The Beards have included a couple of New Zealand dates to their Farewell Tour. You can catch them on April 15th at Bodega in Wellington and April 16th at the Kings Arms Tavern in Auckland. Come and enjoy the hilarity, great music; so don’t miss this opportunity to see The Beards one last time before they hang up their live performances. I had the chance to have a VERY candid chat with Johann Beardraven about all things ‘Beards’….
First up I have to say I saw The Beards last time you were over here at the Kings Arms and laughed so hard, I’m really looking forward to seeing you guys again.
Oh excellent! Haha yeah, it was good fun last time… cool… they weren’t maximum shows but hopefully we’ll get a few more along this time and it’ll be pumping
I’m sure the shows will be a great success!
Yeah we hope so.
OK, after 15 years together... it is 15 years together?
Ah more like 11, but we can say 15 if it makes it sound more impressive…
Hahaha ok…. after 11-15 years together as ‘The Beards’ you’re currently midway through your last ever tour. How has the tour been so far and how have the shows been received?
Yeah good, we’ve really only done a handful of shows so far. They’ve been good… it’s always nice at the start of the tour, you’re always feeling enthusiastic and fresh… no doubt that will change as we go, but the shows have been good. Some people are a little bit… disquiet that we are hanging up our beards… so to speak… I think most people understand that we couldn’t keep on doing it forever, we’re determined to give everyone one last chance to party with us & our songs about beards one last time. So yeah so far so good.
That’s great, so does this mean you’ll all be shaving off the beards?
Ahhh no! Sorry... I should make that very clear! No we are definitely not shaving, we are just giving up the live touring aspect of it and we we’ll still all be very active in our pro-beard activities. We will definitely be keeping our beards, let’s make that ABSOLUTELY clear!
Haha Understood…understood! Maintain the Beards! So, as I mentioned earlier, I was at the last show in Auckland a couple of years ago. It was a fabulous night of good music, hysterical moments and witty song lyrics and great crowd banter. What can we expect to see from the fabulous Beards this time?
Ahhh well I think our beards will be a little longer than the last time we played. If anything I think it will be ‘Beardier’… ah… because our beards are longer. I think that this has made us a little wiser…
Haha wiser and stronger and even better looking than last time… if that’s even possible? Yeah we’re hoping to make this last tour a real celebration of the last 11-15 years… we’re going to be playing more songs than on previous tours and hopefullyraising the beard enthusiasm levels a little higher and just giving the live aspect of our careers the send-off it deserves really.
Yes absolutely… it sounds like we will be in for another brilliant show. So taking it back in time a little bit, onstage independently you guys are all quite accomplished musicians. What started you all writing and singing about Beards and then ultimately taking it to a live act and then eventually an album?
Ha! Originally it was all a little bit of a laugh really between ourselves. I think even though we didn’t start out taking our beards so seriously; our beards as small as they were back then, I think our beards had other ideas so we were kind of just led by the beards to go on this kind of pro-beard crusade. And it kinda of took hold.
Giggle ….back when you were the goatees?
Yeah exactly when we were just merely ‘The Stubbles….’… Hahaha. But first up I think we underestimated the public appetite for songs about beards and we pretty quickly realised we were on to something and people could get behind the cause, people were enthusiastic about and it just kept growing.
Hahaha I'd love to hear a song at the incorporating the beard & “Man Bun” as that seems to be the latest in thing lately…
I know doesn’t it!!!!! Nah we are all like to keep our songs about beards pretty straight and any other subject relating to hair from other parts of the body are just quite incidental to us haha…. how ever anyone wants to wear them… that’s fine.
Your beards have now taken you around the world & you’ve toured Europe a couple of times, Is it different over there? How have the shows and The Beards been received in Europe?
Ah its really good actually… ah Europe. They are really good at being a crowd… if that makes sense. They’re a good live music audience. Places where we go down very well like Germany and the Netherlands where we thought the language barrier may be a problem, because I guess you have to know what we’re talking about to really get it. We thought that would be an issue but it wasn’t. We found most Germans speak better English than most Australians do haha… so that was not a problem and they were very attentive and responsive… very open to the songs entirely about beards. Yeah the audiences over there were really great and we love it over there.
Are there any standout moments from your overseas tours?
