Vogue/Homecoming

Ahh friends…think back to a simpler time. The days of old where few things mattered more than getting together with your friends on a Friday night. Think back to a time when as long as you had your lady friend, a terrible movie and no parents, then it was on. See: Hot High School Heavy Petting Preparation Material Go to that time, whether it be in college or high school, when you celebrated homecoming.

For us, in many ways, playing the Vogue this coming Friday is very much a homecoming. Although there are many more worries, probably just as many for you as there are us now-a-days, many more balls to juggle and far fewer minutes to spend doing nothing other than trying to figure out what to do with your friends, we want to take you to a place where none of that matters…at least for 90 minutes or so!

The past few months have been a busy few for your old friends in BoTo. In backwards chronology: Countless hours in the studio, countless hours writing new songs, what seems like countless hours on the road, not to mention the countless number of times we load and unload the gear! Important to note here however is that countless, at least in this instance, is not intended to have any negative connotation. This is what we live for!

While playing shows in Chicago, Kalamazoo, Terre Haute, St. Louis, Cincinnati, shooting videos here or there, practicing in anything from a storage shed to a basement to a lavish rehearsal studio and driving the many miles in between, the one thing that has been discussed more than anything else over the past few months has been……..coming home.

We finally get to do it, this coming Friday. If you read the Facebook or twitter posts, you know that we’ve been busy. You know that we’re working on new material and you know that we are about to enter the bullfighting ring in which we will make fame and fortune our collective bitch. Before all that…we’ll play for you and your friends in our own backyard.

I could try to tell you how excited we are to be back home and what a thrill it is to play again for our family, friends and friends of friends, but I still probably wouldn’t do it justice. So instead of rambling on for countless more paragraphs (this is where countless does have negative connotation), I’m going to do something much more fun. I’m going to invite you to come to the show, bring as many or as few of your friends as you like (just so long as you come) and forget about what you’ve got going on. Forget about what you have to do on Saturday. Go out to dinner with your friends, come see the show with your friends, go out in the Rip-Nasty after the show with your friends. Make this Friday about what music is all about…taking you someplace else. It’ll be fun…we promise!

Here are a few demos…click on the links to have a listen. These are rough demos that the lovely and talented Chris Jerles has put together. These songs are just a small preview as to what you’ll hear this Friday. We made the set list and we’re looking at no fewer than 5 brand new songs. We share these not so that you’ll know what to expect on the new album, but because selfishly, we’d love to hear and see you singing along! When you hear them Friday, you’ll start to get a feel for what the new album is going to be like.

Basement Song
Brand New Start
Born with a Broken Wing
How Could You Let Me Down
Sometime Back in the ’70’s

Oh don’t worry…we’ll play some old favorites too. If there is something that you’ve just gotta hear this Friday…drop us a line and let us know. As long as you pay $5.00 to come and see us, that makes you the boss. What do you want to hear? We’d ask what you want to see, but Andrew would then think that is an invitation to do some stupid Jim Morrison shenanigans. Anyway…

Check it out…looking forward to seeing you on Friday! Much love,

BoTo

Outtake Video

So, as I type this afternoon, we’re into day six in the studio. Things are moving along very nicely and we’ve started working on bass tracks. As I sit here and listen to the tracks get played back, I figured that instead of sitting and doing nothing all day, I’d make a funny little compilation video of some of our ridiculous antics.

A few things that you should keep in mind while viewing.

1) The answer to your question is, yes. We are all grown adults.
2) That answer to your next question is also, yes. We are actually being fairly productive and you might see the finished product before the time I turn 40.
3) The answer to your next question is, no. I will not tell you how old I am now.
4) Fortunately, this is only a small glimpse of what goes on behind closed doors. I sifted through about 4 hours of video to track down these four minutes. Only adding validity to the theory that people in bands are losers…at least this band anyway. This video is just from the last three days in the studio. Days 1-3, thank God, belong to Chris at the present time and while he parties in Canada…we’ll spare you more of this rubbish.
5) We hope you like it.

