The Beards’ Savvy Seven

The Beards

2014 was a busy year for The Beards. They embarked on their biggest Australian tour to date, received a second ARIA nomination, played to packed rooms throughout Europe on two separate international tours – and recorded yet another album of songs about beards! Now back in their homeland, the Adelaide-based four piece are set to sternly reiterate their steadfast message on their upcoming “Strokin’ My Beard Tour”.

Ahead of their upcoming tour, Musiciio had the pleasure of hearing some industry tips and tricks straight from the hairy mouth of John Beardman Jr. We weren’t sure how to take his advice at first, but it’s definitely grown on us… (See what we did there? 😉 )

Interviewee: John Beardman Jr

1. The best live music venues in my area are…

The Gov is such an iconic Adelaide venue that it’s hard to go past it as a 700 capacity room. In terms of smaller rooms, our favourite is Jive Bar. We actually played our first ever gig at Jive… it was supposed to be a one-off gig too! At the time we didn’t realise there was such a healthy demand for songs about beards, but sure enough after we played, we were immediately approached about playing another show. Needless to say, we were ready, willing and able to grow our beards even longer and start writing more songs about beards – that was ten years ago, and the rest is history – so it all really started for us at Jive. Tam, who owns and runs the venue is a great person who’s done a fantastic job at providing an artist-friendly venue for local bands putting on an album launch right through to international touring bands. Oh and also the bouncer has a beard.

2. The music scene in Adelaide is…

Healthy and getting healthier. There are always going to be obstacles – some venues close due to complaining neighbours, venues decide it’s easier for them to have a DJ then a band and sometimes when it’s raining people prefer to stay at home, but I think those things are issues in any town of Adelaide’s size or smaller, but there’s a great crop of current acts in Adelaide and people seem to have a genuine appetite for live music. There are also some great organisations likes Music SA and Northern Sound System who do great work with emerging and established artists and lots of eager people looking to make the Adelaide music scene a better place. Importantly, in the last five years or so, there’s been a big resurgence in the amount of bearded musicians, punters and venue staff in Adelaide which I think is directly proportional to the way the scene’s been improving lately.

3. My top tip for artists who self-manage is…

Learn as much as you can about the industry as you can, read articles, go to conferences, build as many connections as you can within the music industry. You never know when that person you met once at a conference or at a show will be able to help you out. As far as building your act: Touring and touring regularly to establish a fanbase beyond your home town, a strong engaging presence on social media and having a strong brand / angle to differentiate yourself from other bands (I would suggest exclusively writing and performing songs about beards).

4. In my opinion, the most important issue facing the music industry is…

As long as there are pokies, they’re going to be a problem for live music. Venues can simply make more money filling their pubs with pokies than they can having live bands play. Luckily there are venues across the country that are run by people passionate about music and dedicated to keeping our music scene alive. The more places like that around the better.

5. When on the road, my favourite pit stops are…

Any mini-golf course we can find, Yatala Pies in Queensland, The Indi Bar in Scarborough and Greg’s One Stop Beard Accessory Store in Hall’s Gap.

6. My biggest career mistake has been…

Shaving. Way back in 2007, we all shaved for a film clip. The idea was to demonstrate how repulsive we would all look without beards. I think for us at the time we were thinking that the end would justify the means, but we were dead wrong. Now we know that there are NO JUSTIFIABLE reasons to remove one’s beard, but sadly we had to learn that lesson the hard way and unfortunately the video is still online as a constant and terrible reminder of just how shit we look without beards.

7. My best advice for emerging artists is…

Make sure you have a beard.

To get more beard in your life, you can follow The Beards on Facebook, SoundcloudTwitter and Youtube. You can even stroke their beards in person on their upcoming tour.

 

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