BOYO, AKA Robert Tilden and I have never met in real life. However, there is a certain way that people orbit around your periphery in the world of music where you know of someone without knowing them. I had heard by random BOYO’s song “Hit Or Miss” many times in the past and not connected the dots until our worlds crossed via Park the Van and a chance to collab on something came into the picture. In the first track in what will be a mini-EP remix project, BOYO did a great re-imagining of “HIDE (MYSELF BEHIND YOU)” the first single from album “PEACEMEAL” coming next year. Hearing the remix back for the first time made me super happy because I feel like it brought the song back to it’s roots, akin to the very first lo-fi, raw demo i made of the song years ago that I slowly got away from in going down the spiral of production and reworking and over-overthinking. When you think remix, you expect to hear a chopped up version of the original tracks but I just thought it was awesome that they stripped it down to nothing and rebuilt a whole new musical bed, chord changes and doubled all the vocals to make something completely new. I’ve also gonna deep into BOYO’s catalog over the last few months, including brand new album “Alone Together in Los Angeles” that came out last week, and there are endless great jams, moods, and a raw honesty that comes thru in the words but also the way the music is produced, it feels like it captures a genuine moment in time. If I had to sum it up (of which nothing can be in few words) think midnight drive listening to AM R&B radio, underwater Beatles and a music video starring George Costanza. I don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about but here below is interview with BOYO:
RG: ROB, hey, how are you feeling in this moment on this day that you are answering this?
BOYO: Feelin’ very sleep deprived but generally happy to be alive!
RG: So, once again I really love what you did with “HIDE”, can you get just a little into the process and inspiration behind it?
BOYO: I loved the song when I heard it, and played it nonstop. I didn’t think there was any way I could improve upon it, necessarily. Nothing flashy I could do to hi-fi it up, everything sat perfectly in the original mix and tune, so I thought why not mess it up a bit and loosen its tie and lo-fi it down.
RG: What’s something non-musical you want people to take from your music?
BOYO: Hopefully the feeling of finding a new best friend in a song, the same way I felt and still feel when I discover a song where the words and chords and everything makes me feel like it’s somehow always existed for me to find.
RG: What’s some positive wisdom gained from the last 8 months that you think may not have been otherwise realized if the world stayed in a state of “normalcy”?
BOYO: That inspiration can be mined from anywhere, at any time. I’m blessed and lucky that my lifestyle and general pacing of how things were going was “tour, record, tour, record” so I could see the country and meet new people and have these experiences to then condense and ruminate on when I got home and started writing. As you know, its just quarantine chillin time, so I’ve been revisiting things that used to inspire me as a kid: ’90’s anime, Hip-hop beat tapes, drawing and animating, etc. Gotta fill the days somehow and I can’t make the same song non-stop, though some in comment-sections might argue I’ve been making the same song since 2016…oh well!
RG: Speaking of normalcy, I don’t think what was considered “normal” prior to pandemic was remotely anything close to normal – in your opinion – what are some of the most frustrating things that have become normalized in our country and society and you would love to see forever changed?
BOYO: Racial violence, racial profiling, and an overall militarization of the police which puts people of color in constant fear of their lives. If anything, we’ve regressed due to the administration of the past four years in terms of normalized racism and these “alternative” bullshit hate groups becoming emboldened–it needs to be a concentrated effort by our current administration and not this sovereign state bullshit.
RG: #1 all-time/any project MF DOOM track?
BOYO: “Accordion” all the way. It makes me sad and confident at the same time.
RG: Pic of most prized article of clothing acquired on tour and story behind it if any.
BOYO: There’s a really cool jacket–it almost looks like a letterman jacket but it’s not, I got it on tour with Hot Flash Heat Wave and that was such a formative tour, traveling in their van as their adopted baby child. It was a special time, and I smile when I look at that jacket.
RG: Has lack of tour been a bit of an existential crisis for you or do you prefer the home-time?
BOYO: I like a balance of a month at home and a month on the road, so it’s been a struggle. I’ve tried to make my living space exciting and fun, finally getting a record player and just slowly pimping out my studio. But to answer the question, nothing beats playing live, nothing is preferable I think its a balance.
RG: Have you done any other collabs during this time you are excited about?
BOYO: I made a record with BOYO’s live bass player Hudson and my friend Julian of Pink $ock under the project name “FRIEND”. Its heavily inspired by early 2000’s alt-rock which we grew up on and were molded by, its out everywhere I’m super proud of it. I’m drumming.
RG: If you had a teleport device, where would you go for 24 hours?
BOYO: New York circa 2000.
RG: What are some weird comforts you’ve gravitated to over the last 8 months?
BOYO: Drinking more coffee than needed. Watching Catfish or Bar Rescue in the background to feel less lonely. Tuning and adjusting my drums.
RG: What BOYO track is the first you would want people to hear if they never listened before?
BOYO: I’m romantic about albums and songs and hearing stuff in sequence, so I’d probably say track one off album one “See You When I Die.“
RG: Free open space here to share what you have going on, extra thoughts, share what you’re listening to, call out some bullshit, etc.
BOYO: Listen to Hunter Paris before he blows up 😉
BOYO on IG: @hello_BOYO_
Ron Gallo on IG: @rongallo