Being in a band for us is hopefully like listening to music for you. It’s an opportunity for us to do something that we absolutely love. We like to make music hopefully as much as you like to listen to it. We’ll gladly share all of the funny stuff that we do and keep all of the hours of us sitting at our instruments to ourselves. It’s all part of our ploy to get you to fall madly in love with our charm. That being said, what you’d find if you were to come sit next to Chris and I during the next couple of video editing sessions is that things are progressing nicely. In between the silly antics and ridiculous-ness, there are some really amazing takes being laid down. Day by day, each song takes shape and gets a little bit closer to being the one that will undoubtedly become the most played song on your iPod.

If you don’t hear from us again before the New Year…have a great one. Be safe, have a great time, and drink one for us. We’ll be back after the New Year cramming more music, tour dates and mindless videos down your throat before you know it!

All the best & happy New Year!

Andrew

Studio – 0, BoTo – 1

Hope you all had an amazing holiday. We spent the final days leading up to the holiday laying down the first round of tracks for the forthcoming album, which to date has yet to be named.

So, when you put together a studio from scratch, this is kind of how it plays out…read one if you dare.

Day 1: This is the toughest. We started at 11:00 am this past Monday and setup gear, worked on microphone placement, trying to get some sounds and more or less worked through the endless list of challenges and issues that present themselves as the “studio” gets put together. Fortunately, with Producer Ferg and Engineer Ferg (yes, he does both) at the helm, things came together much better than anticipated.

"Engineer Ferg"
Ferg is cold. Randall cuddled him later.
"Producer Ferg"
Producer Ferg is busy with computers fixing all our shitty tracks. Just kidding...we're referencing the often used Ben Folds line.
By 10:00 pm, we were laying down drum tracks until about 3:00 am.

Day 2: Drums all day! The first night we were able to do about a song and a half…we were just getting warmed up on “Curtain Call” when it was time to call it quits. Day two we came in ready to rock. Andrew belted through about five more songs and then we called it an early day. Chris was sport enough to stick around all day and help lay down scratch vocals and guitar tracks. Sorry…Day two is all Andrew and therefore boring. Except for when he would get a bit giddy and want to see more of himself on camera…big shocker.

"Stupid Drummer"
For a guy that has chosen to spend time behind the rest of the band, he sure takes every opportunity to be out front.

Day 3: Things really got exciting on this one. We for the most part finished up the drum tracks for the eight songs that we know are going to make the album. Some of the fun stuff came later in the day when we worked on the tracks for “Born with a Broken Wing.” We easily spent more time on this one layering as many as 25 different drum tracks than we did any other of the songs. Banging on trash cans, rim knocks on the toms, egg shakers, tambourine and more! We pushed through this and eventually wrapped up drums. At about 11:30 pm, we elected to push through into rhythm guitar. This, for us, is where things get fun. Chris belted out a number of tracks. Nailed them, each and every time. We got into “Let me down” around 3:00 am, about the same time that Andrew started to fall asleep on the couch. After hearing the second take, everyone got their second wind and we finished the last rhythm guitar track (at least on Chris’s magical tele) at about 6:00 am.

Everything to this point has been simply “electric.” Ferg has had some amazing ideas and is pushing the band pretty hard. We’re exploring some things that we’ve never tried before, we’re bringing Gracie out for inspiration, we’re taking a couple of days off for the holiday and we’re back in business this week.

"Gracie Dog"
In between takes, drummer cuddles his beefy dog.
We are still a ways away from being able to share it with you, but as we listened to one last take of “Let Me Down” and turned off the lights at 6:00 am on Christmas Eve, the only term to describe what we were hearing was unanimously, “Rock and Roll!”

We hope you that everyone had an absolutely amazing holiday. We’ll be sending out some updates on upcoming shows…be sure to come out. We’ll be debuting some of the songs that will be on the forthcoming effort. We’re looking forward to seeing you soon. Stay tuned for more updates!

BoTo

Life in the Studio

We’ve done a modest bit of recording over the past three years and had some pretty incredible experiences doing it.  The first project The One That Stays we recorded at the Pop Machine in Indianapolis.

Studio staples: Mugs, Coffee, booze.

As I sit here and type this I’m enjoying a lovely adult beverage out of my Pop Machine mug (thanks Marc & Eric).  It was a pretty incredible experience for us as a band and we learned a lot about the band that we were and the band that we wanted to be.

After that, we did Retrospective down at SAE Studios in Nashville.  We had grown a lot as a band…musically anyway.  From a maturity standpoint, we had deduced that the collective IQ of the band drops dramatically when we’re in a room together.

