When Boyfrndz pulls into Oklahoma City for the last show of its national tour in support of its new album, Breeder, on Sunday, it will have gone through hell and back to get here.
Touring is a necessary but daunting prospect for independent bands, leaving behind the creature comforts of home for cramped sleeping quarters, dwindling funds and inescapable van troubles, the only certainty being uncertainties. But Austin rock act Boyfrndz saw its trip go from predictably bumpy to nightmarish overnight.
Its tour van and trailer — along with all the band’s gear and merchandise — was stolen in San Francisco in late March, leaving Boyfrndz stranded almost 2,000 miles from home without transportation — or its livelihood.
It’s the sort of disaster that would break the back of most bands, but a groundswell of support left Boyfrndz feeling like there was no other option but to finish what they started.
“Not only the financial support but the words we got from our fans, friends, family and strangers … it has blown us away,” said singer Scott Martin. “It was moving enough for us to realize we had to figure out a way to go.”
They bought, borrowed and rented what they needed to allow the tour to continue and set back toward Houston and onward to the East Coast, missing only a few shows as they got their bearings back.
Breeder — Boyfrndz’s second album — hit shelves just days later, on April Fool’s Day, and fans have seen their goodwill repaid with its best, most fully realized material to date. The album consists of the band’s signature amalgamation of math rock, post-hardcore, prog, glam and classic rock in especially effective form.
“Most artists try their best to do something original, whether they accomplish that or not,” Martin said. “We want to be one of those bands too. But if I’m being totally honest, everything we’ve done so far has been kind of an accident.”
It’s more educated guess than pure conjecture, though. Boyfrndz’s songs are born out of pure improvisation — all preconceived riffs and parts left at the door — but the group has developed its own little language to make sure songwriting works as a dialogue, not a shouting match.
“What’s special about working that way is that all our music comes from a conversation between the three of us that happens purely musically,” Martin said. “It’s nothing we could have done on our own; by nature, it has to come from us as a whole.”
Boyfrndz already has its vision set on writing and recording another album. While the Bay Area thieves might have stolen its gear, the band’s spirit remains.