Um yeah they have all been really good shows… the enthusiasm levels have always been really high Our most rampant gigs have been in Munich and Hamburg where they just really get enthusiastic about beards! I don’t know if it’s a German thing to get behind a cause and run with it, it’s always good and the crowd are great!
Ok, earlier you made it very clear before that you will still continue on with your bearded mission and bringing awareness to the plight of the Beard. What’s next for the band? Are there any projects on the cards or possible solo projects for any of the members or anything new planned?
Yeah people have been asking me about that recently. I don’t really know… I hadn’t really thought ahead of this tour. It mightn’t be a bad idea… I guess I just didn’t think more than the one show intended to play as the beards. So nah I’m not really sure yet, we’re just concentrating on getting through this tour and I guess see it out in the best possible way. I guess we will see where our beards take us next. We’re not breaking up as such, we will still continue to promote beards in whatever way we see fit and we’ll probably be keeping our eye on the beard scene and make sure that beards maintain the place we have elevated it to, and that the beards level hasn’t dropped and if it does… we’ll be on it!
Everyone will all be on it!
Haha yeah exactly!
Your little magical tunes, that are just so fabulous…
How do you guys come up with those tunes, what’s the writing process behind the songs?
Ahhhh... I Don’t know haha. We kinda just do it, we all just have really warped senses of humour and just found our little niche here and are obviously very inspired by the look of our own beards.
Anytime we might have a little bit of a block we can kind of just look at each other and goAHHHHH…now that’s how I feel about beards!!!!… and the tunes just kinda flow.
Ahh… inspired and fuelled by bearded self-love! So… ok if you could leave a bearded message to your NZ fans what would it be?
I guess the message really would be, believe in yourself no matter what and follow your own path no matter what anyone tells you and that would be it… and grow a beard… I guess grow a beard should be foremost. I should’ve recapped, but we’ve already told everyone that… grow a beard haha!
Haha…..well otherwise they have got two mums!!!
Hahahaha well yeah, that’s exactly right! I guess the important thing is to keep having a beard after we stop touring because we don’t want people to cut their face… that’s VERY IMPORTANT!
Absolutely! So what would you say to the ‘NON-Bearded fans, like the women…what do you say to them?
AH fake beards are all readily available… or constructed. And we’re seeing a lot of that at our shows, a lot of woman with fake beards which is great.
I noticed that last time...
Fake beards are obviously not ideal, but it’s better than nothing. Ahh if you’re a guy without a beard well first of all… have a good hard look at yourself. Second, if you're going to the show and have no beard, well make sure you stand towards the back. We don’t wanna have to look at that.
Hahaha! That’s it from me, is there anything that you would like to add?
Yeah I would, we’re really glad to be heading out there and got to include New Zealand on this last tour. We had a good time last time we were there. So we’ll make the shows even bigger and better this time… and there’s a little time to make sure everyone starts to grow their beards before we get there.
True! Ok well we look forward to seeing you soon on. Libel will most definitely be there; so until then travel safe and have fun on tour…
Hahaha absolutely…we always do! Thanks so much we will see you then!
There's no denying that at my core, I'm a lover of progressive music - whether that means I love "prog" music or not is a question for another day, and is a topic which I touched on whilst talking to Steven Wilson the other week regarding the upcoming To The Bone show at Auckland's Bruce Mason Centre.
Auckland-based quartet Openside have added an extra date to their first, all-ages, nationwide tour. The group headlines The Seamless Tour will now perform a final show in Tauranga on July 20th featuring special guests DUNES .
Consisting of drummer/vocalist Cat Leahy and guitarist/vocalist Leisha Jungalwalla, This Way Northwill be a part of a very special night in Auckland called ‘Sass the Patriarchy’ an event they have been running in Australia.
As the days and nights get colder, we need something more to laugh about than the unpredictability of Auckland weather and lucky for us, The New Zealand International Comedy Festivalreturns (kicking off this Thursday 26 April).
I Am Giant’s have recently released their third and final album ‘Life in Captivity’. Featuring the singles ‘Dead Flower’, ‘Playing With Fire’ and ‘Don’t Look Back’, the band are currently touring New Zealand; their final tour and last hurrah in NZ.
