Henry Cox – Boston Manor ‘Life Contextualises Music’

Boston Manor have just released their fourth album, Datura (our review here), and it sees the band play with a different format and concept. They first toyed with a shorter release with their 2021 EP Desperate Times, Desperate Pleasures, and now with Datura being one of two parts, it’s showing exciting progression and evolution. 

It turns out that vocalist, Henry Cox, and I have caught up for a chat each year for the past two years, making this the third year in a row. So now that we’re best mates, we had a good old chat about the album and how he’s feeling about it.

Henry explains, “I’m very proud of it. It’s the best, and I’m trying not to speak in band-guy platitudes when talking about the album, it’s the best album we’ve ever made. It’s the most personal record we’ve ever made. And I do believe it is the most vulnerable we’ve been on a record and the most focused project that we’ve done. It’s very deliberate.”

The album itself depicts struggle, self-doubt and dark feelings—written in a time when Henry wasn’t doing too well—and so you would be forgiven for thinking that it was a tough piece of work to create. In actual fact though, Henry says it was a joy to make.

“…Which to some might sound surprising, given this subject matter and it’s obviously very dark, but we had loads and loads of fun making it we worked with some really cool people do it. And the vibe was very much like ‘let’s try shit out’, which is always a good atmosphere to have in a studio.

I don’t know if you remember in primary school, and they do music class and come in with just like a big plastic crate full of shit you could bang and make noises with? We kind of had that, but weird effects pedals and synthesisers and crazy guitars and stuff. So, it was a bit like the sort of adult version of that at times, which was lovely, and it created an atmosphere of experimentation and play. And it was still very focused, but it was it was awesome, and it was spread out over sort of six months, kind of plugging away at it here and there in between tours and things and which is really nice.

We didn’t get burnt out and we got to take our time with it to a certain extent and I loved it.”

We know by now that there is a part two coming some time next year, and while the band don’t have a date just yet, they’re heading back into the studio in a couple of months to start making the second part.

“It’s written in real time, you couldn’t write about the dawn if the dawn hadn’t struck, so that’s kind of what we’re getting to. So yeah, things are really great right now, and we’re in a great place to write some some cool music, and it will be contrasting—it’s going to sound different to the first half, and I think you have to be in a different place to do that.”

The final song on the album is ‘Inertia’, a love song to his wife, and it’s beautifully emotional and intense. Instead of testing it out on her as he would with other tracks, Henry waited until the song was finished before showing her.

Of the song, he says, “It makes me feel quite emotional, listening to it even now, and I think that’s a really good thing. Typically, I’ve really struggled being quite vulnerable, but I think I’m enjoying at the moment being being quite vulnerable. I think it’s all very genuine, you know, the record is comes from a very, I don’t like using the word honest in this context. Bands will say that, ‘yeah, it’s very honest record’, but I think that implies that you’re a bit more guarded, or you’re not as frank, or blunt, so to speak, that’s like the opposite of being honest, like lying. So, I think it’s a bit of a weird term to use, but it is very forthright and kind of plain speaking. And I think you don’t always have to write like that, most of my favourite bands don’t, but at the moment it’s been very useful and fitting for this project.”

Of course, when you’re exploring being vulnerable and you have a wonderful support system with family and friends, you can get some awkward questions about lyrics.

“There’s nothing worse than having to sort of sit and plod through your song and explain every lyric, it’s the worst. But it’s art isn’t it? You know, it’s not all like word for word. Yeah, there’s nuance, there’s artistic license there’s kind of just being flowery—sometimes it’s nice just to write a line because it sounds pretty and it evokes a vibe that fits the theme of the song. So it’s a tough line to walk at times, you know, and I haven’t always got it right. But I think I’ve gotten close on this one.”

Now that we’ve heard the album, we’re so excited for Boston Manor to come to Australia and co-headline with Movements in March 2023. With lots of new content to be playing live, they’ll have plenty of songs to choose from, but Henry’s a big believer in giving the people what they want.

“I am aware that we’ve put out a lot of new music and you kind of want to lead with what we believe to be our best foot forward, but at the same time if there’s like a tune that people really want, I’m not going to I’m not going to be a Radiohead and not play ‘Creep’, you know? But ‘Crocus’, I think, is one of the coolest songs we’ve ever written. So I’m excited for people to hear that, and hopefully people are into it live as well.”

And in case you’re wondering, do you know what Datura actually means? The band named the record Datura because it’s a flower that only blooms at night and the record is set over the course of night. But, as Henry found out after they named the album, it’s also a dangerous psychedelic.

“I should warn any any users, not that I’m ever one to tell you what to do and all things can be consumed responsibly, but I do have it on good authority that it is not a very pleasant experience. I would discourage you from trying to consume it because it’s very dangerous apparently.”

Now, go check out the album, buy a ticket to their show next year, and listen to the audio interview for extra snippets of info and LOLs.

Interview by Ebony Story

Tickets for their 2023 tour are on sale now from destroyalllines.com.au.

Movements & Boston Manor – Australian Tour 2023

THURSDAY 9 MARCH 2023 – THE TRIFFID, BRISBANE (18+)

FRIDAY 10 MARCH 2023 – NEWY HOTEL, NEWCASTLE (18+)

SATURDAY 11 MARCH 2023 – FACTORY THEATRE, SYDNEY (LIC AA)

TUESDAY 14 MARCH 2023 – DICEY RILEY’S, WOLLONGONG (18+)

WEDNESDAY 15 MARCH 2023 – SOOKI LOUNGE, BELGRAVE (18+)

THURSDAY 16 MARCH 2023 – CORNER HOTEL, MELBOURNE (18+)

FRIDAY 17 MARCH 2023 – LION ARTS FACTORY, ADELAIDE (LIC AA)

SATURDAY 18 MARCH 2023 – AMPLIFIER BAR, PERTH (18+)

Tickets Here

 

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About Ebony Story (198 Articles)
Wall of Sound Music Journo & Podcast Host // Loving the heavy heavy