We had the opportunity to interview Booher, an alternative indie/rock act from Austin, Texas. Booher is Michael Booher, Ben Lance, Bryan Roberts, Bryce Clifford, and Michael St. Clair. First we had a blast chatting with them as they are a fun group of guys. Also, they have some great stories to tell about the Austin scene and music in general. Quick fun fact, one of their songs has appeared in the TV show "Shameless". Check out what they had to say below and give them a listen!
1. How did y'all come to pursue music? And how long have you been doing it professionally?
Michael: Well, I've been I think we both been in a few different bands. I was in a band in high school. I just sort of standing in a band and didn't really play guitar or anything.
But then, I came came to college that you see here in Austin, and then, I started playing with some old friends that I grew up with. I was in the band Zykos for a long time. We were really going for it, and you know, it kind of came to an end, but I met Ben because he had been to a couple of our shows, so we just kind of became friends.
After that, bands kind of petered out, but we continue playing together in like, a bunch of bands, and he's been with me the whole way.
Ben: I had moved to Austin from Houston. A roommate had gotten a job at a church up here and was looking for people to play with, and and I told him I was looking to get out of Houston. We didn't know anybody up here as far as like musicians go, and so, we come up here and just kind of play music at the church that we were going to.
Then, we just started writing songs, and and we formed a band that was Sad Accordions. Once you start playing shows, you start meeting people. So, we moved to Austin, like we were going to shows like, three, four times a week, and and that's how, like, the first first big show we went to, that we're really excited about, was the Comedy Corn Release, which was Zykos’ first record.
2. Could you walk us through your process of how y'all write music? Is it set or do have kind of multiple processes?
Michael: I'll just have either a guitar or keyboard and usually, chord progression comes first. And then some kind of mush mouth, a kind of motion mouth vocals, like sort of half lyrical, just whatever, then build words into it.
Yeah, I kind of do that most of the time. There's a couple of times where I've had the page written and turn turned it into melody, but that's not as natural for me.
There's different sides, but I think allowing your mind to not have limits and just let it all come out, and then try to arrange infrastructure in in a way that either makes sense or it can be totally abstract, and it can be that absolutely nothing, but it's kind of poetry.
3. Who's inspired you in your career?
Michael: There are so many, obviously, so many people have. Bob Dylan.
As far as stuff we get compared to, I really always welcome people saying that we sound like The Replacements, New Order, or Springsteen. That's cool. I like like all that stuff, but I really like studying music since recording equipment was available to musical all around the world, and you hear those melodic sensibilities that conform to your skin.
Grunge had a big impact on us. It showed us that regular guys could do great things. It was really important movement during our childhoods.
4. Do y'all have any favorite gear? And if so, do you have any stories behind it?
So, I didn't have any older brothers, but I have a good friend Troy Martin who plays guitar. He had a bunch of records. He's about five years old. I mean, he just turned me on to like blues and jazz and other stuff. And he can, he can play that. And so I would go hang out with him. And he would play again. He's now a mechanical engineer. So, he even then, he knew how how things work. And again, it's funny, like, he would like start talking about all these specs and technical stuff. And I'm like, “ I don't know what you just said. But I'm going to just take it as fact.”
He just exposed me to a lot of different music, and he played in a blues band in Houston. He had like, probably five or six old vintage guitars, and he would play through Fender amps. And so, that was my beginning of what I thought sounded cool.
But, I bought I bought a guitar. It was a 66 Guild Starfire. Amazing guitar. And I bought that when I was 20. This is like, ‘95, I didn't have an amp, and so, I would just shred away at this thing. And then, I borrowed from a friend of mine and had it for about three months. And he was like, “Can I have my app back?”, so, I finally worked and saved up enough to get my own. I got a really crappy Japanese Fender amp from Guitar Center.
But that just inspired me to save more, and I've worked enough to like save up for a Fender Deluxe.
Fast forward, we played a show over the weekend, and I was going into the studio on Monday and left all my stuff in the car, and it's weird how you universe works.
I was talking to some friends, and I said, “I'm really tired of my sound, like I need to find something different, something new.” Somebody up there heard in the universe and said, “Oh, okay.”
So Monday morning, I hear a knock on the door. I'm like “What is going on?”, so I go outside, and my neighbor was like, “Check your car,” and my heart sank. Someone had broken into my car and taken everything, but my Deluxe, which I had at home, and I had to start over.
That has been a blessing in disguise because I found new sounds, and I had I had to like relearn how I played with new petals, a new you know new guitar. I just slowly started to build all that stuff back up, but when you do that, you are invigorated because now there's a challenge, so I had to relearn how to play and to figure out how to get the sounds, but also, it gave me a fresh canvas to work with now I get to find new sounds.
5. What’s one thing you’d like the public to know about your music?
I want people to walk away thinking the band sounds cool because it is a bunch of guys who are good songwriters working on these projects. The sonic elements are important pieces to our band.
I want to put out records that are just solid throughout. You keep changing your favorite song because all the songs on that album are so good. My goal is high-quality songs.
We all want to be equal parts good at all of our roles -- front man, songwriter, and vocalist. Just solid.
6. Is there anything else you want our readers to know? Any upcoming shows? Albums?
We have some upcoming shows:
OCT 17 WED Halifax Pop Explosion w/ Project ATX6 - Halifax, Canada
NOV 23 FRI Quest Festival w/ Project ATX6 - Hanoi, Vietnam
FEB 13 WED Folk Alliance International w/ Project ATX6 - Montréal, Canada
FMI on Booher visit https://www.boohertheband.com/