AN INTERVIEW WITH BOYO
We went to Slim’s in San Francisco to see a powerhouse of a lineup, with High Sunn, BOYO, Loving, and Vansire. When BOYO came on he had a 3 piece, with him playing both synths and guitar, accompanied by a bassist and drummer. After the show, we went backstage with BOYO to ask him a few questions. BOYO is the project of Robert Tilden, who has been involved with D.I.Y. scene in L.A since the very early age of 16, with the project Bobby T. and the Slackers. Now 22, his music has drastically changed from the garage rock sounds from his teenage years. His most recent album, Me, Again, dives deep into the corners of his mind, with themes of regret, isolation, and his struggle with epilepsy. With psychedelic and dreamy noises, BOYO has created a sound that truly immerses you into his world.
BIGGEST OBSTACLE ON TOUR?
Personally, I used to have anxiety taking a crap when not in my home, but I had to get over it, because I couldn’t hold a crap for 30 days. So now I’m over my poop anxiety.
BIRTH OF THE BAND?
We actually just started playing recently, for this live iteration of BOYO. I knew Hudson through playing shows for a long time, like 6 years, and Ben I’ve known for 3 or 4, through mutual homies. We got together to make this live lineup like 3 weeks ago. On the previous tour, we were supposed to be a 4 piece, but my friend Nick was skateboarding and broke his left hand. So he couldn’t go on tour, couldn’t play guitar or keys. I’m not a really great key player, so I got him to send me some samples of him playing chords, and put it on my Roland SP 404.
TRANSITIONAL PROCESS GOING FROM THE SOUND OF BOBBY T AND THE SLACKERS TO BOYO?
Hopefully I just got better. I was really young when I recorded Bobby T. I had broken up with someone and I was really sad and wanted to make a punk thing. It’s pretty uncomfortable for me to listen to that stuff now, and I got to a point where I didn’t want to play those songs anymore. I just broadened my horizons.
HAVE YOU EVER BROUGHT BACK ANY OF THAT MATERIAL?
We got back together and played the whole album live at The Smell in L.A. We played itin like 2016 or 2015 and gave away all the last copies and got really fucked up and then said “Later!”
WHAT WAS PLAYING WITH SURF CURSE LIKE?
Playing with Surf Curse is really fun, super surreal, people are very avid fans. I didn’t write any of it so it was pretty crazy to play. When I was 15 or 16, we were all on this label called Big Joy, now defunct, and at their first or second show at The Smell, Bobby T. opened for them and I met them there.
photo by AL SMITH