In 2006, Boston-based pop-punk quartet, Boys Like Girls quickly climbed the charts with their debut album, Boys Like Girls. Now, three years later and reveling in the success of their sophomore album Love Drunk, I got the opportunity to speak with the band’s front man, Martin Johnson.
Kate: How did Boys Like Girls come to be formed?
Martin: Me and John [Keefe] the drummer, we were seventeen and were on tour together with two separate bands and when we came back, we were best friends and we decided to play music together. We then met with Bryan [Donahue]; our bass player. I’ve known him since high school, so we brought him in. Since then, we’ve been inseperable and it has been six years now. We moved into an apartment together [back then] and I graduated high school early so I could just play music. Funny story; the apartment was only like, three shelves and a floor. We decided to decorate so we went and stole a rug from someone’s trash. We cut it to size so that it would fit. We put drapes up to sort of make our own bedrooms. We worked odd jobs until we got evicted and moved into my dad’s house. We were working on a side thing with a friend and that’s how we met Paul [DiGiovanni, lead guitar]. Paul was only seventeen at the time and we were all twenty, so we were questioning whether or not we should jam with this kid.
Around this time, we had just written The Great Escape and from there, it just sort of clicked for us. Paul was that missing link that we needed. Honestly, from then on, it was just a whirlwind ever since we put our first songs up on our MySpace and PureVolume.
Kate: After the band formed, you found out that two of its members, John and Paul, were distant cousins but you didn’t find this out until after the band had formed, correct?
Martin: Yeah, Keefe and DiGiovanni are distant cousins. They learned through family trees several months later that they were related and distant cousins. We were on tour when one of their family members called and told us.
Kate: You’ve toured with some musically amazing acts such as Butch Walker and Valencia. What does it feel like to share the stage with such amazing bands?
Martin: It’s awesome. It’s amazing just to play with bands of such caliber. We write our own music and don’t try to be anyone but ourselves. We just get up there onstage and rock out and do our thing and make our own name for ourselves.
Kate: Do you feel as if any of the bands you have worked with have influenced you in any sort of way?
Martin: You know, I get this question a lot [laughs]. My band, we write, we record and we do things our own way. However, at the end of the day, I think everyone influences someone else at the end of the day whether it be musically or professionally. Every piece of music whether it is classical, blues, jazz, country, rock, it has all influenced us in some sort of way.
Kate: Your new album, Love Drunk, was just released. Do you feel as if the band has grown musically since the release of your first album [Boys Like Girls]?
Martin: Oh, definitely. It’s been a few years now and we’ve been almost constantly touring and working with different bands and learning from them as well as growing musically. All we have to do is look into the audience and see how they react; the raw emotion. We worked together as a team to make this record, as well as worked with amazing producers; basically, everyone who worked on this album was incredible and made it the best it could be. We tried to take it to the next level.
Kate: Your single Love Drunk is all over the place right now. Do you have any love drunk stories?
Martin: We actually just put up a website called www.lovedrunks.com! You can upload your own love drunk stories and comment on other posts and stories. It’s pretty awesome, all the fans have posted some great stories; check it out.
Watch their latest video, ‘Love Drunk’!