Photograph by Brock Elbank
By Chris Morton
On my way to this interview, I’m handed the following card. The pride is short lived though, as when I’m introduced to the band – whom I meet as they add to the dressing rooms graffiti coated walls by drawing the traditional phallus, complete with beard – I can’t help but feel my own beard isn’t up to scratch. This is put to rest though when Nathaniel Beard opens by saying: “Let’s start it with us telling you, you have a very nice beard.”
“We’re always very excited when we have the opportunity to be interviewed by someone with a beard because normally it’s just some beardless chump asking terrible questions” he explains to a chorus of: “Stupid questions, inane questions.” “We can already tell that your questions are going to be awesome” adds Nathaniel. No pressure then.
It’s been ten years since the four men in front of me formed The Beards, leaving behind their previous alter egos; The Dairy Brothers. Have they got anything planned for the occasion? Nathaniel’s main desire is: “to have convinced everyone to grow a beard by then.” That and, as vocalist Johann Beardraven hopes: “to be revered as gods.” Beardraven continues, telling The Wee G that they will “probably do some touring.”
However he can’t be sure: “I can’t ever think of anything passed this current moment, because when I do I instantly start thinking about beards again.” It’s been a year since The Beards played in Glasgow, what has changed in this time? “Our beards are better”, says Beardraven. Nathaniel added: “looking back at the beard I had last year in Glasgow, I just feel ashamed”, to the extent that after seeing a photo of himself, he “threw up” (“all over my shoes” complains Beardraven). “Our beards are longer, thus we are better”, concludes Beardraven. Nathaniel, Facey McStublington and John Beardman Jr add that they are: “happier,” “better musicians” and “whole.”
As they are currently on the Euro-Bout To Grow A Beard tour the band tell us where is the best for beards
With a new album coming, what can we expect other than the obvious beard relation (“spot on with the beard relation” says Nathaniel”)? “There will probably be some songs in A”, says McStublington, while Johann adds “A, E, D.” “The easy keys” explains Nathaniel. After a moments shock when they realise they have a song in F Sharp, Nathaniel reasons this purely means that “it’s in F Sharp for ‘f**k that’s a sharp looking beard,’” adding in that he knows “already that it’s the most beard related album we’ve ever released and probably that anyone’s ever released”
Crediting their musical ability to their beards, Beardraven reflects on how suddenly after growing a beard they became “awesome. Luckily we all got awesome at different instruments so we were able to form a band.” After all this time, it must be hard to write fresh lyrics about beards: “Once again because our beards are getting so good, we’re just getting great, and we’re more inspired than ever because our beards are longer”, counters Beardraven, while Nathaniel feels: “it’s too easy” as “with a longer beard, comes greater wisdom, and I think the wiser you are the more depth you have as a song writer.” We explore the current trend of beards and whether they worry that people will eventually shave them off.
That does concern me, it’s the beardpocalypse. I’m concerned that 90% of the people who currently have beards only have them because it’s currently fashionable our central message is – have a beard, no matter what the status of the beard is.
“I think we started it, I’m pretty sure it’s because of us” says Johann proudly. “You’re welcome, society” pitches in McStublington.
How the band have inspired others to grow beards
Beard implants have recently appeared in the news; do they approve? Nathaniel nods: “not everyone can grow a beard, so obviously artificial beard implants are going to be part of our plan.” Beardman pitches the idea of “selling them at the merch table” so fans can go to what McStublington describes as “a rusty old dental chair, jump in and bingo bango, you’ve got a beard.” “If you’ve got a beard there’s no need to have a beard implant” assures Nathaniel, “I’ve always said that a patchy teenage beard is still a beard.” With time running low, we ask some shorter questions, starting with heroes that have shaved: “Chuck Norris did, but I think he grew it back” answers Beardraven, prompting a discussion on how “anyone with a good beard can do a roundhouse kick” as the band mourn how this small room prevents them from practicing their kicks. Are the beardless welcome at the gigs? “Well they can come, I wouldn’t say they’re welcome. They’re not welcomed but they’re not banned. They should stand at the back and face away from the stage” answers Beardraven, with Nathaniel saying: “ideally, we don’t want to see them.” However, “we’ve always said that the shaven faces of today are the bearded faces of tomorrow.”
How one barman took his love of beards to the extreme
Rounding up on a personal note, I query the previous night’s dream involving shaving; the band reassure me “they have that nightmare every single night.” “You shouldn’t be concerned” says Beardraven, “because you need to make sure you’re always vigilant about keeping your beard safe and protected.” Nathaniel informs us they: “all sleep with weapons under [their] pillows because if someone shaved my beard off, I would have no choice but to end my life immediately.” “And theirs” adds Johan which sees a band meeting being planned, as Beardman Jr. doesn’t feel murder is the correct course of action. “Let’s all just grow beards and get along”, says Johann, diplomatically. “We’ll cross that murderous bridge when we get to it”, concludes Facey. With that we leave The Beards to prepare for the upcoming show.
A compilation of nearly every use of the word “beard” in our interview
Follow Chris on Twitter: @Chris_Morton89