Bootyard Bandits: ‘We had a dude come up and say, “this was my son’s first gig.” I said, “I promise it gets better!”’

Bootyard Bandits are a British comedy country rock band. After the release of their debut album ‘Songs for the Saddle Sore’ earlier this year the band managed to play a few shows, including Rockin’ The Bowl festival last month! We were there and managed to head along, catching them for a quick interview which you can check out below!

First of all, how was the set?

Good fun! Everyone’s a little bit tired, but we got there. Lots of happy people I though!

Crowd was really responsive. Yeah, it was great.

We played it with a different band the first year as well, and this one was way better. Just way better attended and just better, just… more!

After covid and everything, people want to come out more, people want to be at the shows.


Yeah, people are saying that, like, knocking around, some people have said its their first show back after covid, and they’re just glad to get out.

Is it your first show back?


Third, I think, isn’t it?

We’ve got a couple more left this year.

Are you on tour at the moment then?

No, just weekend warrior stuff. Come for one show, then go home, and then do it again the next weekend. It’s a little bit hard work, but yeah. Its good fun.

Is this the first you’ve played?

Yeah, it’s the first time as Bootyard Bandits. Yeah, we played with a different band… I can’t remember when it was now.

Everything plus two years now, isn’t it? What with the apocalypse.

So you released an album this year, is that right?

We did.

Did you record it during covid?

No, we actually recorded it over about three years ago. We were gonna release it just before the whole covid thing happened, but we thought we had better put it back. Then we though, nah we’ll do it anyway. And then we though, no, we’d better not. We did that about five times, and then we eventually just bit the bullet and just did it anyway. And to be honest, it wasn’t probably the best time actually. If we had waited about two more months, Covid would have fucked off a bit more. But, never mind, its out. Its called Songs For The Saddle Sore by the way. Buy it, it’s very good.

So, have you had a lot of good reception for it then? Is it going well?

Absolutely! Well, we sold out of them today, so that’s a good sign I think.

We didn’t actually, there was more.

Well, alright then, there we go. We just didn’t tell our merch guy. “We sold out! No, there’s loads more”.

But no, great reception so far, and some good online press. Yeah, its always well received.

A lot of people sing alone, so they know your stuff.

I was surprised. There were so many t-shirts. And cowboy hats, which we like to see.

Even though there’s other bands that wear cowboy hats here. But, I’m pretty sure they’re all for us!

Yeah, all for you.


They told me themselves.

Everybody came up and told you personally. I expect nothing less!

Its lovely to see kids at the front, on the railings, jumping up and down signing the words.

We had a dude come up and say ‘this was my sons first gig.’ I said “I promise it gets better!”

That’s quite cool man, I mean some little kids first gig. First memories.

Now he’s shouting abusive lyrics at the boy.

They don’t know what it means, its fine.


We’ll fuck your mum. Put him in a dress and we’ll fuck your son.

Those at the front like, Yeah!

“This is amazing! I wanna do that when I grow up dad!”

Its always the dads that come with the kids, the mums are always at home like, “why are you letting him listen to that?”

That’s a very sexist thing to say Joe.

It’s true!


Do you find you get a lot of controversy around your lyrics?

No, not at all.

We’re waiting for it, I’m sure it’ll come eventually. But…

I kind of want it to be honest. Yeah, cus any publicity is good publicity isn’t it.


Obviously, well, yeah…its it, yeah it is.

Obviously, its all a big fucking joke isn’t it.

Yeah, we try and emphasize the fact that it is a joke. If you don’t get it, then..

They’re songs about boobies and drinking.

Basically, yeah.

Who doesn’t like boobs and drinking?


Exactly, well there we go.

If you could collab with anyone, who would it be? There’s a lot of great bands on tonight, but you know, think big. Who would you want?

I’m gonna say something really obscure, but I need to think about it.

That’s deep man!

The Eagles?

But they’re all dead though ain’t they?

Can they be dead or alive?

Nah, we couldn’t collab with someone that talented. Cus it would really show us to be really fucking, outrageously untalented. We should collaborate with someone quite bad and then it would make us look good.

We need to be rather careful who we name here…

God, that’s a really hard question!

Well, you’ve set it up now, whoever we say now we’re going to intrinsically gonna be saying they’re bad!

Well, we’ll skip that bit, but the good bands you want to play with, who are they?

I think playing with Steel Panther would be good fun.

That would be a good fit that would! That would be the tour we’d pitch for if we could pitch for anything.
We went out with Alestorm and obviously that was a good fit. They’re just a big silly bunch of chaps as well!

Their fans are very open to the sort of humour too so we slot in quite well.

 So, what’s next for the band?

