Getting Back to Work – Finally!

All right – I’ll try to stay focused, but no promises.

November 2006 – we started this band and played our first shows in early 2007.  We were younger, no comment as to whether or not we were dumber then than now, and probably a little bit skinnier.  We have spent a lot of time as a band, arguably all of our time as a band thinking about how hard things are.  How hard it is to play in a band and still move forward with your life.  How hard it is to be successful in this music juggernaut.  You know what?  Things are hard.  But not anymore. 

We have spent the past eight years playing music together.  Some nights to no one and some nights to 15,000 people.  We’ve had the great fortune to do every single thing that we had hoped that we’d ever do as a band and more, with the exception of one little thing (topic of a blog post yet to come).  And yet, we’ve seemingly found a way to look back and lament on what we haven’t done. Ha! What more evidence do we need to prove that we are fools?

Maybe it’s the time of year, maybe it’s the place that we’re in as a band or maybe, it’s just growing up (although growing up for us is doubtful).  Many of you may not know that in October of 2013, we TRIED to break up as a band. We all sat in dressing room (and undoubtedly over stayed our welcome to the host venue that evening) and gave ourselves 12 weeks to start writing new material. If no new music emerged, we were calling it quits. 12 weeks turned into 16, 16 into 20, 20 in 30 until finally we call came to the conclusion that we weren’t getting rid of each other that easily, but that we had to get back to work. We couldn’t quit. We couldn’t walk away. We weren’t done yet, despite our best efforts to call it a day. Damnit, we tried. But we couldn’t do it.  Finally new songs began to emerge.  The same new songs that we’re looking forward to rolling out in early 2015.

What does all of this blabbering horseshit have to do with anything?  Well – I’ll tell you.

Doing things like playing in a band is hard.  But do you know what? It’s a hell of a lot easier than waking up every day and going to work, raising your kids, being a good parent, being a half-responsible adult, working on projects at the old homestead, saving enough money to go on vacation or to buy that new car or hell, to go out to a nice dinner with your guest of choice.

I mean seriously.  Who the fuck have we been kidding?  Hopefully we have always been really good about telling you how much we love you and how much we appreciate you coming to our shows, listening to our music, reading our blogs, watching our videos and squeezing us in between the items on the list above which surely doesn’t include a million other things that are important to you.  But honestly, we’ve spent the past eight years wondering how it was that we were going to get to the next step, when in reality – we were taking the steps that were important with you.

Andrew's Will joined us for a writing session for Too Far to Feel
Andrew’s Will joined us for a writing session for Too Far to Feel

You had kids, so did some of us. You got married or engaged, so did some of us. You got divorced, we’ve had some of that too. We’ve bought and sold cars, bought and sold houses, taken new jobs, moved from city to city, we’ve lost some friends and gained others. Hopefully we could all say that we’ve grown together. Life can be hard, but not if you navigate it with the right people.

We're sober
We’ve lost some friends.
We've gained new friends and family members.
We’ve gained new friends and family members.
 

We won’t be so cliché, arrogant or rude as to think that we are writing the soundtrack to your life.  Not in the slightest, but to even be a little bit of noise in the background is pretty damn cool for us.

So thank you.  Thank you for seeing us through the hard times.  Thank you for allowing us progress.  Thank you for providing us hope.  Thank you for making us feel that our countless hours locked in rooms late at night writing songs hasn’t all been in vain.  Thank you for listening.  Thank you for watching.  Thank you for sharing.  Thank you for being there for us.  We only hope that we can provide a fraction to you that you have already provided for us.

2015 will very soon be here…and that’s pretty damn cool.  Let’s kick the effin’ door to the New Year in together (see picture below)!!

KICK PUNCH!
KICK PUNCH!

We are working on seven brand spanking new songs.  We haven’t named the new EP but we hope to wrap that up and start sharing some artwork very soon.  We are finalizing some details on a few live shows for the first quarter of 2015 and are incredibly excited about it.  We can’t wait to get out, test some of the new songs, share them with you, hit the road and hear what you’ve been up to as well.

Hope you had a great holiday season!  Hope that you have an unbelievable New Year.