Big Console
Thank God Ferg knew how to use this thing. Robert just got googely eyed at all of the lights.

This project was so fulfilling for the band as we watched our “style”  or our “identity” come to life.  The console that we recorded on had been used by the likes of Duran Duran and INXS just to name a couple.  Something about being in the studio just feels really good.

This project is a lot different.  It already feels different and oddly enough we have yet to start rolling tape.  Whereas the first two projects were recorded in professional studios, this one will be recorded in a place that is very near and dear to our hearts…which for the time being will remain undisclosed for security reasons.  We can’t have our crazed fans swarming us as we try to get into and out of the studio.  We appreciate your understanding and concern for our safety. Sample “real moment” from the studio.  This is where I reference the part about our IQ dropping again. 

Home sweet home.

The location is much less important than what is going on inside the four walls of the famed room. We’re working with a great friend of ours, Kyle Ferguson (the Giant).  Kyle and his good friend Brett produced Retrospective for us and if there is one thing that this band does well…it’s go back to the well.  Ferg as we affectionately call him and another good friend of ours, Adam Fair (also known as Fair) have become known as the fifth and sixth members of the band.  These guys know us as well as we know ourselves and have been charged with harnessing our collective ridiculousness. Anyway – I digress.

The eight songs are going to be a sampling of some things that we think you may not have heard from BoTo to date.  There are even a couple more in the works that might be added to the list very soon.  We kind of feel like there is something for everyone here.  You’re going to get the best of BoTo on this next one.  There will be some songs that have a country vibe.  There will be some songs that will have a really strong beat.  There will be some songs that will inevitably help us sell 14 million copies of this next album, but more importantly, we’re trying very very hard to write our first masterpiece.  While that may sound a pinch bold, this is going to be the first time that the whole album, regardless of song style, is going to have a “vibe.” This one is going to have a feel and while you can call it what you will in terms of style…this one is all about us being open and honest musically.  We’re not recording the first 10 or 12 songs that we write.  We’re recording 12 songs that we think you’ll enjoy the most.

More to come as the project progresses.  We think this one is going to be pretty special.  Then again, we’re biased.  You be the judge.  Check out a couple of the demos…

Curtain Call

How Could You Let Me Down

We hope you enjoy watching them turn into the final product as much as we do.  Take care, talk soon…

Andrew & BoTo

Inevitable World Domination (i.e. new album and movie)

So, not everyone gets to get up everyday and do something that the love.  We’re pretty lucky to have that opportunity.  I don’t blog very often, mainly because I don’t know what to shut-up, but with a lot on the radar, I wanted to take a minute and talk about a few things that our modest band (me being the exception) would probably never talk about. 

The next few months are going to be exciting for us for a couple of reasons.  The road ahead is filled with the two things that make being in a band worthwhile.  1) Playing shows for our fans and 2) Recording our music.  In case you haven’t noticed – there is a theme.  That being sharing our music with people who enjoy it. 

I’ll give you either something to look forward to or dread depending on your thoughts of our band.  As we begin the process of writing and recording our first full-length and yet to be named album, we are videotaping damn near the entire process (see gas station stop en route to gig).  There will be interviews with each band member, shots of the writing process, video from the studio, video from the road and undoubtedly a ton of grown men giggling like children.  More or less, we’re creating a documentary of what it’s like to be this band.  We’re calling it Botography. We’ll share more as it progresses, but look for it to be Oscar-worthy.

Now to the meat and potatoes.  The next album.  It’ll be our first full-length effort.  Something that we’ve always wanted to do and whether it sells a 1/2 million copies or not, we’re putting gold copies on our walls.  The only thing mildly as fun as performing is recording.  Watching a song grow from a few chords and turning into the production that we manage to make them, really is something to see.   There are a few gems on the next album that I’ll boast on behalf of their creators:

“Born with a Broken Wing”

This is one that Chris has been working on for a while. It’s an acoustic number in the vein of “The Highway One Bridge Song.”  This one however boasts BoTo’s first recorded cuss word.  More importantly it tells the story of trying to love when always at a disadvantage.  The vocals and acoustic guitar work on this one will haunt you – in a good way.  “I’m sorry I’m the asshole for telling you the truth, if you never want to see me then I guess that’s what we’ll do.” If you’ve never been there in your life, stop reading right now and quit liking this band.  Really though, this is the song that really opens up Chris’s mind and heart.  We’ll post a demo soon and you’ll get it.

