By Erin Hansen
Coming off sales of 1.17 million albums and 8 million tracks worldwide, Boys Like Girls announced to their fans via their USTREAM that they’d be releasing their Crazy World EP July 17 on Columbia Records via iTunes. The EP features three full length songs ~ “Be Your Everything,” the first single, “Life Of The Party” and “The First Time”~ from the pop-rock band’s forthcoming third album Crazy World (Columbia Records), available this fall. The band is offering the EP in conjunction with iTunes’ “Complete My Album,” which allows fans who purchase the EP to get the full length album at a discounted price upon its release. Check out a preview of “Be Your Everything” here: soundcloud.com/boyslikegirls/be-your-everything-preview.
Boys Like Girls ~ singer/songwriter/guitarist Martin Johnson, drummer John Keefe, lead guitarist Paul DiGiovanni and bassist Morgan Dorr ~ are known for Johnson’s resonant vocals and their soaring melodies in sharp, moving songs. Crazy World ~the band’s first album in three years ~ confidently builds on their signature sound with an array of non-stop hooks. Johnson, who produced the entire album, discusses the new album and evolution of the band in a brief Q&A below.
Johnson underwent a serious creative transformation while making the platinum-selling Crazy World. About “Be Your Everything,” the frontman says, “It’s a great transition from where the band was. We came from a wall of guitars, and the sound has evolved.” He adds: “The only time I really express my feelings is when I’m writing music. That’s how it’s been since I was a little kid. This song is about the moment when it becomes okay to say, ‘I love you.’” At the same time, there’s the hand-clap stomp of “Life of the Party,” which lives up to its moniker. In a world preoccupied with tragedy and its own mortality, Johnson urges us to let go and live a little during the track’s unforgettable refrain.
Outside of Boys Like Girls, Johnson has written and co-written songs and hits for many artists including Taylor Swift, Victoria Justice, Hot Chelle Rae (feat. Demi Lovato), Jason Derulo, Ashley Tisdale, Escape the Fate, Papa Roach, Black Veil Brides, Breathe Carolina and Hillary Duff, among others.
Martin Johnson Talks to Pulse
1. What led to your decision to release “Be Your Everything” as the lead single for Crazy World?
We felt this song was the best bridge between the first two Boys Like Girls records and Crazy World. This was the song people were reacting to on first listen and that is very important. We wanted the best way to open the door to the whole album.
2. It’s been nearly three years since new BLG music has been released. You took time away from your band mates and traveled to Nashville. What changes during this time inspired the new musical direction?
When it was first time to make a new BLG record, the musical climate was pretty scary ~ radio programmers were asking for mixes of songs with no guitars, and bands were getting phased out of pop culture; we made a record that felt a little contrived and threw it out. It took some searching and writing music just to write ~ writing with no intention of what the song was for or whether it was going to be on any specific record. To collect the right songs for this album, I had to break outside the box of our previous releases and the pressure of what I thought our fans want to hear to write something that felt honest.
3. “Be Your Everything” is such an emotional, raw and vulnerable song. You’ve said that the only time you really express yourself is in your music. Seems this can be a scary thought since your music is constantly being critiqued and there’s pressure to produce hits. How do you push the pressure aside and allow yourself to just be real in your music?
I’ve been writing songs since I was seven; it’s what I love to do. There was a time where I was really scared of what people thought, and that made me lose the plotline a little. The best songs come when I don’t put them in a box as Boys Like Girls songs. Writing with a bunch of other artists and working on other projects these past few years has helped a lot with letting go of the pressure. I’m starting to let myself just have fun crafting something that just feels good and real, then detaching and trying to stay out of the results. So much of success and what goes into a “hit” has nothing to do with the songwriting. I can only obsess so much or I’ll go insane.
4. You’ve penned songs for some the biggest names in the business. What’s the difference between writing for BLG and for others?
Every song is its own beast. There are songs on this record that were not intended to be for Boys Like Girls that I fell in love with after the fact and just had to keep them. There is an “it factor” to songwriting that I can’t really explain ~ you walk into a room with a buddy, co-writer, or another artist and a few hours later after 3 cups of coffee you end up with a song. Maybe it’s good, maybe it’s not, but there’s magic in those few hours that’s hard to explain. It’s like blacking out ~ you never know what’s gonna happen.
5. BLG broke onto the scene when you were just 19 years old; how does the new LP Crazy World reflect your growth and the band’s evolution since gaining notoriety in 2006?
I think there’s a lot of commentary on this record about how much the world has changed even in just those 6 years. I think there is a noticeable difference in the dynamics as well ~ when I was 18 I just wanted to hear a wall of guitars and huge choruses that I could sing really high. I guess we’ve settled down and aren’t trying to attack the listener quite as much.
More About Boys Like Girls
Current band members Martin Johnson (lead vocals & rhythm guitar), Paul DiGiovanni (lead guitar) and John Keefe (drums) formed Boys Like Girls in 2005 in Massachusetts. Their eponymous self-titled debut was released one year later. It was certified gold and produced the Top 10 radio hit and platinum single “The Great Escape.” 2009′s Love Drunk produced two more platinum Top 10 radio singles: the title track “Love Drunk” and “Two Is Better Than One,” which features Taylor Swift. To date, Boys Like Girls have sold 1.17 million albums and 8 million tracks worldwide. The band (now based in Los Angeles) is also extremely active online, with over 4.4 million Facebook fans and 41.5M Vevo/YouTube video views.
Photo by Mike Caffrey
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