Cover kings Boyce Avenue are on their way to New Zealand, and we chatted to the band to get the inside scoop on everything you can expect.
Florida band Boyce Avenue have announced they’ll be taking over Auckland’s Power Station on Tuesday 5 February. Since kicking off their career by uploading covers to Youtube back in 2007, the band have amassed more than 4.3 billion views and accumulated more than 12 million subscribers. Some of their biggest hits include a cover of Miley Cyrus’ We Can’t Stop which has been watching over 181 million times and Justin Timberlake’s Mirrors with over 175 million views. As well as a strong catalogue of covers, the band have also found success with their own music, releasing three albums including their most recent, 2016’s Road Less Traveled.
We sat down to chat with the band about writing great covers, being independent, and what we can expect from their upcoming tour.
What is your favourite song to cover and why?
That’s tough, we cover a lot of great songs, but we always love the crowd’s reaction when we play Fast Car—that song has always been special to us.
What is the secret to taking a cover song and making it your own?
The songs that we cover are always so well written that we really try to stay true to the original, while adding our own twist. It’s really about getting that balance. A lot of times, by intentionally stripping a song back to its core and letting the vocal performance carry the song, we can get a new and more emotional feeling from it.
You’ve been described as the “world’s biggest independent band”. What’s the best part of being a completely independent band?
We love being independent. It allows us to be involved in all aspects of our music, from producing our own music and videos to designing our own merchandise, it’s really all about having the opportunity to immerse ourselves in all aspects of our brand.
What are some of the challenges?
We’re extremely hands-on with all aspects of the business, which is great, but it can sometimes mean that we have a hundred things going on at once, which as you can imagine, sometimes isn’t easy. But we have a great core team around us that help us with our day-to-day, so it works really well.
With so many avenues giving bands access to fans directly and cutting out the corporate middle man – social media, streaming services like Spotify, etc – do you think it’s easier than ever for artists to remain truly independent?
Definitely. We’ve experienced first-hand the creation of these new avenues, for example, when we first started out everybody thought that YouTube was just a platform for cat videos – nobody knew how valuable it could be. Now we have so many platforms for artists to engage with their fans and to promote their music that you can really go from being relatively unheard of to having a huge fan base overnight.
Without any real radio play or tv promotion, Boyce Avenue sell out arenas all around the world. What have been the most important steps to maintaining success without mainstream promo?
Our fan base is amazing, they have been extremely loyal from day one, so we try and repay that loyalty with consistent content. Making sure that we’re regularly releasing fresh content is key to maintaining our connection with the fans.
It’s been an interesting career to watch – being discovered on Youtube, signed to a major label, going independent, touring the world, etc. In what ways has Boyce Avenue had to change or adapt over the years?
It’s definitely been interesting. From day one we’ve tried to stay on the pulse when it comes to new technologies and platforms in the industry; YouTube, for example, has obviously been huge for us. While staying true to who we are as musicians, we are continually trying to make sure that we’re taking advantage of what the industry has to offer.
Each of your albums has built on the previous sound, so where to next with your original music?
Without giving too much away, our fans can always expect our original music to embody our acoustic roots, while adding a few fresh ideas. We’re constantly working on new music and we’re looking forward to releasing what we’ve been working on.
With the internet arguably more saturated now than it was when you first started out, what advice would you give to other bands or artists who want to break through?
Focus on quality. It’s definitely important to release enough content so you remain relevant but, for us at least, making sure that we are consistently putting out quality content has been huge.
What can fans expect from your live show this time around?
This past 12 months we’ve been touring in Asia and the United States, practising our new set, and we really think that we’ve got it to a great place. It’s full of a lot of our favourite covers as well as some of our own songs that our fans have loved over the years.
On sale info
My Ticketmaster Presale: Thursday 22 November @ 11am (local time)
General Public Onsale: Friday 23 November @ 12pm (local time)
Boyce Avenue will perform at Auckland’s Power Station on Tuesday 5 February. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.co.nz.