The Boy Least Likely To: The CJSF Interview

Scott Wood

<p>Scott Wood talks to Jof of the Boy Least LIkely To.</p><p>It took the server four pints to notice that Jof, the ultra-polite singer from The Boy Least Likely To, didn’t like lemon with his Strongbow. &nbsp;There were four slices discarded on the table before the fifth glass finally came without the citrus accent. &nbsp;In England, Jof explains, most kids start drinking with cider, then get sick of it, and move on to beer and spirits. &nbsp;Jof didn’t and so now he has taken it up as his drink of choice. &nbsp;I tell him that I have a friend who is just as devoted to that brand of cider and he is unremittingly teased for his girly-drink selection. &nbsp;“You shouldn’t.” &nbsp;Jof laughs, insisting: &nbsp;“It’s a man’s drink.”</p><p>Boy Least Likely To’s sound has been dubbed “cuddlerock” in some music circles. &nbsp;Jof likes the term but he isn’t sure about the rock part. &nbsp;“CuddlePop” maybe.” &nbsp;Then he clarifies. &nbsp;“When we made the record, our template was anything but rock. &nbsp;Any rock instruments or clichés we tried to avoid. &nbsp;Pop gives us the freedom to experiment more, whereas rock is quite restrictive. &nbsp;There are just guitars and drums and not really anywhere else you can go from that… &nbsp;You can do anything in pop. &nbsp;The Neptunes are pop and then Kylie is pop… The BMX Bandits are pop… anything can be pop.”&nbsp;</p><p>I counter that his music is closer to post-rock or alt-country than Kylie or The Neptunes and Jof is delighted by the challenge, laughing again. “Post-post-rock-pop then I suppose. &nbsp;The next record will be post-cuddlerock”</p><p>He likes the word “pop” because it means Boy’s music is easily accessible, and the “cuddle”-part definitely characterizes their sound and fan-base. &nbsp;In any event, Boy is certainly successful in crafting a soothing yet charming rural pop sound with banjos, glockenspiels, acoustic guitars and fiddles thumping away in a home-recording nu-folk style.&nbsp;</p><p>The band is a two man act, consisting of Jof, who writes all the words and sings, and Peter, who writes all the music and plays all the instruments – the duo has known each other since they were wee tykes. &nbsp;They grew up out in the boonies in a small town of 7000 people called Wendover. &nbsp;This strange UK village is filled with “not useful” odd shops like a restaurant devoted to only chocolate which Jof describes as “a lovely beautiful country place cut off from the world in its own bubble.” &nbsp;The music evokes this setting over a bustling London “it’s much more the sound of a country lane or of being stuck behind a tractor or just puttering along at our own pace.”&nbsp;</p><p>Boy’s music is almost relentlessly pleasant yet the lyrics are filled with the bittersweet and dark sentiments of the post-existentialist-crisis- mid-20-something. &nbsp;For instance Monster on their debut release, The Best Party Ever, bemoans all the people he knew as kids growing up to become monsters and then creating other monsters. &nbsp;Other tracks talk about fear of death and the weaknesses that come with getting old as the words wind their way to a longing to recapture a lost innocence.&nbsp;</p><p>When I mention that the lyrics often work against the music, Jof explains. &nbsp;“The lyrics were always angsty and a little bit dark. &nbsp;When it came to making the lyrics we didn’t want to make it painful, a torturous cathartic thing. &nbsp;So we’ll make the music a little more uplifting… it takes the edge off the lyrics.”&nbsp;</p><p>So then I ask him if his dark lyrics are also inspired by his seemingly quaint upbringing.&nbsp;</p><p>“My childhood was lovely. &nbsp;We collected snails, me and my brother. &nbsp;It was us wandering around the countryside…”</p><p>So then I press further, why so bittersweet?&nbsp;</p><p>“If you have a very idyllic childhood the adult world always seems much scarier.”&nbsp;</p><p>I look at him strangely since another music cliché is that tortured upbringings usually equal tortured music and so he breaks it down; &nbsp;“When you have to get a job and you have to worry about money… &nbsp;You start to think, ‘Wasn’t life so much easier when we collected snails?’ &nbsp;It was so much easier when we just cared about whether their shells matched.”&nbsp;</p><p>For more information about The Boy Least Likely To, check out and listen to the interview show Mondays at 4:30 on CJSF 90.1FM where you can hear the entire interview!</p>

  • Posted on: 18 March 2016
  • By: Administrator