Melbourne’s Boy In A Box released their ‘On My Mind‘ EP over the weekend via Four|Four / ABC Music and this month will support Fun. on their Splendour In The Grass sideshows followed by a tour of their own next month. This week in The Hotseat we caught up with Tobias from the band to find out a little more about them. Expand this post to take a read, see tour dates and their new video for the title track.
Name : Tobias Priddle
Band : Boy In A Box
Job In Band : Singer, writer, guitarist
Website Address : www.facebook.com/boyinaboxmusic
Hometown : Melbourne, Vic
Hometown is best known for : Great live venues, a killer music scene, coffee that you can set your watch to and the fact that you can pick anywhere in the city and all surrounding suburbs, blind fold yourself, spin around 10 times and walk for less than 2 minutes to find an amazing place to have a meal.
Best venue in your hometown : My favourite venue the Corner Hotel, the corner’s live room might have a sticky floor, a leak in the roof when it rains and a massive pole right in front of the stage but the food there is exceptional, there’s 4 bars, 2 of which are face the stage and a sound system that when operated by the right guy has the ability to peel your face clean off.
Favourite show you’ve seen in your hometown : I saw The Bronx play at the Palace about 2 years ago, they supported themselves as Mariachi el Bronx. I can remember thinking that they should have switched the playing order around!! The sound that night was flawless!
Favourite show you’ve played in your hometown : We played the Forum with Birds Of Tokyo last year, we had played some many shows around the country and we were yet to play a great gig in Melbourne. The crowd that night were perfect, they didn’t treat us alike we were inbetween them and seeing their favourite band, they were very welcoming and made us feel like we were playing our own show!
How did the band first come to exist? It was kind of an accident, I had just left my last band that I was playing with in Sydney and moved to Melbourne. I decided that I’d had enough of music for a while and wanted to build studios. I was building a studio for my girlfriends manager, Barry Palmer. He had seen my last band play a couple of times and was familiar with my music. He was asked by a charity called Blue September, who supported cancer research, if one of his artist had a song for their up coming campaign. He felt that none of his artists had a song that that really fit the description so he asked me if I had anything. I showed him a few songs that I’d been working on, he sent one to the people blue September and then next thing I knew I was in the studio recording my first single ‘moon comes up’. After that the ball started to roll and I just had to hold on tightly and go along for the ride. Leading me to this point.
How long has the band been going? I’d started writing and recording June 2010, the rest of the band joined me at the start of 2011 and we have been touring, writing, recording together ever since.
Any particular story behind the name? At the time that I started working under the moniker Boy In A Box I didn’t have a band, it was just me. I had no idea whether I wanted to turn it into a band or continue as a solo musician, so I wanted a name that could work either way. Plus if I called it ‘Tobias Priddle’ I don’t think I would have gotten very far…
What’s your most recent release? Tell us a little about it… Our newest single is ‘On My Mind’. We call it our ‘Brian Adams song’, not really sure why. I wrote it when I’d been spending a lot of time on the road and writing away from home. I was feeling a little be secluded and very home sick, it’s funny cause as soon as you get home from these kind of things all you want do is get back on the road, every touring musician will know what I’m talking about! So the song was pretty much about being away from my girlfriend and missing all the creature comforts that come from being at home, like a warm bed, a cup of tea and a beautiful warm woman to cuddle up to and tell you everything is going to be ok!
Got a personal stand out achievement of your band to date? For me it would have to be the fact that the radio plays our songs. In my last band I played the same rooms week in week out, we really struggled to get anywhere and be heard. With this project everything seemed to fall into place.
OFF THE STAGE
What was your first introduction to music that made you think seriously about playing it? My mother and father were very musical people. There was never a time when music wasn’t blasting from the speakers in our living room. When I was five my dad gave me my first guitar, I had no idea how to play until I was about 10 and he started giving me lessons. That didn’t stop me from strumming away and singing about girls at my kindergarten how had germs but whom I secretly adored! I always knew that I’d be playing music in front of people, from a very young age. But thinking seriously about playing it!? I’ll get back to you on that one…
Any particular band / album or song that you personally credit as a major influence? There’s so many!! I think that the first time I properly listened to The Clash’s ‘London Calling’ record influenced me to get into a band and write my own songs. That album is one of the most well written albums I have ever heard. I never expect to be able to write a record of that caliber, but the idea of being able to release an album that has back to back great songs keeps me inspired to continue writing.
Your first band name, and what style did you play? We were called Niobium, I think I was in year 8. I can remember any of the songs off the top of my head, I think we were trying to mix Radiohead with the Beatles and maybe Blink 182. We had no idea how to play our instruments, our drummer was a casio keyboard. I can remember certain quotes from one band member; “you only need to tune your instruments for playing live” and when we broke up “you can’t have the name”… Didn’t want it anyway thanks buddy.
Most prized music related item you own? My Macbook that has Protools 8 on it, without that thing I would be able to write songs.
When you’re not doing band related stuff, what are you usually found doing? I can’t start my day without going to my favourite coffee shop and having exactly 3 soy flat whites, no more, no less. The band takes up almost all of my time, I do also love writing songs with other people for their projects and recording bands.