“Sometime Back in the ’70’s”

This is an up-tempo little number. We’re hoping to grow on some of the strong, vintage guitar sounds that we captured when working on Retrospective on this one.  This one is going to be a little bit happier though.  It’ll have a little bit of a different drum beat than what you’ve grown accustomed to from BoTo and as always – the lyrics will hopefully incite some of the same feelings that we felt the first time we heard it. 

“Untitled”

This one is so new that we don’t even have a name for it yet.  I can’t speak for the band, but I will.  So far, this one is my favorite.  The hook lines are absolutely contagious and Chris really puts his vocal range to use on this one. 

“How can you let me down

When the glasses come crashing to the ground

How can you turn away as the lights go down?”

Wait until you hear it with the guitars blazing.  It’s going to have a big sound and the dynamics in the chorus are really what drew me in.  We’re pretty excited to bust this one out and see what you think at the next few shows.

I don’t think that as we gear up for this next record that we’ll be holding anything back. We’re really grateful for everyone’s support up to this point and want to be pretty clear in that this album is for those of you have helped keep gas in the truck, have come to the shows, have applauded us when we probably didn’t deserve it and for those of you that make this worthwhile for us.  This one is for you guys and we’re going to do our best to share every special moment that the four of us have together with you.  There will be laughter, there will be tears, there will be more laughter and then probably some screaming followed by hugs and man-love.  That’s just the way it goes.

Anyway, this is a small glimpse into our world. Hope you like it…there’s lots more to come.

Andrew

Goings On

Hey World – hope wherever you are, things are well.

We’ve been flying under the radar for a bit.  Working on a number of projects that will undoubtedly help us in our quest for world domination.  Here’s a quick synopsis:

The first ever BoTo Party Bus will depart from Indy this Saturday.  We’re very excited to be playing the Double Door in Chicago and hope you’ll be a part of it.  Hope on the bus – we’ll make it worth your while!

As if the party bus weren’t enough…There are a few new shows to be announced.  Stay tuned for a couple of those magical dates…we’ll be announcing them early next week. 

Our forthcoming EP entitled Retrospective is days away from being completed and shipped off for duplication.  We’re really excited about it and hope that you’ll be ape shit for it as well.  For those of you die hards – the new EP will contain the songs: “Shy Away,” “Looking for You,” “Wicker Park Suite,” and “Bridge.”  This project has been pretty special to us and we’re really stoked to get it in your hands.  After we get this one out, we’ll hopefully be focusing on our first full-length disc.  Look out world…you heard it right – a full length.

As always, we want to thank everyone for their continued support.  Look for more ramblings in our blogs and what have you.  We’ve always got something to say. 

Perhaps our next blog will be about the hairiness of Robert’s ass.  Any takers?

All the best,

Andrew

Nashville, You’re Slipping Right through My Fingers

A shot from the road and a lyric from a song: "Throw my ticket out the window" -Dylan's "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here with You" courtesy of Nashville Skyline

By now, many of you loitering next to the Facebook water cooler may have stumbled across a new Borrow Tomorrow video and song, but for those that haven’t, here’s the scoop.

As we’re telling anyone who’ll listen, the boys headed down to Nashville, TN, to record four new tunes for an upcoming release. The trip itself was a fairly no-nonsense, down-to-business affair, but it definitely made for a cool experience as it’s always a pleasure to spend time in a professional recording atmosphere. In hindsight, the process was such a whirlwind it seemed that by the time we’d caught our breath we’d returned to the circle city with little to show for our efforts but bags under our eyes and a case of H1N1 (is that still around?).

I set out to try to document the event in song. Though inspired by our journey down I-65, the tune grew into something more: a tale about searching for what makes one happy, and the hope that somewhere down the road he’ll find what’s missing. In our case, we’re just a band trying to make good music and share it with the people we love. And in the event you’re wondering, I really did spend our only night there stretched out on the floor. Hope you enjoyed the couch, Robert.

