Band of Horses strips down Acoustic

Band of Horses ditched the amps for their current tour.
Band of Horses ditched the amps for their current tour.

Band of Horses didn’t plan on going on an acoustic tour. They didn’t even plan on releasing an acoustic album. But, according to guitarist/keyboardist Ryan Monroe, it just sort of happened.

“We recorded a random acoustic set opening up for ourselves at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville [“Acoustic at the Ryman”] and it turned out really well,” he says.”In the back of our heads we were kind of hoping that we would get an imitation of that. We liked what we heard and it was about time to put out a new record. So we were like, ‘hey this is cool, let’s do this.’ We kind of planned the tour around the record, which was kind of an accident.”

A happy accident, as it turns out. Band of Horses’ brand of lilting, folksy indie rock seems tailor-made for acoustic performance — so much so that it’s rather surprising that they haven’t recorded an acoustic album until now. The delicate melancholia of tracks like “The Funeral” find new, wistful life on the acoustic album, for which the band is currently on a limited-engagement tour.

The stops on the tour are all far more intimate venues than those a band of their stature would usually play; smaller theaters and clubs that lend themselves to a stripped down performance. That intimacy, Monroe says, makes for a far more personal experience — both for the audience and the band.

“It’s a really fun learning experience for all of us,” he says. “To be able to hear each other better on stage is great. We can hear deeper dynamics, and we can better communicate, musically.”

Not that this is a band that has ever had much trouble finding musical harmony. With four critically well-received studio albums under their belts, Monroe says that now, more than ever, the band is in a place where they can make exactly the kind of music they want to make, uncompromised.

“We used to have these clips of us just messing around backstage, and we would always say, ‘hey, maybe we should save those for when we can put stuff out that we really want,’” he explains. “Now we can throw out those little nuggets whenever we want. And, as far as what music to release, and what to write, we feel like we can do whatever we want. We really do believe that notion.”

That said, fans can expect some new tricks from Band of Horses on their next studio release.

“[Singer] Ben [Bridwell] has been writing a lot, really trying to hone in on his songwriting craft, and [his writing] has been a lot darker. I think ‘Mirage Rock’ was a little bit of a brighter record, it’s time to go back full circle,” Monroe says. “We’re going to go back into the studio in April and get down, it’s going to be a conglomeration of everything we’ve learned — good and bad — from our experiences of being in this band. It’s going to be an electrified record because we are definitely ready to crank it back up again.”

Living and Playing in Boston

Monroe, whose fiancé attends MassArt has lived in the South End for two years. We asked him about some of his all-time favorite artists and the spots he frequents most around town.

If you could collaborate with anyone, who would you choose?

I d like to write a song with Bill Callahan, just so he could chill me right out.

If you could see any artist, living or dead, perform, who would it be?

I just watched a Big Star documentary. I’d like to see all those dudes playing live, like, in 1976 or something.

What are some of your favorite places in Boston to hang out?

I saw Bill Callahan at the Sinclair, that was killer. I like the Beehive. I really like the coffee place on Newbury, the one with the dog in the name. [The Wireless Puppy] It’s supposed to be the strongest coffee!

Where do you check out live music around here?

Great Scott is awesome. I also like Brighton Music Hall.

Yeah, there’s really no bad place to stand there — whereas at the Paradise you have those huge poles…

Oh yeah, we’ve played there. Just looking from the stage it looks like a tricky place to see a show at, but it just has so much history as a venue, a legendary venue.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.

Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Gossip

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

Music

Incubus singer Brandon Boyd on his newest act,…

The rocker is releasing two new passion projects.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

College

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

Career

What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.

Style

Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.

Style

Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.

Wellbeing

Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…