The thing you most look forward to just before a tour is… I love a good drive, and being able to see the Australian countryside. I look forward to being able to go to new places, meet new people and try every town’s best Nachos. I have eaten Nachos all over Australia, It’s kind of a passion of mine…
The thing you least look forward to before a tour is… Planes!! I hate the bloody things, I am 6 foot 3, I barely fit in any plane. Don’t even get me started about airports!!!
ON THE STAGE
When on offer, what’s your one must have item on the rider? Whiskey, there’s nothing like it to warm up your voice and give you a bit of Dutch courage before walking out in front of a room full of people. A kettle never goes to waste.
Favourite place you’ve toured, and why? I love WA, it has the most beautiful countryside, amazing beaches and awesome people. People in this side of Australia have a chip on their shoulder, over there everyone is friendly and really inviting. The only downside is that WA is the most expensive place for food and drink in Australia.
Most memorable show you’ve played? and why? The last show we played with Birds of Tokyo would have to go down as the most memorable show I’ve played. The are notorious for fucking with their support band on the last night of tour. This certain night we walked onto stage to find that our drummers stick had been replaced with sticks that had been cut with a saw just enough that they hold together for a couple of seconds before snapping. They had stuffed around with the bass amp making it so that the only sound you’d hear was a low roar. My picks had been cut in half, covered in lube. My pedals had been fiddled with and my in-ears had loud hardcore porn playing in them.
Got a favourite song to play live? We always play our second single ‘Glitter, Gold, Ruin’ last. It seems to get the best reaction fro the crowd. It’s always fun being able to jump around like idiots and be accepted for it.
Any embarrassing on stage moments come to mind? We were on tour with Calling All Cars last year, we had been playing back to back shows for about a month. I was sick, delusional and hadn’t been sleeping at all. We were playing a show in Coffs Harbour and had just played the night before in Port Macquarie. We played the first two songs and the first thing I said to the crowd was “Good Evening Port Macqaurie!”. I had no idea I’d even stuffed up until someone grabbed my mic stand and belted me in the face with my mic. I was horrible.
Any pre-show rituals? We usually had a couple of shots of whiskey, our drummer has a sleep and we do a vocal warm up. I don’t know if you’d call that a ritual, but a show wouldn’t be that same if we didn’t.
What do you find is the hardest aspect of touring in a band today? It can get very expensive, if you take into account the flights, accom, gear hire, food etc. Also trying to keep fit is virtually impossible, you take any food that gets put in front of you (usually fried), any rider that’s given to you (usually beer) and the fact that you bed time is usually around about 2am and your flight in the morning is about 8am there’s no time to get for a sneaky jog.
Last song you listened to? It’s so easy – Eagles of Death Metal
Last album you acquired? Dr Dog – Be The Void
Which band or album is currently on high rotation? The Hives – Lex Hives
Tell us an up and coming band or artist you think we should go and listen to right now? There’s a new band fro Sydney called ‘The Griswolds’ that I think have got something good going, check them out!
What’s on the cards for the next few months for the band? We have a whole bunch of touring, writing, we are going to record an album, drink coffee, have dinner parties, drink way too much cheap wine and try and add a second guitarist to the line up.
You can pick any one album for your band to cover in full, what would it be and why? I would love to cover in full Fiona Apples’ ‘extraordinary machine’. I have listened to that album over and over since it had come out. I’m not sure what the other guys in the band would think, but I’m sure I could coax them into it!
You can pick any one band / artist to cover one of your albums in full, what would it be, and why? I’d love to hear what Canadian artist Feist would do with our songs. I could listen to her sing anything.
One band you wish you were able to see live but never had the chance? The Clash, I’ve watched countless live performances of theirs on dvd and youtube. You can feel the energy coming off stage even when watching it on a computer. To be a part of that would be amazing.
One venue you have yet to play that you would love to? The Tote, every band that has ever come out of Melbourne has played the tote one time or another. It’s one of those iconic venues, it’s almost like you’re not a real Melbourne band until you’ve played there!
The chance comes up to fill in for a member of a band for one tour, which band would it be, and why? I always dreamed when I was a kid that one day I’d somehow be able to play second guitar in the Foo Fighters, they were always going through so many members that it seemed like it might be a possibility. The chance to be able to hang out with the nicest guy in rock and roll all day on tour sounds like a dream! But I know now that’ll only ever be a dream…
A headline tour overseas comes up, tell us two bands you’d take along to support your band. It’d be whatever bands my best mates are playing in at that moment.
Got any final words? We have our ep ‘On My Mind” which just came out on the 6th of July, You can get it from iTunes, JB Hifi and at shows. We are also playing a few shows with US band Fun. Keep an eye out for our own tour in August!
Dates supporting Fun.
Wednesday July 25 – The Metro, Sydney (all ages)
Friday July 27 – The Hi-Fi, Melbourne (Over 18s)
Saturday July 28 – The Hi-Fi, Melbourne (Under 18s matinee)
BOY IN A BOX – On My Mind EP
Available Now. [Buy Online Here]