Artist Write-up: Boys Like Girls

, 6:42 pm PT by |

I'm pretty sure most of you know that I'm a HUGE fan of pop-rock band Boys Like Girls. I mean, how can you not like them? They're all extremely talented as individuals, and they sound good as an ensemble. They write amazing songs, and they're good both in studio recordings and in live performances. And also, they're all extremely good looking. ;)

Yep, I just had to post a photo of them half-naked.
Photo credits: Boys Like Girls / Facebook

I first heard of the band when they released "Hero/Heroine" from their eponymous debut album Boys Like Girls, and it started playing on the radio here. I think that was in 2006 or 2007. I liked that song, and I went to search for the band behind the song, and found out about the band. I didn't really become a fan, all I knew was that Boys Like Girls was a band and they had a really good song named "Hero/Heroine".

It wasn't until I found out that I have access to MTV Asia on my TV in 2008 that I started liking the band. The music video for "Thunder" would play all the time, and I found myself liking the band (and the members of the band). I thought the music video was pretty cool, and that's when I fell in love with the band.

I went online and read their entire Wikipedia page. I found out that Martin JohnsonPaul DiGiovanniJohn Keefe and Bryan Donahue were the names of the band's members. Martin was the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist, Paul was the lead guitarist, John was the drummer and Bryan was the bassist.

After much begging, my mother caved in and bought me their second album Love Drunk. And I was definitely love drunk with the album. Does that sentence even make sense? If you thought that I was a huge fan before, you should have seen how big of a fan I was after I got my thirteen year old hands on that album.

Photo credits: Amazon

They played a show in Singapore on January 28, 2010 and of course, I went for the show. It was amazing, and the band sounded incredible live. I still remember staring at Poolie (Paul's nickname) in awe. I had a huge crush on him back then. I still do.

However, the band took a hiatus between 2010 and 2011, leaving many fans disappointed as there was only a small chance that the band might return. It was the usual trend in the entertainment business. Whenever a band goes "on hiatus", it usually means that they're going to disband, but they still want to leave their fans hanging because they want to go on a reunion tour 20 years later and earn millions of dollars from that.

Anyhow, the wait was over in November 2011, as the band finally announced that they were back together and working on their third studio album.

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Unfortunately, they were one member short - Bryan Donahue had left the band. After the video above was released and fans were spamming Bryan's Twitter mentions demanding for a reason as to why he left the band, Bryan tweeted:

We still have no idea why Bryan was kicked out of the band, but some sources have cited musical differences. Perhaps the other members of the band felt betrayed, since Bryan formed another band, Early Morning Blus, during the band's hiatus.

The band was not bassist-less for long though, as Morgan Dorr, a friend of John's helped to fill in the bass guitar for the band's new album while the band continued to search for another bass guitar player. Morgan eventually joined the band.

The band returned to Singapore to perform on July 15, 2012 for the STAR Concert at Gardens By The Bay. I won a contest on 91.3FM (now known as HOT FM) and I got the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet the band!!!! They were so nice, tall, sweet and it all felt so surreal. I didn't know Morgan very well before that, but I'm practically in love with him now. I still love Poolie, but he has a girlfriend. Aww. Their show that night was incredible, they performed all their hits from their first and second albums, as well as tracks from their new album.

Photo credits: Mitch Schneider Organization

On July 17, 2012, the band released Crazy World EP, which contained three songs ("Be Your Everything", "The First Time", "Life of the Party") from Crazy World LP. Needless to say, I listened to those three songs over and over again. I love the band's new style and vibe. It feels more carefree, emotional and melodious.

Crazy World LP will be released on December 11, 2012. For more information on the album, check out my post about it here!

Here's the band's official biography from their PR agency. I love this biography, it's very well-written and it definitely makes us feel closer to the band as it feels like a story told from Martin's perspective.

In the 21st century, it's extremely easy to get distracted. We're tethered to our devices and constantly pulled in countless directions. We've got smartphones, laptops, and Wi-Fi everywhere, and it seems like attention is almost too precious of a commodity to even be held.

"Life in 2012 is so crazy," declares Boys Like Girls’ singer and songwriter Martin Johnson. "Whether you're working or going to school, it's insane how fragmented everything can be. Music is the only thing that still holds people together."

While making the platinum-selling quartet's third album,Crazy World [Columbia Records], Johnson underwent a serious creative transformation. Radio had embraced the pulsating sounds of electronic dance and club music, and it seemed like rock was being swept under the proverbial rug. In 2010, Johnson began writing and recording with that popular landscape in mind, but it didn't click for him. So, he took a trip to Nashville.

"I was trying to conform to what was happening at radio rather than conform to who I was as a musician," he sighs. "We decided to take some time off and collect ourselves. I went down to Nashville and wrote a ton of songs in early 2011. I hung out and experienced the culture too. I wanted to approach music from a different perspective. It's so laptop-based in Los Angeles and  by DownloadNSave" href="">New York. Real players still exist in Nashville and that inspired me. I went back to L.A., showed the guys what I was working on, and we went into the studio immediately."

The result is an album that bristles with the group's inherent energy, but also boasts irresistible pop rock elegance. Johnson assumed production duties himself, and the band cut eleven diverse anthems that run the gamut from the shimmering "First Time" to the heartfelt piano ballad "Leaving California".

About his role behind the board, Johnson comments, "It was a really different process, and it was a great way for us to bond in the studio. This was our opportunity to collectively say, 'This is not what the machine created. This is what we created.' We spoke out and made an album that felt right to us."

It's going to feel right to the band's faithful and new fans as well. The first single "Be Your Everything" sails on a massive hook that's instantly infectious and invigorating.

About the song, the frontman goes on, "It's a great transition from where the band was. We came from a wall of guitars, and the sound has evolved. Lyrically, it's a straightforward love song, inviting a specific girl in. The only time I really express my feelings is when I'm writing music. That's how it's been since I was a little kid. This song is the moment when it becomes okay to say, I love you."

At the same time, there's the hand-clap stomp of "Life of the Party," which lives up to its moniker. In a world preoccupied with tragedy and its own end, Johnson urges to let go and live a little during the track's unforgettable refrain.

"Enjoy your life while you're still alive," he smiles. "When it all comes crashing down, where are you going to be? It's about having a great time in the moment because you never know when it's going to be gone."

Boys Like Girls—Johnson, Paul DiGiovanni [Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals], John Keefe [Drums], Morgan Dorr [Bass, Backing Vocals]—have certainly been making the most of their time since they burst onto the scene in 2006 with the release of their gold-selling eponymous debut. The album moved over 718,000 copies and its first single, "The Great Escape," reached the top of the pop charts, selling 1.6 million-plus copies. Together with 2009's Love Drunk, the band has sold over 1.17 million albums and 8 million tracks worldwide. They also remain a digital juggernaut with over 4.4 million Facebook fans, over 40 million YouTube/VEVO views, and 165,000 Twitter followers.

Most importantly though, Crazy World is the next level for the band, which Johnson founded in the suburbs of Boston, MA back in 2005. "I'm no longer an 18-year-old just stoked on hooking up with girls, drinking Bud Light, and playing fast pop punk," he divulges. "You experience things in life, and you realize you have one chance to say something as a musician and create something great that feels honest to you. This is that chance."

So what are Boys Like Girls ultimately saying? 

"Crazy World takes you to a different place," Johnson concludes. "That was the point. Everything is so hyperactive and the digital distractions can be overwhelming. Step aside in this Crazy World and experience the things that truly matter."

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Boys Like Girls links:

  • Facebook:
  • Twitter: @BoysLikeGirls
  • Youtube: BoysLikeGirlsVEVO
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