Published Mar 22, 2012Back in April 2011, members of Abbotsford, BC acts Oh No! Yoko, GSTS! and You Say Party dropped their exclamatory names and teamed up as the power pop quartet Real Boys. After releasing their debut single "Vacation," the group have plans for a new EP and Western Canadian tour.
While they're certainly making plans, bassist Stephen O'Shea explains that Real Boys is meant to be much more casual than the members' other projects.
"The band is supposed to fun and energetic and enjoyable to be in," he tells Exclaim! "No heavy business or demanding schedules. Just four guys in a band writing songs."
O'Shea knows a thing or two about demanding schedules, having spent years touring the globe with his former band You Say Party. For him, this new casual approach is like turning back the clock.
"It's a rediscovery of a lot of the techniques that You Say Party! We Say Die! used to get noticed for in the first place," O'Shea says. "When you're on a big label from Toronto, you don't do your own press releases or make your own merch anymore. So it's been really rewarding to rediscover a DIY approach to a lot of aspects of being in a band.
"Last weekend I screenprinted tour T-shirts for the first time in my life. Later this week, I'll be folding cardboard sleeves for our EP and pressing pins. It's felt so good to just take the time to make everything myself instead of being focused on heading out on tour after tour."
That's not to say there's no business aspect to the band, as Real Boys recently licensed "Vacation" to a commercial for the Prospera Credit Union.
"My first reaction to the offer was, 'Ugh, doing that would be seriously un-punk,'" O'Shea says. "Upon further reflection I realized that I in fact bank at this credit union, so we decided to go for it. They didn't offer us tons of money; instead we agreed on them making us a music video instead. It felt good knowing we were accessing the barter economy."
While Real Boys is certainly taking up most of O'Shea's musical time, he explains that the former members of You Say Party remain close friends, adding that "anything is possible in the next couple of years."
"We didn't break up, we only went on hiatus," he explains of You Say Party's 2011 announcement. "Things fell apart in a similar way back in winter 2007/08. Then Becky [Ninkovic] was really sick in March 2011, and the post-traumatic stress had been going on longer than any of us had expected. Announcing that the band was on extended hiatus allowed a lot of the pressures and expectations melt away completely that wasn't possible with the hinting need for new YSP material. Becky's doing a lot better now and recently contributed vocals to a project called Bet Frontiers out of Toronto."
One thing that we can count on for sure is that Real Boys will self-release their self-titled debut EP on Tuesday (March 27), which comes with tour dates through BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
The tracklisting and tour dates are available below, along with the premiere of their music video for "Vacation." The video was directed by Andy Matheson and features Ruby Coast's Justice McLellan sitting in on drums.
1. Shit Show
3/23 Abbotsford, BC - U-house
3/24 Vancouver, BC - Zoo Zhop
4/3 Abbotsford, BC - Airfare Lounge
4/8 Edmonton, AB - Wunderbar
4/11 Saskatoon, SK - Vangallis
4/12 Winnipeg, MB - Lo Pub
4/13 Regina, SK O'Hanlon's
4/14 Calgary, AB - Palomino
4/15 Kelowna, BC - Tweeked & Yummy Vintage Apperal