From the absolute bottom of our hearts.  Thank you.  From here on out – we’re taking no prisoners.  It’s us against the world. We Borrow from Tomorrow no longer.  We’re grateful for today.

With that being said…kick this mutha in!

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Andrew

The Long and Winding Songwriting Process

Howdy friends…

So my good friend and, well, brother…Robert stopped by last week to work on a couple of new ideas for songs.  Let me bring you up to speed for those of you that haven’t been following us since 2007…

Two Roberts is better than one.
Two Roberts is better than one.

Usually, up until now, this is how the songwriting process for our band works:

  1. Chris and/or Robert come up with an idea for a song.
  2. Chris and/or Robert complete the idea and present it to the band.
  3. We all get together and hammer out structure, transitions, solos, placement of sexy kicks, etc.
  4. Once the idea has been completed, Chris puts lyrics to it and well…then we’ve got ourselves a hit song now!!

Life changes though and while world domination for our band at this point is eminent and nearly within reach, the way that we are writing songs, has well…changed…dramatically.

Songwriting has become a team effort, a collaborative endeavor in which we are all pushing the limits of our comfort zones to see what kind of dog shit we can sprinkle a little BoTo upon to parlay into a song that will afford us new opportunities!  Instead of waiting for someone else to show up with some new ideas, we’re all working on ideas.  We’ll see where it takes us, but at press time, we’ve got about twelve brand-spanking new ideas that we’re cooking up.  The songwriting collaborations are helping us to explore some new avenues that before, would have remain untouched. Cue inappropriate comparison photos…

Inappropriate comparison 1.
Inappropriate comparison 1.
Supplement to inappropriate comparison 1.
Supplement to inappropriate comparison 1.
Beginning of something incredible?
Beginning of something incredible?
We know these guys were good, eh?
We know these guys were good, eh?

We’ll keep you posted on the progress.  As the title here would suggest, this process is a long one.  Even longer than before as we all work on and share ideas.  Rehearsals have been replaced by interweb videos being exchanged, phone calls and weekend get-togethers.  We have also learned that we enjoy videotaping ourselves singing, dancing like idiots and sharing the occasionally funny picture, as seen below.

We make dumb even easier than it should be.
We make dumb even easier than it should be.

Stay tuned, share with your friends.  And again, for those of you that haven’t been with us since the beginning, here’s an opportunity to get caught up

Andrew

New Vocab Term: Progress

We’ve been fairly quiet as of late with the exception of Mr. Jerles’ most recent blog post. Probably appropriate considering the past few weeks have been filled with recording, gigging to pay for said recording and the beginning of what will soon be the finishing touches on our first full-length album.

Sample album art.

As Chris alluded to in our most recent blog post, we are about three to four sessions away from having every single instrument for every single track “in the can” as they say. As I take a few minutes and look back not only at the past three or four months but the past three or four years, it’s hard to really say what an amazing feeling we’re experiencing right now as we approach the finish line on the yet to be titled project. For lack of a better term, a dream come true.

This band has been riddled with mistakes, long nights, tough gigs, etc. We’ve had more than our fair share of car trouble, sleepless nights, stolen gear, flawed execution, scheduling conflicts and not to mention the fact that every time we play, our gear gets packed up and set up twice. I mention all of the above not because we want a pity party. We don’t. We chose to do this because we wanted to. We will spare you the details on all of the trials and tribulations mentioned above (at least until the Behind the Music airs) for the sake of your interest and our time and cut right to the point.

Chris mentioned in his last blog that the beginning of this album really dates back to about 18 months ago when we finished up our latest EP Retrospective. We had recorded four songs with our great friend Kyle Ferguson and his (and soon to be our) good friend Brett Baird. As we all packed up and drove home from Nashville, Tennessee each of the four of us will probably tell you a different story as to where the dream for the next album began. I’ll do my best to do all four of us justice.

Randall will tell you that shortly after returning from Nashville, he felt so comfortable working with Kyle (Ferg as we call him) that we needed to find a way to get him involved in our next project. If I remember correctly, we hadn’t been any more than 15 minutes outside the city limits when he told me this. Mind you, we didn’t have a single idea for a song for said “album” at that point.