To this day I still remember my introduction to Sepultura - camped out in the granny flat bedroom of long-time friend Kerry - a live version of their cover of Motörhead's Orgasmatron, and from there it continues to this day
The wait is almost over as Auckland City Limits is set to take place this Saturday (March 3rd) at Western Springs Stadium. Included on the bill are one of France’s most famous four-piece band's Phoenix.
“I find inspiration from people who are trying to do something different. There's a lot of producers trying to copy each other, eg Terror Squad. But it’s really cool to hear guys like SumthinSumthin, completely unchallenged in their own lane.” – Graham Matthews
John Butler Trio announce their return to New Zealand in March to play Nelson’s Trafalgar Centre on Saturday 2 March and an afternoon set outdoors at The Hunting Lodge in Waimauku, Auckland on Sunday 3 March.
British rock royalty Arctic Monkeys have ushered in a spectacular new era with their sixth studio album, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, and it has now been announced that the band will return to New Zealand for a mammoth arena show in March 2019.
Californian rock legends Jefferson Starship will join TOTO and Dragon on next year’s ‘A Summer’s Day Live’ series, which will take in some of the most picturesque locations and popular concert venues across New Zealand.
In celebration of the highly anticipated November release of their fourth studio album Delta,English folk conquerors Mumford & Sons today announced details of a massive 60 date world tour which will include a very special one day event in Auckland this Summer –their first New Zealand show since 2015!
George Ezra toured the world nonstop for more than two years following the release of his debut LP Wanted On Voyage, finally making it to Aotearoa for one of the standout sets of this year’s Auckland City Limits.
Following the release of her critically-acclaimed My Design, On Others Lives in April this year, Estère teams up with the poetically tongued NZ/Rwandan MC Raiza Biza, to take on the myth of an infamous figure in cross-continental African folklore, the Tokoloshe.
If Anika Moa was feeling ready to kick back for the remainder of 2018, then things haven’t really run to plan. In fact it’s about to get a whole lot busier for the multi-talented entertainer with a new album release, tv series and live shows all on the way.
Since achieving international recognition from Rollingstone.com and Billboard.com for hit singles Too Strung Up and Stone Cold, and amassing over 3 million Spotify streams for their releases to date, Alae now unveil All Gived Up.
'Call Me', the latest track by Wellington electro-pop singer and producer Josie Moon made last week's New Music Friday playlists from Spotify Australia/NZ and Japan and influential UK blogger Popjustice.
Colin Mochrie, Brad Sherwood and Greg Proops the popular stars of the Emmy nominated Whose Line Is It Anyway? have teamed up to present an evening of extraordinary improvisational comedy for one show only at the Bruce Mason Centre in Auckland.
In a New Zealand first, five of the stars of Twin Peaks, Sheryl Lee, Kimmy Robertson, Michael Horse, Al Strobel, Dana Ashbrook and the Executive Producer of Twin Peaks: A Limited Event Series, Sabrina S. Sutherland, will visit Auckland and Christchurch for an exclusive and unique CONVERSATION WITH THE STARS evening.
Singer Elaine Paige has announced an 8-date series of concerts from October 10 to October 25 2018, which will see her perform songs from her illustrious career along side an array of her favourite tracks by contemporary songwriters.
The critically acclaimed, award-winning comedian and actor, Catherine Tate, is bringing The Catherine Tate Show - Live to New Zealand for the first time, with shows in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch commencing November 28, 2018.
It has been announced overnight that Last Tapes Theatre Company's original production Valerie has been selected for a month-long season in the prestigious Summerhall programme at Edinburgh Festival Fringe this August.
Featuring Brouhaha: choreographer Malia Johnston, composer Eden Mulholland, AV designer Rowan Pierce; In Transit: choreographer Louise Potiki Bryant, composer/AV designer Paddy Free; The Geography of an Archipelago: choreographer Stephen Shropshire, composer Chris O’Connor.
The last hurrah of the Comedy Fest! The Season Finale! The bit at the end where the awards are decided, everybody relaxes and much fun is had. It’s the titled Last Laughs on Sunday 20 May at SkyCity Theatre.
The 13th Annual Doc Edge, International Documentary Film Festival opens today - Wednesday 9th May at Wellington’s Roxy Cinema followed by Auckland’s Q Theatre on Wednesday 23rd May, bringing an influx of prestigious directors and documentary subjects from all over the world.