Introducing Boyes Drive: In Conversation With Frontman Liam

Have you ever watched a band jam for the first time and are immediately hooked? This is what happened to me the first time I witnessed Boyes Drive play live at a packed Striped Horse in Muizenberg, Cape Town recently. The Boyes have soul, their songs are super catchy, the production is excellent and the music will make you forget about any worries you have. They are the real deal.

The band consists of Liam McDermott (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), Ray Morgan (drums), Jono Simons (bass and backing vocals), Gareth Christie (lead guitar) and Bradley Searle (keys).

I had a chat with frontman Liam to find out more.

Firstly, when and how did the band start, have you known each other for a while or did you meet through mutual friends? I get the feeling that you all get on quite well and that the chemistry is solid.
Boyes Drive started in April 2018 and was the first time Jono Simons, Ray Morgan and myself started playing together. I’ve known Jono since High School days. He’s been motivating me since I was 17 to start singing and writing music. Boyes Drive wouldn’t be, if it weren’t for our drunken nights. Ray played in a band with Jono previously but I was only properly introduced to him a couple of months before we decided to start a band. We’ve all been Boyes in arms since.

You must be super excited about your debut single release of ‘Jamalamo’, many congrats! What was the creative process of the song and how have you found the reaction to the track so far?
JAMALAMO. We used to start our rehearsals with pure jams. Improv all the way. The bouncy guitar rhythm came from one of those. Ray saw potential in it and started bringing the song to its current form. I had written the lyrics before but for a slow song literally half the time. The jam was so good I had to sing something and those were the first words that came to me.

I was at your single launch a few weeks ago at Striped Horse Muizenberg and the crowd was wild! I’ve never seen so many beautiful women at one gig before in my life. Was does the support of Muizenberg mean to you and did you expect so many people there?
I’ve never seen so many beautiful people in one room! We had no idea it was going to be anything like that. We all felt lost in the moment. The love and support we are receiving, be it from family, friends or my fellow people of Muizenberg means the world to us. We write our music honestly and the fact that people appreciate it means music isn’t dead. People want substance.

Is there anything you feel the local music scene needs to fully reach its potential?
I don’t know if I have enough insight or experience to answer this but with that said I do feel there are two things. Everyone in the industry needs to work together. The South African music industry needs to become an entity.

How does the song making process work when creating music for Boyes Drive, do you all write together or chip in ideas to make it all flow?
I write the chords at home on my guitar and the lyrics late at night. I bring my progressions and my lyrics to the Boyes and they tear it apart and put it back together. Each of us needs to enjoy playing the song. If all of us are having a good time playing it, we know it’s right.

You have had a taste of music festivals now with your debut at Up The Creek in Feb, how was that experience and are there certain places you would like to play in the future?
Up The Creek was an experience. To be able to play on a stage of that size with that sound was incredible. I had never done anything like it before. All I want to do it play on a stage like that again.

Which local artists/bands are you most excited about currently and would like to possibly collab with down the road?
We’ve got a little family going on at the moment that started on the dance floor of Up The Creek at 4am. Money for Bali, The Steezies and Fractals. We’ve decided that later on in life we will start a super group called ‘’THE STEEZIE MONEY FOR FRACTAL BOYES’’. It’s gonna happen. In terms of collaboration, I’m a huge fan of Southern Wild. I absolutely love their sound and would love to do a song together some day.

image of boyes drive
Image supplied.

What does the rest of 2019 hold for the band, any new music videos around the corner or exciting gigs to come?

In 2019, we’ve got plans. Our 2nd single ‘Dive’ was just released which is exciting. It was recorded at Mountainside Studios which will eventually lead to an EP release in the second half of this year, resulting in a lot of promotional gigs. We are going to try extend our reach by doing a tour in Johannesburg and Pretoria. Tell them we are coming. If you haven’t seen Boyes Drive live yet I would highly recommend it. Catch them live at The House Of Machines tonight if you are in Cape Town or follow their socials below to find out when they are in your area code.

Follow Boyes Drive on Facebook, Instagram, Spotify and YouTube.

Listen to the latest single by Boyes Drive titled Dive.

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