another release? What are your plans for 2013?
J- Well, the thing that motivates us is…
J- Yes, beards, primarily beards, and also people that doubt, mainly beardless people, that doubt that we can continue to write songs about beards. They couldn’t be more wrong.
John- When we were writing our 3rd album, people were telling us that we would be able to actually write a 3rd album about beards, and now, all of those people are dead.
G- Now, since we’re on the topic of beards, let me ask you. Your beards are all very nice and full…
N- Thank you.
G- What type of products would you suggest for some of the aspiring beard growers out there?
N- Well, beard is hair, so you need to treat it like your normal head hair. So, you’ve got to use conditioner…
G- (lifting my hat) Well, I don’t have any of that, either?
J- We don’t care about THAT hair. (pointing to my face) Just THAT hair!
John- A brush is always good.
J- Just running a brush through there really stimulates the follicles at the source to grow more.
F- Feels so good, too.
John- A nice organic conditioner.
N- But if you don’t wash and condition your beard, and it stinks, just remember that a stinking, rancid beard is still a beard.
F- Better than not having a beard.
N- And also, you should shake hands with as many other bearded people as you can That’ll encourage beard growth. Thinking good things about your beard will help.
F- Getting compliments on your beard helps.
J- High fiving each other. Yeah.
N- But, no matter how much effort you go to maintaining and conditioning and shampooing and manicuring your beard, it will never equal the amount of effort wasted while shaving by someone who chooses not to have a beard.
F- Good point, Nathaniel. Well done.
N- I only make good points, because I have a beard.
G- Now, would you guys say that you have, collectively, or individually, a favorite song that you’ve written? Or, if you could only give 1 song to someone who’d never heard The Beards before, what track would you give them and why?
J- It’s a hard question. All of our songs are so outstandingly good, just a vast array of notes!
N- I’d say there’s one song we’ve written that succinctly encapsulates our message, and that song is “No Beard, No Good.”
J- Yeah. It’s a good one to play to people who don’t have a beard. By the end of it, they’ll end up growing a beard.
N- And it’s in the key of B.
N- For ‘Beard.’
J- I love beards.
G- Ok. So, what would you say is the most memorable or craziest show you’ve played as The Beards? You’ve played some crazy shows, and you’re doing very well in your home country… Hopefully you can do very well here as well, but…
F- We don’t judge a show by how many people are in the audience. We judge it by the ratio of bearded to non-bearded people. So, if we’ve got a strong percentage of beardees in the audiences, then it’s a great show for us.
J- Probably the 2009 World Beard and Mustache Championships.
F- That was a good one.
J- That was probably our favorite. It was in Alaska.
N- And we were playing in front of the world’s best beards, and that’s amazing for us.
G- And you fit right in. That was your CROWD.
J- But it was preaching to the converted. Part of what we do is we need to convince people who don’t have beards that they are living a lie.
F- Definitely, because it’s a process of converting people to the bearded way, one face at a time.
John- I like to think that every time we play is our best show, because we’re singing about beards, you know?
N- We’ve all got beards, we’re hanging out together on stage.
John- Having a beard is mainly about cooperation.
N- I think so.
John- We’re all working together. We play notes.
N- We work with other notes.
J- We give it 110%.
G- Ok. Now, to finish up today, something tells me I know exactly where it’s going to lead, but as a band that’s traveled internationally and taken your beards everywhere with you with pride and vigor, there’s a lot of bands out here at SXSW that want to do what you’re doing. They want to be professional musicians, they want to go on the road, and they want to try to make their mark in the music industry. What advice could you give some of the upcoming bands out here that want to make it in the music business?
F- It’s pretty simple.
N- It’s a good questions.
J- Good question.
G- I know the answer, I think…
N- The answer is you’ve got to work really hard. You have to practice.
F- Your scales.
J- Give 110%.
N- And, uhh…
J- There’s one other thing, isn’t there?
G- I’m not sure quite what it is, but… It’s the thing that I’m going to start doing…
N- Never give up on your dreams.
J- And, grow a beard.
F- That’s always good.
J- If you’re a young band, you should grow a band.
F- What the point of setting out on a career in music if you don’t even have a beard?
N- What the point of doing anything? You might as well be dead.
John- If I didn’t have a beard, I’d want to be dead.
N- If you don’t have a beard, you’re finished.
F- The future belongs to the bearded.
G- I was correct… You guys ARE the coolest Australians I will ever meet, and I just want to say thank you very much for taking the time to speak with Live High Five today.
F- Hey, we’d like to say thank you for having us, but we can’t because you don’t have a beard.
G- Razors are getting thrown out as soon as I get home!
G- Next time we talk, I’ll have a nice frothy beard for ya.
F- They’re just great!
N- And write a letter to your employer explaining that, in your role, you should be allowed to grow a beard so that other people can look you in the eye without a sense of disgust. We can write the letter for you, if you’d like.
G- It might seem a bit more plausible coming from the ambassadors of Beard-dom.
J- We’ve got letterheads and everything.
John- We’re a very professional band.
G- Guys, thank you very much! This was very entertaining! Enjoy your time at SXSW and have fun, travel safely, and we will talk to you again in the future.
J- Thanks, man.
N- Grow a beard.