Dear Boy Reinvents Dream Pop with Post Punk Sensibility on ‘The Strawberry EP’

Dear Boy feature interview - Courtesy

Dear Boy Gigs at Teragram October 10


Los Angeles indie band Dear Boy have had a triumphant year. And they aren’t even close to calling it a wrap quite yet. In anticipation of their headlining hometown show at the Teragram Ballroom on October 10, Sylvia Borgo caught up with lead singer Benjamin Grey to discuss the band’s origins, music making process, and what the future holds for them.

SB: You released the much-anticipated The Strawberry EP earlier this year. What was the writing process leading up to that record?  

BG: Honestly, an EP was not the plan! We had been writing for a full-length record, something like 30 songs… but it became clear that the 5 tracks on The Strawberry EP were their own thing… A coherent collection of songs with a distinctive voice. And when that happens, you have to make the damn thing.
SB: You’re singing style is quite unique. How can I describe it? It makes me feel that you are trapped in the 2000s but really come from a different era. How far off am I with this description? 

BG: Ha!!  I would say accurate-ish! Even though the majority of my influences are assuredly not of this era …  I’ve never been the kind of singer who tries to sound like somebody else. It’s honestly just the noise that comes out when I open my mouth. I do take it as a compliment, though! It’s a really cool thing that you can just hear a song and know that it’s me.

Check out the Dear Boy website here.

SB: I grew up watching a lot of music videos and you have a great collection. Who comes up with the ideas for the videos and how is that vision executed?

BG: Thank you! My wife and I usually come up with concepts and then we direct them together… and our earlier videos were directed by my sister, so it’s totally a Grey Family enterprise. We love film and visual art … so being able to expand our music in that way and create a visual language is incredibly cool. It’s usually just me or my wife shooting, me editing and then our friend Ryan Sanders doing post-production. The videos all usually end up taking about a week to make and costing about $50. Kids with cameras.

SB: You are a Los Angeles native. How would you describe the Los Angeles music scene?

BG: Ever-changing. LA is such a huge place, with so many artists and sounds and influences… I feel like it’s impossible to distill LA music into a scene. However, there is a beautiful community… regardless of genre identifiers or favorability trends. There’s an incredible support system here, even if you can’t pinpoint what the city sounds like. Maybe we can just agree to say “noisy.”
SB: Would you ever leave LA? Let’s say I forced you to live somewhere outside of California, where would you move to?

BG: I have had the privilege of living in a lot of wonderful cities, but LA is home. It’s that thing of like, “the further you go, the closer you get.” I should mention that we started Dear Boy in London… We lived there for almost a year and it absolutely shaped what this band is… So I guess if I had to live anywhere else in the world, I’d wanna be walking distance from a Tesco.

SB: You toured with legendary The Psychedelic Furs and James, what musical influences do you have that may not be so apparent to your fans?

BG: Haha, well… yeah… I definitely feel like we wear our influences on our sleeves. But today, I’m going to just say that if it’s not Factory Records and it’s not Creation Records, then it’s Madonna.

Dear Boy – Courtesy

SB: You are playing the Teragram Ballroom on October 10th, without divulging too many secrets what do you have planned for that show?

BG: We’re going to play some new material for the first time ever and we may have a super special guest or two.

SB: 2019 has been a very fruitful year for you, what can we look forward to next?

BG: Thank you! We feel really lucky… this has been an amazing year. We are going to Mexico City for the first time to play the Corona Capital Festival and then a short run up the Pacific Northwest… But before all that, we’re going back into the studio to record a few more songs. I may also go to the dentist, we’ll see.

Buy Tickets for Teragram Ballroom show here.