Boy Hero Looks To Keep The Emo Fire Rocking Bright Boy Hero's Dan Rudd Talks To Blurred Culture About the Band's Music And Their Strategy For Music Domination.
LOS ANGELES, CA- Boy Hero is a post hardcore rock band based out of Los Angeles. Last. In October of last year, they released their latest EP, Rocktober The EP, four rocking cuts that’d you’d easily assume were a product of Fueled by Ramen.
To celebrate the EP’s release, Blurred Culture and no season was able to host these gents at Madame Siam in Hollywood. We got to speak with one of the band’s core members, Dan Rudd, and he gave us the 411 on the band, the band’s music, and their strategy for music domination.
Where did the band’s name, Boy Hero, come from?
The previous name of the band was “Kings”. We had all our symbolism and imagery figured out, and maybe a month before we announced the release of our album, another band, using the same marketing, different name though, released their project, and we were like, “Oh shit.”
Then me and my old guitar player sat down, and we just like, “We gotta come up with something better.” Then he mentioned that he had used the name “Boy Hero” for a previous project that never took off, so we decided to go with that.
Who is Boy Hero?
Steve (Zerwas) and I are the core guys. He plays bass and sings. I’ve known him since high school. We met running cross country together. We went to different schools, but we always ran at the same meets all the time. In high school we played in a few bands together, then went off to do our own projects after one of our bands broke up. Then he moved out here a few years later. When we needed a bass player, I hit him up, and now he helps write and does our cover art and thumbnails on Youtube.
You guys aren’t from L.A.?
No, we are not. Steve and I both grew up in Wisconsin, and all our band members have been from Minnesota. A few have been from California, but we are mostly a midwest based band. Right now, our drummer Colin … he’s from the east coast. We’re a bunch of transplants. One of our guitar players, though, he still lives in Minnesota, so we end up doing a lot of long distance creative work.
Where do you guys draw your music inspiration from?
All of us, we’re huge My Chemical Romance fans. That’s our favorite band. But what really sparked the project into being was … around 2013… 2014… I was having a really really hard time finding music that I really enjoyed listening to. Fast paced. Aggressive. High energy. My Chemical Romance. The Used. Yellowcard. A lot of those bands that are “in your face” going a thousand miles an hour the entire time, while being super melodic and catchy and highly emotional. I wasn’t really getting that from either bands that were still together or had moved on to a different sound, or those band that broke up. Basically, Boy Hero, for me personally, is my way to fill that void that I’m not hearing today. If anybody has any suggestions for bands, please let me know. I wanna know.
You’re right. Rocking, melodic emo has taken a bit of a back seat these days.
For me, emo isn’t really a stylistic way of playing instruments. I feel like it’s moved to more of a grungy, and in some cases, folky setting. Something like Julien Baker.
I adore Julien Baker.
Oh my god. I heard her 2017 release (Turn Out The Lights), and I was like, “Oh my god… it’s emo music. Yes!” So talented.
What was the first stuff Boy Hero put out?
I think is was 2015, we put a self-titled EP. We did music video before the release of it. On the first EP there were a lot of songs of me experimenting with chasing a lot of the musical influences in my life. Kinda seeing where that goes. A couple songs on there were collaborations with my friend Ben. We’d take a couple songs that I had that weren’t quite finished, and went in on those. Shaped those out, and they came out really good. “Vivian Grey” is probably my favorite song that I’ve ever written.
How much has your music changed from that first EP?
I would say that its comparable, but it’s very different in tone. What we played at Madame Siam, we played The Rocktober EP from front to back. It’s a concept album, but overarching. More in the sense of theme. I wanted to do a Halloween themed album for quite a long time, just because I just didn’t think there was enough well-known Halloween music out there. It’s my favorite holiday. Every song started off as song where I describe a horror scene, but then everything shifted into a metaphor of something that I needed to get off my chest. I thought it was really cool how the EP turned into a vehicle for me to discover a new way to get those things off my chest.
Why haven’t I seen or heard more of you guys? Why aren’t you playing more gigs?
That’s an interesting point you bring up. It’s something that we constantly struggle with. Obviously, there’s the hurdle of having one of our guitar players living in another state. Eric is super super talented and he’s so good, when he does come, it’s 3 days of practicing and we’re good to go. And also, it has to do with the way the industry has been changing. We had a nice crowd at Madame Siam, but we also hastily put together a video for a Christmas cover of “My Favorite Things” and that’s got more views than people who came to the gig.
My mentality is that you can put in rehearsals, and plane tickets, and the actual cost of just going to the show, it’s almost comparable to just putting out a cover and doing a video for it which reaches more people. It’s the way the industry is working right now in my eyes. Would I rather throw all my things in a van and trailer, and just go tour and play shows and build a following that way, at least in my experience, people aren’t going out to the venues on Friday nights just to catch a band. It’s a much more planned out thing where you’re like, “I think this one band, let’s head out.” And in order to get to that point, you have to get people to know who you are, and we’re trying to do that through the internet and social media, creating visual content, constantly putting out releases to keep people interested, which is why we do the covers that we do. I would love to go back to the days where we pack a van and head to a venue and there’s one hundred or two hundred kids there just because that’s the thing to do on a Friday night.
Well, I certainly want to see you guys perform more often. You guys put on one hell of a show. The crowd that was there for you was awesome.
Small venues are the best shows, I find. We definitely want to do more of that. I think our plan now is to put a show with a release. Give people, at least in the local Los Angeles area, a chance to come and hear the new music live.
Well, if you guys are ever looking for another place to gig, you’ve got my number. I’d love to host you guys again.
Well, we’ll keep our heads down and work on the new stuff to make that happen.