Dubai-based rockers The Boxtones are returning with a second album, and they’ve got major label support this time.
Two years after independently releasing In The Pockets of Clowns, their cabaret-inspired debut, the theatrical Scottish-Canadian band — Gary Tierney on lead vocals and guitar, Patrick Thibault on bass, Louise Peel on lead vocals, Gill Tierney on drums and Will Janssen on keyboards — is gearing up for the November release of their sophomore record, Home, under Universal Music MENA.
In the meantime, Janssen tells tabloid! about their just-released single Against the Odds.
Against the Odds sounds like a battle cry to get up in the morning and face the day. What is it really about?
It’s always a battle to wake up in the morning, isn’t it? In all honesty, the song is about facing your fears, and about overcoming challenges in your life and obstacles in your way.
What’s a moment in your life where you truly had to fight against the odds to get what you want?
In the band’s life it was starting our own company, a musical consultancy firm in the UAE whose sole income was supporting one band: us!
What’s been the biggest difference in working with a major record label versus being independent?
The doors that are open to you once you start working with the ‘big boys’. Being an independent does give you a little more control of your destiny, but with the major [label], you have deliverables, you have time lines, and you most importantly have to work your [expletive] off and have it ready weeks, sometimes months, in advance. The result is you get the best people doing the best for your band, and ultimately reaching a wider audience.
What can people expect from your upcoming record, Home?
We worked on the album for over a year. We can’t say too much about it at the moment, but we can assure you that it’s definitely different from our previous outings, and we are all excited to hear what everyone thinks of it.
Your debut record had a much more cabaret, almost concept-album feel to it. Is Home going to represent a major departure from that?
In The Pockets of Clowns was actually a collection of old demos and releases I had written over the past ten years, and with Gill, my sister, in previous line-ups. I think, as a band, we wrote two new songs for that record, and the rest were re-arrangements or re-recordings of older work. We still love that record — we recorded at home on our computers, and a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into it — but when you compare it to the new album, they are very far apart in terms of quality and songwriting. It’s a good rock record, even with a demo sounding quality to it, and we hope when people download/buy our new album they like it enough to head into our past and listen to where we came from originally.
What has been the process behind creating Home?
We plan to release a documentary on the process of creating the album later in the year, so people can really see what it’s like to record an album here in Dubai. Our producer Elvis Garagic was a huge influence on creating this album and we want to give a big shout out to SoundStruck Studios, which has been like our second home for the better part of this year.
What’s next for you guys?
We are performing at this year’s Party in the Park (November 11 at Media City Amphitheatre) on the mainstage with The Kaiser Chiefs, Travis and The Charlatans, which is going to be epic.