An interview with Boak

Aberdeen grind duo Boak may play hard and fast, but they’re lovely really – take their love for Carly Rae Jepsen for example, and read on to find out why they’re named after being sick..

Describe your music in three words.

Who’s in the band, and what do you each play?

How and when did the band form?
We formed in 2013. Dave had wanted to form a fast band and he saw some of my drum covers on YouTube and asked me to play drums in it, so we met up and we played our first show with Iron Lung at Tunnels in Dec 2013.

Where can we listen to your music?
All of our releases are available on vinyl (Thanks Matteo and Kunal!) but you can also listen to everything digitally at

Tell us a bit about your songwriting process.
It completely differs – the first set we wrote was almost entirely written at practice where we’d all input ideas and work on them in the moment, but more recently I have tended to write a song or a few songs so that when we meet up we can already get started on the songs, rather than jamming them/taking time to combine the ideas.

Name three other bands / artists that you’d say have influenced your music.
Iron Lung, Magrudergrind and Lack of Interest.

What do you listen to on the way to a gig?
We mix it up fairly consistently. Teabags likes to listen to speedcore/gabba and I like to listen to Carly Rae Jepsen.

Which of your songs do you enjoy playing the most?
I enjoy Heartstopper (last song in the set) because I wrote the lyrics about it and it’s something that’s really close to me and my life so it feels good to belt it out, but I honestly enjoy every song we play. I like to make the drums quite hard to play because it keeps me on my toes.

How did you come up with your name?
We toyed with about 999 names (Megamegadethdeth, Blast Sabbath) and decided we wanted something Scottish/local sounding and BOAK is obviously the feeling of needing to spew so it felt somewhat apt given the style of music.

If things go exactly to plan with the band, what would you like to achieve?
I think we differ here, but I would love to be a touring behemoth and be on the road 6-9 months of the year! It sounds so cliche but honestly being on tour is my favourite favourite thing.

Which bit of music gear could you not live without, and why?
I spent YEARS trying to find a drumstick that had a good amount of length to it (I hold my sticks quite far down) but also didn’t immediately splinter and break and after trying endless types I found the Vic Firth 1A and it’s honestly the dream.

What’s your favourite brand of music gear, and why?
Vic Firth as above! Also Zildjian A Customs were my life for a while.

What was your best gig ever, and why?
Probably the time we played with Magrudergrind in London. We sort of blagged our way onto the bill and it was a massive drive which Ben (our old bassist) was really not excited about. We got there and had been put on before Afternoon Gentlemen and Magrudergrind rather than (we assumed) playing first. It was our first gig outside Scotland and people went really crazy for us, which was a total trip. The whole thing is on video on YT and we play every song way too fast haha.

What was your most disastrous gig ever, and why?
I asked Teabags about this a while ago. We played a gig in Perth on the way back from some other gig now and it was sort of a random bill that we just jumped onto. Nobody was really at the show, let alone watched us. The drum kit completely fell apart and the sound guy didn’t help me put it back together while i was playing or anything. The promoter then gave us £100 (??) which he shortly revoked because he had realised we weren’t the headline act. He then gave us about £10 and sent us on our way. I don’t like to talk shit on shows because they are what they are, but it wasn’t a particularly nice experience.

Name your top three gig venues.
The Unicorn, Camden, Temple of Boom Leeds and VOID in Bordeauz (RIP).

What are your favourite Scottish recording and / or rehearsal studios?
We used to almost always practice at Musical Vision but also played the Live at Captain Toms session once.

What’s your personal favourite song you’ve released (or are about to release!)?
I feel like the whole Movies EP is really strong and I enjoy every song on it. It’s a bit of a departure lyrically, but it was nice to mix it up a bit and not have songs about people being killed or any other injustice and write songs about Blade Runner.

If you could only listen to one artist for the rest of your life – excluding yourselves – who would you pick?
My god, that’s impossible…I would probably say Phish

How do you promote yourselves? Is there any method you’ve found that has worked particularly well?
We are kind of terrible at this. We have an Instagram and a Facebook page, but they don’t get updated anywhere near as much as they should. I think that almost works in our favour because then when we do post something, it gets a bit more attention as it’s less frequent.

What’s next for you guys? Any gigs or releases coming up?
We are playing with Atomck in Leeds (August 17th), Haggus in Glasgow (August 31st) and playing the Grind Here, Right Now festival in Aachen on November 22nd.

Out of all of you, who would win in a fight? What would each of your fighting techniques be?
I’m a lover not a fighter, but if it ABSOLUTELY came down to it, I think I’d go full postal weirdo.

Have you ever shopped at Kenny’s Music? If so, what did you buy?
I used to buy a block of the aforementioned Vic Firth 1As from you guys and it was great because when you made the shift from RnB to Kenny’s I think those sticks were removed from the stock list but I was still able to get in a 12-pack of them.