Boreas bring the chamber punk this Saturday at Tucson Live Music Space
Whoever said you have be messy and untrained to rock clearly hasn’t heard Boreas. Coming across on record as a mix between Grizzly Bear, The Beach Boys and Sufjan Stevens in his more baroque moments, Boreas holds a special place in Tucson’s local pantheon for an unparalleled level of commitment to its craft.
“We’re all classically trained musicians. We just grew up playing music,” vocalist/drummer Seth Vietti said. “We all sing, we all play different instruments, and that really allows us to place more of an emphasis on harmony that’s difficult to do.”
“We’re influenced by big sounds and big bands, that’s what we like to do,” vocalist/guitarist Sam Golden added.
Together for six years now, Boreas has amassed a sizable discography, including a full-length EP comprised of songs custom-written for people who donated to the band’s Kickstarter. Needless to say, Boreas is quite the band.
Also on its website is a link to Boreas’ campaign to raise money for its new record, promising new sounds and material on top of everything the band has already produced. With the second full-length EP in sight, and Boreas’ first in a real studio, the band clearly has no intention of slowing down.
For the time being, the tireless Boreas has settled on a sound Golden termed “chamber punk.” The majority of its members have been playing together for years and have seen their collaboration grow through a variety of sounds.
“We started as a folk outfit originally, with everyone sort of writing and bringing material to the table,” Golden said. “That just took so long to do, though. We basically wrote the first album [2008‘s Hymns and Lies] as we were recording it.”
Both Vietti and Golden agree that a major turning point for Boreas was the group’s first tour up the coast in August 2011, which was the band’s first experience consistently performing in front of other people. “Ever since that tour we have become much tighter as a band,” Golden said.
With the addition of member Evan Casler in August of 2011, the band instantly became more energetic live, Vietti said, adding, “Without Evan, we’re chamber pop. He brings the punk to our chamber punk.”
Appropriately, it’s Boreas’ live shows that have garnered it some of its most significant press, with prime slots at events like KXCI’s 1972 showcase and participation in two of downtown’s Great Cover-Ups. Golden is quick to credit Tucson’s unique music scene and its members for their part in Boreas’ success, calling the local/DIY scene here “so great that sometimes we take it for granted.
“There is just such a wide variety of sounds here, there’s not just one ‘Tucson Sound’ or anything,” he said.
Vietti agreed, noting that there is “a sense of anticipation here, like something is going to happen here soon … all the construction, new venues popping up — we’re on the cusp of something.”
Fortunately, Boreas has the drive and the musicianship to cut it in the scene these days, as a trip to their web page or live show will confirm.