This is Required Listening our ongoing crush-a-thon wherein we laud praise and adoration upon the things that have been relentlessly streaming into our earholes, dilating our pupils and causing surges of fanboy/girl love bliss.
Thanks to WPSC Brave New Radio for recently introducing us to the excellent NJ band Boy Things and their addictive song inspired by Pam and Jim from The Office “Disengagement”. Vince from Boy Things was kind enough to answer some of our questions and give us a little insight into what it’s like to be in an awesome band looking for their break.
Adam currently goes to The College of New Jersey (’13), Beth is currently doing an online program with Berklee College of Music (’14), Vince went to the University of Portland (’12), Matt went to Rutgers (’12), and Eric went to William Paterson University (’11) and is currently pursuing his masters at CUNY in NYC (’13).
Can you introduce yourselves?
We’re Boy Things from Hackettstown, NJ. Our interests include japanese cats, the politics of the labor movement, Kancho, iOS development, alternative lifestyle choices, and good beer. Oh, also music.
Press play on this right here:
How’d the band start?
We always joke that the band should have never formed given the set of bizarre circumstances. Essentially, Eric used Adam and Vince as spies to get information on an ex-girlfriend, Adam and Beth dated for a while but it didn’t work out, and then there was the usual band drama. But in the end, we’re all are a happy band family. We all went to the same High School, Hackettstown High School in NJ, so we knew each other and were friends even before the band started.
We just added a new member, Matt, on second guitar. We’ve been playing in side projects with him for years though, and he also went to our high school, so he’s a natural fit. We’re currently working on a new album, and the second guitar allows us to explore the “Disengagement” sound more thoroughly. So I guess you could say: indie-pop-math-rock-influenced. Our sound and song writing definitely went up to the next level, so get ready!
The dynamic of your girl & boy vocals is excellent, it’s like David Bowie and Stevie Nicks formed a punk indie pop ska band in their prime. This isn’t a question. Just wanted to get it off my chest. (I swear I feel a ska The Specials vibe in their somewhere, feel free to let me know if I’m way off base.)
Yeah! We’re definitely feeling that analogy. But what phase of David Bowie? Rebel Rebel David Bowie for sure. That made us laugh. Eric used to play in a punk-ska band called Legitimate Business, so you’re right on cue.
Tell me more about Pam and Jim in ‘Disengagement’? Is it Pam and Jim from The Office?
Yes it is! Remember that scene when Pam goes to that gas station, and she’s unsure about whether or not she wants to get married? That’s feeling Pam. The male part is the other side: Jim meets her at the gas station and is really positive; feeling optimistic despite her negative feelings. At the end of the song, Beth still leaves the question open- there is no answer.
Valentine’s Day is coming up? Can you recommend a few good love/sex songs?
Beth is going very NPR with “I don’t want to love you” by Betty Davis. For your indie girl crush, Vince suggests “Radar Detector” by Darwin Deez.
You guys are working on your first full length and looking for a label now. How is that going?
We have about five new songs finished and we’re mainly focused on writing, but we might play a couple shows around our hometown and NYC between now and summer break. As for putting out our full length on a label, we don’t have any offers (yet!). Between college, unemployment, and just trying to live in NYC, we are definitely in need of some cash. Every band on mtvU probably has the same story though, right? Haha. But yeah, working with a label and a producer would be pretty cool. If not, we’re really pleased with bandcamp and our current fans, so it’s a win-win.
Boy Things has plenty of great music for you up on their Bandcamp so go get some.
Photos courtesy of Boy Things