Well, get these festivals that we’ve got left this year done, and then… I mean we’ve already got another two albums worth of material written, ready and waiting. It just needs some tidying around the edges but we’ll go and crack on with album number two! More silly cowboy bollocks!

I have to say I love the stage getup! The clothes, the cactus, everything!

That’s the next thing I think, we’re going to do more of that. More cowboy shit.

We love the production!

Yeah, as many props as we can get.

As much rubbish off Amazon as we can buy!

It just gets to the point where you need a separate band just for stage production basically and we don’t… we’re not that cool yet.

We want pyro like Massive Wagons are gonna do!

Haven’t you gotta hire a guy if you want pyro?

No! The laws on pyro are fucking ridiculously slack.

Really? I thought they were super tight for some reason.

Who does the band draw inspiration from? Or are you fuck that, you’re yourselfs?

Well to be honest, when I put this thing together I was thinking ‘cowboy Steel Panther’, and we’ve been described as like a ‘if Steel Panther and Black Stone Cherry had an illegitimate love child, we’d be the result’, and I think that’s pretty accurate.

We’ll get in the van and listen to country albums and stuff like that won’t we?

Yeah, and then you’ll put on some hardcore or something!

Yeah, a bit of everything really.

We’ve all come from like hard rock and heavy metal bands, this is what we do, so we’re kinda influenced by the stuff we’ve done before, that’s how we know what to do.

We just crowbar some country stuff into what we know, a bit of bad jokes, violin, fiddle, whatever you want to make it sound tenuously country!

Are you all in your own separate project then?

All sorts of things, yeah!

This is the most important thing at the moment but…

Absolutely! We, me and Two Puds were in Aaron Buchancan and the Cult Classics together. As was Big Mac. That’s how we know Big Mac actually! We met Joey on an Alestorm tour because he was just along for the ride.

I’ve known the singer since we were teenagers and we went to music college together so everybody’s known and played with each other and done little bits.

A bit incestuous really isn’t it, the whole thing?

It’s very incestuous, yes.

I was in Grim Reaper with CJ and then Two Puds was in Grim Reaper as well… there’s fuckin’ loads of bands! We’ve all been around the block a bit in the olden days.

This is our last chance though! I’m giving up after this! If this goes tits up I’m off!

Straight back to a desk job!

So what’s the next gig you’ve got as Bootyard Bandits?

Southern uprising a week on Saturday. It’s in Derby!

Got no idea where it actually is but it’s somewhere around there!

it’s like a biker thing.

You don’t know, do you?

They’re definitely… it’s bikers that put it on… but I don’t know if it’s like a… we played Rock’n’Blues which is a very kinda biker thing. And it’s a bunch of the guys from there so I think it’s (whispering) one of those bike gangs! You know the sort, you know the type!

No, they’ve been great actually. We’ve sort of been adopted into their world and it’s been cool. They’ve given us shows and…

Yeah, one of our best pals was actually randomly in a biker bar in the middle of nowhere in Norway one time and he was like “They’re playing Bootyard Bandits on the jukebox! They fucking love it over here!

Play in Norway then!

Oh, it’s too cold!

We’ve played once in Norway…

No, we did Oslo, Stavanger… did we play Stavanger?

Trondheim was on it as well!

There was like four Norwegian shows, I’m sure!

It was so cold it all just sort of melded into one ginormous freezing experience.

Pretty much!

What do you like and dislike about the music industry at the moment?

How long have you got?!

I’ll tell you what I don’t like, that it ‘isn’t like it used to be back in the good old days’. back when you could just play gigs and get somewhere and now it’s all tinterweb based and social media and we’re not very good at that so…

We’re musicians, we’re not fucking social media experts here and I feel like you need to put all of those hats on now. You have to be a graphic designer and you have to be able to produce your own stuff and do all these things… before you could just go ‘Oh, I play drums innit, I’m quite good at drums so someone come and deal with this!’.

So having to do more work, I guess that is what we don’t like about it!

I think the dynamic shift between the bands and record label… strap in boys, strap in… I think that has flipped. At what point it flipped I don’t know, but I think record labels now expect you, the band, to essentially be the employee, whereas I don’t think it used to be like that. I think at some point it was the label was working for you, the band, and now it feels like the other way around. You’ve got to pander a lot to the label, you’ve got to pander to 360 deals.

Shit got deep dinnit? We’re supposed to be a comedy band!

Well, I’ve gotta keep the level up there!

I think labels trying to change your image has always been a thing, but there has been too much of a shift now where ‘the label needs this so c’mon guys we’ve gotta do it’ and it’s like, they wanted you!  

And there you have it folks! Keep track of the band via their socials linked throughout the article and I would definitely try and get down to one of their shows ASAP, they are fantastic live and great fun!

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