Released less than two weeks ago, local indie alternative rock-pop band Boy+Kite’s debut album Go Fly is already riding high on reviewers’ top listens. Pronounced “boy plus kite,” the band has been especially well-received locally — Go Fly is currently on stand at one of Waterloo Records’ listening stations and the band has an upcoming performance at “Dia De Los Toadies” in New Braunfels in August.
After meeting in a hot tub at a friend’s birthday party in February 2009 and bonding over the recent break-ups of their former bands, singer-guitarists Darvin Jones and Beth Puorro’s friendship quickly went from trading mixtapes to brainstorming song and lyrics to forming Boy+Kite. Following their three recorded songs for the 10-track LP, the duo were joined by drummer Chris Mietus and bassist Giuseppe Ponti, completing what Puorro describes as the right mix.
During The Daily Texan’s weekly music blog series “The Basement Tapes,” the Texan spoke to the band about its formation and the new album.
The Daily Texan: I recently saw Go Fly on Waterloo Records’ listening station and was so ecstatic. What is it like to be a local band?
Beth Puorro: All of us have been in bands. I have been in bands for years and Austin is just saturated with artists. There’s just a lot of musicians, so it’s good on two levels. The fact that you get to play with some really great musicians — you have to weave through some really bad musicians — and then there’s all these bands trying to play the same places. You get to play good stuff, but then there’s always a ton of it. I feel with us, we just got the right mix. It’s like sometimes you just get the right blend of people together and it works ...
Darvin Jones: Chemistry.
Puorro: Chemistry. I feel like this time, for me at least, it is the right mix.
DT: So what does that mix include?
Chris Mietus: I think our personalities. We all get along really well and that makes it really easy to work together. We’ve all been through the pace, just in terms of being in bands for so many years that we’ve all sort of kind of gone through the growing pains. Now that we found kinship in the music, we are able to get pass all those little weird ego things that happen in bands where everyone’s got to be the writer or the star guitar player or whatever. We’re all sort of humble and just pretty low maintenance in terms of getting along. Past experiences I think have conditioned us to be that way.
DT: So Darvin and Beth, you two met in a hot tub and that’s how it all started ...
Puorro: That’s what’s crazy. It’s true. That’s how we met. I think when we started we were like, ‘Let’s do this crazy band’ and at least for me, it’s let’s get together and see if we can write well because I was brokenhearted over a band breakup. Like with any breakup, it was the best thing that ever happened to me, but at the same time it was hard ... I just needed to play with someone and it just happened [to be Darvin].
DT: And how did it go from a duo to a foursome?
Puorro: We didn’t want to be a duo, you know. We wanted to be a band after we started realizing that our music was good. When you get just two people, to me it gets kind of acoustic and I think we both really wanted a drummer and a bass player that’s really talented with layers and just added a dynamic to the music.
Jones: And I think that we just got to a stage in our writing, to evolve to what we are now, we needed to bring in other people.
Puorro: And it wasn’t just like let’s find a drummer or find a bass player ... it was like a specific kind of drummer and bass player, one that was tasteful. When Chris came in he was just really tasteful and he listens and he adds to the music and Giuseppe is the same way. He doesn’t just come in with root notes, he comes in with melodies.
DT: OK, so what was the inspiration behind Go Fly?
Jones: I would say life, personally. I think for me the inspiration was just music, loving to
Giuseppe Ponti: Yeah, pretty much. We all love to play music and without doing it, we wouldn’t be happy.
DT: What do you think makes you stand apart from other local artists?
Puorro: I don’t think we are necessarily going ‘Hey, the Strokes are popular, let’s play songs that’s like them.’ I feel like that happens a lot. This is my opinion: Bands do well ... and 20,000 other bands try to be just like that band. And I don’t think you can pin us down and say we sound like ‘blah, blah, blah.’
DT: What are some mistakes you guys have made in the past you know for sure you don’t want to repeat in this band?
Mietus: Play music for money. That’s the worst thing I’ve ever done as a musician. Like a hired gun. I used to do that for a living, play bass. I was miserable.
Puorro: Bands that he wasn’t into like, ‘Would you come play for me and I’ll pay you $50.’
Jones: I have a good one. I’ll never go to L.A. for a record deal without knowing that the owners of the record company are heroine addicts. That’s a past mistake I’ve made that was a lot of fun.
Puorro: Don’t sleep with other band members. That’s a big one.
Printed on Monday, August 8th, 2011 as: Boy+Kite shares insights, experiences