Boys Like Girls Reach Out To A Larger Audience

From Vans Warped Tour to touring with Avril Lavigne, Boys Like Girls' stock has steadily been rising. But that success comes at a price, explains guitarist Paul DiGiovanni. "I'll be trying to get on stage and my phone will be vibrating off the table. When I get off stage I'll sit down and wipe myself off and the phone is buzzing off the hook with 50 voice mail [messages]. For home shows, we're home for 10 hours and it's the most anxiety-ridden 10 hours ever."

- Dara Hakimzadeh
Photo by Dan Gillan

posted May 7, 2008

Boys Like Girls Reach Out To A Larger Audience

The men of Boys Like Girls are ready to unpack their suitcases, step off the tour bus and return to the studio.

The band is currently finishing the biggest tour of its career so far as the opening act for Avril Lavigne. On the road with the Canadian pop punk rocker for a few months now, bassist Bryan Donahue and guitarist Paul DiGiovanni said they want to get off the road.

"We've toured so much for this record," said Donahue, referring to the band's debut self-titled album that came out two years ago.

"It has had the biggest venues, by at least double or triple that of the last tour we did," explains Donahue. "It was pretty crazy the first day, walking in to rehearse and going, ‘Holy crap! There's going to be a lot of people [here] tomorrow when they open the doors,'" he recalled.

It's that level of awe that both musicians said still shocks them.

"I went to a few big shows growing up. I saw AC/DC and Santana with my dad," said DiGiovanni. "As a teenager, I got involved in the local music scene and started going to shows at halls and local clubs. When I was 15 I was always wishing I could be in a band, selling merchandise, and hanging out at the back of a little club."

"My first real concert was at Tsongas arena in Lowell, MA, for Korn, Incubus and Orgy and it was pretty crazy," added Donahue.

Making that dream of being in a band a reality has shown them that being a musician can sometimes be a repetitive job. So, to keep things interesting, the band members have been making minor adjustments to their songs as they perform them live.

"For every tour we've had, we've added a new little tweak or something," said DiGiovanni.

"It's something to keep ourselves sane," added Donahue.

"Right before the bridge of a song, [we might] dim the lights, cut the song, and say something funny or make up a new part or cut out all the guitar parts and have [the song] become a cappella for a second. It keeps it interesting for us and the kids who have seen us a zillion times," said DiGiovanni.

Last summer, Boys Like Girls played on the Vans Warped Tour from late August to late November before heading off with the Plain White T's to play in the UK and Japan. While on Lavigne's tour, the band has performed for close to three months straight.

During a three-day break on Lavigne's tour, the band decided to not waste any time and added a couple solo shows to their schedule.

"At four in the morning we're flying out to Virginia because we're playing a couple of college shows there," said DiGiovanni.

Earlier this year, the guys played at Australia's Soundwave Festival but didn't take any time off then either.

"Maybe next time we'll be able to have free time. We're really hoping," he said. "It was our first time there, so we did a ton of press for magazines and television."

DiGiovanni added that, while at the festival, they mostly hung around backstage with other bands and watched a few sets. But he believes that the pressures of large festival crowds are nothing compared to that at a home show.

"Everyone in your family, your friends and friends who you didn't think are your friends, everyone wants to come. You get in as many people as you can, which is a huge headache and then after [the show] they all want to hang out," explained DiGiovanni, diplomatically adding that he loves seeing familiar faces but it can stretch the patience of each band member pretty thin.

"I'll be trying to get on stage and my phone will be vibrating off the table. When I get off stage I'll sit down and wipe myself off and the phone is buzzing off the hook with 50 voice mail [messages]," he said with a laugh. "For home shows, we're home for 10 hours and it's the most anxiety-ridden 10 hours ever."

Both musicians said they are looking forward to some time off the road.

The band members will be returning to Boston in June to write and record demos for the next album. In July and August, they plan to have their own headlining tour across the US and Canada.

"We love touring but we're itching to get back in and do a new record," concluded Donahue.