So please watch, listen, and enjoy:

Also, for those of you who have already, we thank you, but all we ask is that if you enjoyed this video, share it with your friends! Post it to your facebook/twitter/myspace or even send an old-fashioned e-mail to some folks you think would dig it as well.

Chris

News

What up?

First and foremost, wanted to thank everyone that made it out to Martyr’s this past weekend in Chicago.  We loved the venue, loved the crowd and had a blast playing with Surrender Dorothy and On The Run.  Hoping to get back up that way soon!

We’re dark this week but coming back strong next weekend when we return to Hammerhead’s in Jasper.  This place is a blast.  Some of our favorite moments include the removal of shirts, the maestro and some incredibly fantastic dancing.  Oddly enough, those memories are all from the same person…just think what the rest of the show is like!  Anyway – looking forward to hitting up Hammerhead’s again on the 20th.  Oh ya – there are a couple new cover songs making their way into the set list…it’s going to be sick nasty.

Lots of things in the works right now that we’re very excited about.  We’re currently putting the finishing touches on our forthcoming EP.  This was a very special project for us that was recorded in Nashville.  We had the amazing pleasure of working with longtime friend, Kyle Ferguson who produced, mixed and engineered the project.  Nothing like combining some of lifes biggest loves (music and friendship) into one.  The name and contents of the EP will be coming soon.  Hope you’re looking forward to it…we had a blast making it and we hope that you’ll connect with it as much as we have.

Chris has been working hard on a special little video to a previously unreleased/unperformed song entitled “Nashville.”  It was actually written (or at least partially written) about our time spent recording the new EP.   We’re hoping to bust that out in the next few days…please check it out and share it with your friends. 

Last but not least – we’re working hard on some new tunes, producing our first professional video, wrapping up the EP and of course – performing live.  In a bit of a retrospective here – I think that performing and connecting with all of you makes all of the hard work, band meetings, long hours in rehearsal and travel worth it.  We really appreciate everyone’s support and hope to continually keep things interesting for you. 

All the best – hope you’re well – come see us sometime soon,

Andrew

Boto at Martyrs’ and the Wicker Park Suite

Today marks the Monday of a week capped by another Borrow Tomorrow visit to Chicago. The boys will make their debut at the venerable Martyrs‘ on the north side of the city, kicking off a cool night of music featuring Surrender Dorothy and headlined by friends On The Run.

The City of Broad Shoulders is currently home to me, but it’s quickly becoming something of a second home for the band as we’ve been welcomed with open arms each time we’ve taken the stage at venues like the House of Blues, Goose Island, and Wise Fools Pub. I’ve drawn inspiration from the sights and the sounds of bustling urban existence, and it’s most prevalent in one of Borrow Tomorrow’s newest tunes: Wicker Park Suite.

I’d written nearly all of the lyrics and most of the tune months before I finally decided to put the finishing touches on it and present it to the guys for feedback. I was a new resident at the time, still trying to become acclimated with my surroundings and all that a big city had to offer in contrast to my years in smaller Indiana towns. It was all at once exciting, overwhelming, and foreign, and the particular night about which “…Suite” was written was the first time I’d been to the Wicker Park neighborhood. In fact, I was invited by a very good friend of mine (a new friend at the time) to see a band play at the Double Door. Walking through the streets that night I was particularly struck by the electricity–literally in the store fronts, street lights, and neon signage–and figuratively among the pockets of people meandering about the sidewalks and cafes. It was, then and there, the true-life recreation of what I’d imagined life in “the city” to be like–alive with activity–all with movie-set-like precision. The opening line of the song refers to this too-good-to-be-true feeling, as if behind the brick and glass of the buildings I’d sadly discover a facade with guts of 2×4’s and cardboard.

Other references include the Damen Blue Line station, the DD’s photobooth, and the details of an outsider’s journey to desperately find a place amidst something “bigger” than just himself. The weight of life pales in the shadows of the great man-made structures. The freedom of youth the catalyst, the longing for and discovery of purpose the goal.

And so it goes.

We’re working closely with a very good of the band’s to release a new disc in the coming weeks, and Wicker Park Suite will be among the new recordings. If you haven’t gotten a chance to hear it yet, you needn’t wait for the release. Come out and see us at Martyrs’ on Friday the 5th!

In Music,

Chris