Local favorites Golden Boots bring novelty to Club Congress on Sunday
Kelsee Becker / Arizona Daily Wildcat
Golden BooTs members Ryen Eggleston (lab coat) and Dimitri Manos anticipate the release of their new single on Sunday. Golden BooTs have been bringing a “no grass” sound to Tucson for over a decade.
Golden Boots just want to have fun. If it weren’t already apparent from its creative records, the self-described “crumbly western” band is refreshingly honest about the light-hearted nature of its music.
“From the beginning, it has just been a matter of using whatever we could find to make sound, and it’s always been super fun,” said Golden Boots co-founder Ryen Eggleston. Dimitri Manos, Eggleston’s partner in Golden Boots since 2001, added, “We’ve never been about presenting these super-serious tunes. There are serious ideas in there, though.”
By their own admission, Golden Boots started out by experimenting with parodies of country and bluegrass tunes that they smirkingly titled “crumbly western” or “no-grass.”
“We were limited by our own ability to play these genres like bluegrass or George Jones songs, so we opted to just destruct country entirely,” Manos said.
Even in music dated back to 2010 on their Bandcamp, there are remaining traces of the songwriting duo’s playful jabs at country-western music. Of course, even the loosest Golden Boots song features a minimum of three to-die-for pop hooks.
Despite their humble beginnings, both Eggleston and Manos have developed into formidable instrumentalists and producers. Be it at a live show or in a recording studio, their willingness to have fun seems to be the magic ingredient that makes Golden Boots so interesting.
Aside from their penchant for suprisingly original melodies, Golden Boots have also developed something of a reputation as an eccentric live act, which they don’t seem to have any problem with.
“Eccentric sounds good to me,” Eggleston said.
From rotating band members and instruments to spontaneously added, unrehearsed parts of songs at shows, Golden Boots have no shortage of ideas to shake things up.
The group’s latest endeavor? Releasing a single on vinyl made out of actual animal X-rays that the band managed to procure from a veterinary hospital. As Manos explains, the idea was inspired by the Russian practice of secretly embedding music banned by the government into human X-rays to smuggle the tracks.
Unfortunately, due to the digitization of X-rays and specifics of the American legal system, the band was unable to find human X-rays to scratch their single into.
Luckily for them, one member had the idea to look into using animal X-rays, and after a long and arduous process, Golden Boots succeeded in their tribute to the ingenious practice of the Russians.
Plus, as the band said, it’s hilarious.
“Everything is novelty, really,” Eggleston said.
“It’s just funny and weird to us to advertise this single as a ‘novelty X-ray release,’” Manos said. “It just sounds amazing.”
True to intelligent yet playful form, the band noted that the experiment yielded another unexpected result: newfound appreciation from the veterinarians of America.
“We sent one up to one of the vets who’d helped us out with some of the X-rays and he just loved it,” Eggleston said. “He immediately ordered more so that he could pass them out to all his vet friends. We’re still reaching new demographics.”
Golden Boots are sure to be in top form at their show to celebrate the release of the X-ray vinyl at Congress on Sunday, right at home in downtown Tucson.
“It is such a creative community here,” Mons said. “Everyone plays on each other’s records and you can pretty much do whatever you want.”
For all their talk of novelty, there is no doubt that Golden Boots remain as serious as they ever have been.
Unsurprisingly, moments after Manos’ serious assessment of the music scene, Eggleston announced the band’s forthcoming hot sauce line, a smile breaking onto his face.
“We’ve even got our own special ingredient!” Manos added.
Simultaneously committed and ridiculous — it’s a quintessential Golden Boots moment.