Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Boys Like Girls

The band Boys Like Girls was formed in the final months of 2005, when singer/guitarist Martin Johnson — formerly of the Massachusetts act The Drive — wrote a handful of songs he wanted to record. He recruited bassist Bryan Donahue and drummer John Keefe, both of whom had been in bands of different setups with the frontman, most notably in the pop punk band Lancaster and less notably the short-lived local act The Bends. Keefe brought along lead guitarist Paul DiGiovanni, whom he had recorded a brief demo with, to complete the line-up. Oddly enough, the two learned that they were distant cousins several months later The quartet soon opened a PureVolume account to showcase their music, and uploaded a rough demo of "The Great Escape" and an acoustic rendition of "Thunder". By the end of the year, the group had landed the #1 spot on the website's Top Unsigned Artists chart.

The buzz around the band was overheard by booking agent Matt Galle and record producer Matt Squire, who contacted the band about a future collaboration. With their support, Boys Like Girls embarked on their first nationwide tour with A Thorn for Every Heart, Hit the Lights and Keating in late February of 2006. Following the month-long venture, the group immediately entered the recording studio with Squire to record their debut album for Columbia Records/Red Ink. During their time in the studio Squire introduced the band to another of his alumni, Cute Is What We Aim For, who offered Boys Like Girls an opening slot on their upcoming headlining tour. Once the album was recorded, Boys Like Girls played back-to-back tours, including the Cute Is What We Aim For tour in June, as well as a two week stint with Butch Walker in late July.In between tours the band filmed their first music video for their album's lead single, "Hero/Heroine", directed by Mark Serao and Chris Vaglio of Grey Sky Films.

On August 22, 2006, the eponymous Boys Like Girls hit record store shelves. As of April 2007, the album has sold over 200,000 copies within the United States.While, as the title might suggest, songs about boys liking girls clearly prevail on the album, Johnson threw in the occasional escape from the pre-, mid-, or post-relationship formula, and touched upon themes such as his mother's battle with cancer, leaving home and precocious adolescents. Concerning the latter, he discussed the motivation behind the song "Dance Hall Drug":
“ So many kids are growing up too fast. 13 year olds are giving each other hand jobs in the back of the bus, 14 year olds are already drinking and partying, and kids spend more time worried about growing up and being cool than they do actually growing up and being a kid. ”

In the light of the album's release, Boys Like Girls completed their first headlining tour, supported by Permanent Me and Scenes from a Movie in August and September, before heading out on an East coast tour, opening for Lostprophets and Eighteen Visions throughout October 2006. The remainder of the year was spent playing first on a five-band bill with Spitalfield, Punchline, Over It, and Valencia, as well as on the Tournado Tour, where they shared the stage with The All-American Rejects, Motion City Soundtrack, and The Format.

The year 2007 started out with a short headlining run with Self Against City, after which the group joined Cobra Starship supporting a two-month Cartel tour beginning in February. In between releasing their album's second single, "The Great Escape" (reaching #10 on the Pop 100), performing on Jimmy Kimmel Live on February 22, 2007, and eventually charting the Billboard 200 for the first time in April 2007, Boys Like Girls played their first international concerts during the Canada leg of a North America tour with Hellogoodbye and the UK festival Give It A Name 2007. In mid-2007, the band played the annual Vans Warped Tour for the first time. On August 20, 2007 Boys Like Girls Paul and Martin played a private show at 105.1 The Buzz radio station. On July 31, 2007 the band reached the #1 spot on the MTV show Total Request Live. They also announced that they will be playing five shows in Japan come September and that they will then do a U.S. headlining tour with All Time Low, theAUDITION and We the KingsOn September 11, 2007, the band released their three song acoustic set for AOL's Sessions Under Cover as an EP in the iTunes Store, containing "The Great Escape", "Thunder" and a cover of Frou Frou's "Let Go".

No comments: