With a new single, Strokin’ My Beard, out now, The Beards play on Thursday, May 7, at the Prince Of Wales, Bunbury; Friday, May 8, at Settler’s Tavern, Margaret River, and Saturday, May 9, at Capitol. Resident X-Press beard aficionado, ANTHONY JACKSON, chats with bassist, Nathaniel Beard.
First off, congratulations on such fine man manes and on the release of Strokin’ My Beard, the tour looks massive!
Thank you and thanks for having me and for having a beard. It’s great to back on tour for the release of Strokin’ My Beard – which is the 50th song we’ve written about beards.
Being a beard aficionado myself I’m curious to ask how you maintain lush, shiny, fresh smelling beards on the road? Do you travel with product, appliances or are they all au naturale?
“Fresh smelling” may be a little presumptuous – as you mentioned it’s a very long tour and while every effort is made to keep our beards fresh, they tend to eventually get clogged up with rock juice, which is an earthy combination of sweat, alcohol, smoke, grease and various other substances. In regards to beard-care products, it really depends on the band member. Our drummer, John Beardman Jr, likes to use an array of balms and oils to keep his beard looking great; while our singer, Johann Beardraven, is a staunch believer in embracing his beard in its natural state and has never once used a beard-care product or even washed his beard. We’ve asked him to but he won’t.
The band toured Europe late last year. How did our northern friends embrace The Beards’ ethos? I’d imagine they’d be well ahead of us southerners in terms of beard appreciation, style and tradition?
Well Europe does have a rich bearded history but throughout the dark decades of the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, European countries were plagued by the worldwide shaving epidemic just as much as we were here in Australia. Thankfully, those days are now behind us and across the world former shave-slaves are lining up to join the beard revolution.
Your shows entice a lot of crowd reaction and interaction, what is your favourite song to play live? What song really gets the beer swilling face fuzzers moving?
I’m a big fan of a track from our most recent album called, There’s A Bearded Man Inside Me. It’s about beards.
With winter coming up beard season will soon be upon us. According to some, the age of the beard is at its peak, to some it is just another fad. Do you believe the beard is as timeless as man or just another trend that will die out with the hipster?
Let me be absolutely clear about this. Any claims that society has reached ‘beard peak’ or that growing a beard is just another fad are ludicrous and are almost certainly perpetuated by the rapidly dwindling former-overclass who held us down for the best part of the 20th century. Now that we’ve entered the Age Of The Bearded, these people are desperately looking for any other explanation other than what is completely obvious: that they are completely and utterly finished and that the future belongs to the bearded. Having a beard is not a novelty, not a trend and not a phase – having a beard is a way of life. Think of the beard revolution in the same way as the internet – now that it’s here we’re not ever going to go backwards to the way things were before. Beards equal progress.