INTERVIEW: BOYSETSFIRE

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They’re about to return to Australia for Hits & Pits Festival, and share the stage with punk heroes, Black Flag, so we caught up with Robert Ehrenbrand to get the lo-down on travelling, politics and ‘While A Nation Sleeps..

By Bec Hennessy

Welcome back! From what I’ve read you felt less pressure making the new album “While a Nation Sleeps…” can you tell me a bit about its creation?
Thank you! It’s true. We really cleaned up our surroundings and circumstances and then really, deeply and exclusively focused on what WE wanted to create as a band. It was a freeing and beautiful process.

What happens while a nation sleeps? Is it like George Carlin says “it’s called the American Dream, ‘cause you’d have to be asleep to believe it”?
While a nation sleeps and politicians cheat, lie, steal and stall there is still grassroots-movements and progressives causes pushed forward by regular people.

In announcing your retirement in ’06 you mentioned a belief in change coming from within and so instead of waiting for change you were going to “take destiny into your own hands”. I like to think that part of ‘un-retiring’ is that you don’t care if you were ‘broken up’ – you do what feels right and what moves you, who gives a fuck what people think. What are your thoughts on taking destiny into your own hands and how you feel you are tackling this as a band?
You really captured the essence of our band in your question. We don’t give a fuck how we are perceived and what the outside world thinks we should do. We could not possibly care less. We are very best friends playing how, when and what we like. We follow our heart, mainly work with good friends and thus created a caring, supportive and heartfelt microcosm within this often shitty world.

Some of my favourite punk/hardcore bands are political, and my love for them stems partly from their politics. I’ve heard that you want to back away slightly from being seen as an overtly political band and being “merely “cheerleaders” for the want of something more and the lust for life” Can you tell me more about this?
Almost every action is political, and so is our band. But we wanna stay far away from party-driven-dogmas. We have very diverse worldviews in this band and we love it that way. We constantly change and exchange and evolve and question. I believe this makes us highly political, but not easy to put in a box.

You now have your own label –  End Hits Records (nicely named), how is it going? Ever wish you have just gone it yourselves from the start?
I think our journey is a very integral part of what we are. I wouldn’t change it, but I do think we are at a point where huge parts of the music business are not for us. We like to march to the beat of our own drum.

You recently wrapped up a European tour, how much fun was it to play live together again?
Beyond fun. So amazing. This might be the most energetic and fulfilling incarnation of this band to date. We’re collectively living life.

You are touring Australia soon with the Hits & Pits 2.0 Festival which includes the mighty Black Flag, which I’m quite excited about. What are you looking forward to most about the tour?
Just coming back to Australia is a dream. We loved touring there and can’t wait to return.

What’s in the future for Boysetsfire?
Unwritten.

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Many thanks to Robert for taking the time to chat to us. You can catch BoySetsFire as part of the Hits & Pits 2.0 lineup: http://www.hitsandpitsfest.bigcartel.com/

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