The median age of the Strange Boys may top out under 30, but musically speaking their wise beyond their youthful years. Thanks to the White Stripes, the Strokes, the Hives, the Vines and just about every other band who put a “the” in front of their name during the 2000s, garage and indie rock have long been stripped apart and sold for every last cent they’re worth. But these Austin fellas clearly remember when garage rock was something more than a gimmick used to sell GAP jeans.
I guess Ryan Adams missed the memo.
But they’re not too high on their status as one of the more authentic bands working the independent scene, or at the very least they’re not big on talking about it. Keeping things short and simple, front man Ryan Sambol answered a few questions via email prior to their show at Great Scott last Thursday, where he talked about the band’s current tour with William Tyler and Ty Segall, playing Boston and why they frankly don’t give a fuck if you like them or not, thank you very much.
Your new album “Live Music,” is probably the most polished, studio oriented album you’ve done. What gives?
What do you mean, “what gives?”
Was there something about the songs that led you move away from the lo-fi sound of earlier records, even if just a little bit?
We don’t care about lo-fi or hi-fi quality. We care about the writing and musical quality of songs.
Some people (read: writers, interviewers) have bristled about the tighter sound on the new record. Some might say that comes with the territory when a band builds upon their sound, but is that something that weighs on you guys at all, or are you just concerned with making the music you want to make?
We are concerned with very little, and we’re never concerned with what critics say.
We don’t even read it.
How far into the tour will you guys be by the time you reach Boston? Has the road been good to you this time out?
The road has been great. Over the years we’ve become a lot smarter and healthier in mind and body so that helps you last longer on that wild highway. We feel good, even two months in.
Has the city (Boston) treated you well in the past? People love you guys here.
I think so. We’ve been to Boston a lot, and the crowds have always been very nice to us regardless of how many people make up the crowd.
You keep some good company, playing with Ty Segall and William Tyler among others. Are you guys particular about who you bring with you on tour? Or is it just a matter of who you can put up with for 4-5 weeks?
We try to tour with friends and people who make music we like. We’ve really lucked out though being able to tour with Ty and White Fence and William. They all play great music and are very great human beings. That’s pretty hard to find.
What lies ahead for the band after the tour? More touring? How much mileage are you guys looking to get out of the new record?
We’re gonna go home soon and start working on our next record and see what happens.