The Bohos, an Indie Rock band from Liverpool, are taking the music scene by storm. Comprised of Fin, the lead vocalist; Elliot, the lead guitarist; Ian, the bass guitarist and Alex, the drummer: the four are tapping into your teenage angst and making you bop your head in coolness. I was greeted by the band before their pre-gig practice in K-Town Studios was shook from the start. Not only do their songs reverberate a dark, romantic moodiness, but when they abandoned abiding by lyrics and melodies and decided to jam instead, the music flowed as naturally as breathing. Their spontaneous musical performances were definitely their most captivating. The ability of this band to connect to one another and tap into the musical chemistry they share to create melodies will engross you. While listening to the band play, I began to hear similarities and inspirations from bands like the Arctic Monkeys, Tame Impala and Led Zeppelin: so, if these are any of your favourites then open your arms and embrace the music of the Bohos.
I sat down with two members of the band, Alex and Fin, to discuss the band’s past, present and future, an interesting conversation with my northern Irish accent and their heavy Liverpudlian accent mixing together. To start with, I ask them how they’re feeling in the midst of their first UK tour supporting indie legends, Cast, and what the support they’ve received on their journey is like.
F: Aw mate, you’ll see tonight, it’s been absolutely fantastic with the support. I was not expecting it and people have said they weren’t expecting it, because you’ve watched us in the practice room, and you’ve seen us chilling out and you’re going to have an experience tonight that you’re not going to expect.
A: We’ve had people tweeting as well like tweeting the band going ‘aw you’re amazing’ and like telling everyone to get down so it’s been getting fuller and fuller because the first one we played wasn’t that full, so it’s really started to kick off.
The dim roar of a rock band practicing in another studio room nearby added to the atmosphere of musical promise and success. Surrounded by posters of some the greats: The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and Sex Pistols, there was an underlying air of excitement that rested on the shoulders of these young musicians.
To get into the mind of an artist, I was curious to find out how Alex and Fin feel when they’re performing onstage.
F: Electric. Live in the flesh.
A: Chaos is how I’d describe it, controlled chaos.
F: It’s not controlled chaos, its absolute chaos.
Developing on their experience together as a band, I asked the pair what their most memorable moment was as a band.
F: Um, Wolverhampton man.
F: Doing our first EP, but gig wise our most memorable moment? Um, we’ve probably yet to f**king make a big mo. As of now, yeah, I would say Wolverhampton recording our EP, which hasn’t been released yet.
Seeing them get excited about what the future holds for this quartet, I leaned into the subject of their upcoming releases asking, “When should we expect to hear this EP then?”.
F: It’s going to be an album man, we’re using the tracks we’ve already recorded and then recording more tracks and then releasing. But we’re releasing singles leading up to an album.
A: But we’ve gone through a big varying change in our sound since the EP.
F: Yeah it was a different group of people [referring to the previous band members who were part of the Bohos in the early stages of their music career]. We want to push beyond boundaries now so that’s why the whole plan has changed, for the better.
Talking about the roots of the band brought to mind something I had been curious from the beginning of the interview: the name of the band. “Where did the name Bohos come from?”: a question that was met by groaning and eye-rolling.
F: I’m going to have to give you the intellectual answer, I think my manager will kill me if I gave you the bad answer. So, obviously bohemian means being yourself, doesn’t it? So yeah, I guess we be ourselves… Also, is sounds like Boats and Hoes.
From throwing frisbees, like Weezer’s front man Rivers Cuomo, or taking a nap like Lorde, many artists have pre-show rituals. And not unlike these artists, Bohos lead singer Fin and drummer Alex said that their activities depend on their pre-show nerves.
F: Mine changes every day, sometimes I start skipping and sometimes I sit down and meditate for 10 minutes, honestly it depends how bad my anxiety is before I go onstage. Like sometimes I feel like I want to cry before I go onstage but in an excited way. I’m a nervy kid, yeah, these guys are getting psyched up punching walls and I’m sitting there like mentally preparing myself for a performance.
Speaking of time to think retrospectively brought about the notion of stardom and fame, both of which can be very daunting. So, I asked the two if they’ve ever had a “sh*t, this is actually happening” moment:
A: I think the first time for me was when I joined and 2 weeks later, we were doing a gig. And it was as soon as we did that gig, I was like ‘Right, ok, this is real’.
I then asked the impossible question, “If you could sum up everything that’s going on at the moment in one word, what would that word be?”
F: one word to describe everything that going on at the moment? I don’t f**king know, just hectic mate, honestly hectic, like it’s just been an absolute brain voyage, just *makes mind-blown hand gesture*. Like for me at the moment, it’s a little bit hard to cope with because I put myself under a little too much pressure, I don’t think about anything else. For [Alex], it’s probably excitement, for me it’s just a mental explosion. Mental explosion that’s it.
After being the audience of their jamming session and seeing the bond between the band members, I wondered how they wrote their music and where the inspiration came from.
F: Well, I literally write the songs in my head, the whole rhythm of things I’ll go to the guitars like ‘this is what I think you should do’ and they’ll just do what they want, sometimes they stick to what I say or sometimes Elliot will come to me with the backing track and I’ll just sing over it, but I write all the lyrics and my melodies the way I sing.
A: That makes it easier for us, me and Ian the bass player, to do our job because a lot of the time if all the framework’s in place we just have to serve the tune and what’s going on.
F: I genuinely don’t know where we draw inspiration from. I could give you 50 bands, I can’t put my hand on just one, and that’s a good thing because if it was just one band, like Kings of Leon, then we’d sound just like Kings of Leon. If I had to say one band that’s really influenced us, then New Order.
A: For me personally, the reason I picked up a set of sticks and started playing was John Bonham, so yeah Led Zeppelin’s my main inspiration.
F: The reason I started writing songs was because of John Lennon, like I used to just sit in the bath and sing along to him.
After naming great bands and artists whose musical influence and talent was so immense that they became global sensations and inspired bands like Bohos to form, I ended the interview with one final question for the band-representing duo. What did they want the future to have in store for Bohos?
A: For people to listen to our music and really connect to it.
F: Imagine connecting to a song called Already Dead.
After a couple more laughs, I finished my interview with the band that was “a punk rock band now”, as declared by Elliot. As we all rose from the sofas of K-Town Studios that were being watched over by legendary bands and musician Gods, I couldn’t help but think that one day those posters may have the faces of the Bohos printed on them.