Robert is Sexy
Robert in the control room working out a part.

Robert will probably tell you that recording an album was always the goal. We talked about it very early on in this band and although we always knew that we wanted to do it, we didn’t ever really know how we were going to get it done. As the idea came together and as we realized that we might have a shot at achieving this once lofty goal, Robert came through big. He started writing songs, writing lyrics, coming up with ideas for guitar parts, hand claps, wood blocks, tambourines, etc. He really grasped the idea of this project and ran with it.

 

Chris may tell you something similar to that of Robert and Randall. We all left Nashville with a renewed vigor and desire to make this thing work. I probably couldn’t tell you a lot about Chris’ thoughts on this project and as I sit here reflecting on it, I wish that I could. Most of the conversations that I had with Chris regarding this project were about the overall feel, pushing him to keep writing songs, discussing the direction of the album and helping him keep the creative process moving while we found ways to book shows, cover the costs of keeping this thing moving and keep everyone out of jail.

Deep in studio thought.

I don’t think that any of the four of us can take credit for the overall feel, vibe or direction of this disc because I think that all four of us should. Countless hours of writing in a barn (literally a storage unit), rehearsal in Randall’s basement, working on new songs at our favorite rehearsal space and the arguments, hugs and priceless moments that ensue brought us up to the point where it was time to start laying tracks.

Kyle & Andrew talking out parts
Who knew that 4th grade 2 on 2 baseball with ghost runners would turn into all of this?

Shortly before Christmas, we started recording music. You’ve seen all the updates so we won’t walk you through day by day what it took to get this thing done, but all we have left to do is this: 1) Robert is going to work on guitar tracks for one more song, 2) Chris is going to play some keys for a couple more songs 3) We are going to a special undisclosed location in which Chris will record piano and vocals in one afternoon to close out the album. 4) We will name what we’re dubbing arrogantly our “first masterpiece” and 5) we’ll select pictures and design for the cover, insert and disc art and 6) we’ll turn it over to you.

Tuning drums before the Saturday sessions.

I suppose that what I’m getting at, in more than enough words, is that recording an “album” has been a dream of mine for years. Spending time in the studio with your band mates who are essentially either family or lifelong friends creating something that you all together have created from scratch is a pretty incredible feeling. We set out to do a few things when we started this project. We wanted to write an album that first and foremost had an overall feel. We wanted it to be a compilation of songs that while all different, were all the same in that they told the story of us. And by us, we mean you. We wanted it to tell the story of all of us. We spent an awful lot of time discussing what kind of songs we wanted to put on it and decided that the only songs we wanted were good ones.

 

The disc will have 13 songs that are filled to the brim with the heart and soul of this band. This thing has been built from the ground up. It has been taken apart and put back together and here in the next couple of months, we will be very excited to share it with you. Stay tuned, get excited. Many of you we will probably be asking to take a sneak peek at it and if you’ve read this far into this blog, we’re hoping that you’ll listen to it.

The man behind the curtain. Ferg-a-mania.

Luckily, rarely are we this serious. So along with the new disc, get ready for new videos, new pictures, some new exciting gigs and more of our pretty faces. Cheers!

We’re Almost There! Help Us Reach 1,000!

Chris & Robert - Indy 2009

Goals have been a big part of the Boto strategy this summer, and while fame and gratuitous fortune may always grace the top of the “To Do” list, we’ve set our sights on some more easily attainable successes.

Earlier this week we decided to make a push for 1,000 views of our video “Nashville” on YouTube, and the faithful have responded.  In just over 4 days, we’ve jumped from 828 to 972, which is great. Help us make one final push to reach our goal by the end of the week. We know we can always depend on our fans to come through for us, and this should be no exception.

So we ask that you check out the video, and once you do, share it with a friend, co-worker, cousin, dog, record label executive, on-again/off-again girlfriend, casual sex partner. In other words, leave no stone unturned! Post to your facebook wall. Tweet about it. Sing it from the mountaintops. Help us out!