By Megan Moss
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!
Friday April 15th: Bodega, Wellington
Saturday April 16th: Kings Arms, Auckland
Tickets via http://www.thebeards.com.au/tour/