• Spotlight: The Beards

by Jack Baxter

Here at Worthy and Spruce we see it as our duty to keep you up to date on all things cultural, especially whenever they have a bearded angle. With that goal in mind, we had a good long chat with our favourite beard-related band; the aptly named - and incredibly talented - The Beards.

The Beards are an Adelaide based band who are, in their own words, “A beard-related band of beard enthusiasts from Australia on a mission to spread the bearded message to every man, woman and child.” Great stuff!

So to The Beards, thanks for appearing on Worthy and Spruce and affording us an insight into your hirsute world. What came first - the concept, the songs or the facial hair? 

The facial hair.

Was the band an already established entity or did you have to recruit bearded members to get the band you wanted?

The four of us met at university at a beard appreciation group organised by Nathaniel Beard. We were the only people to attend. We never intended to make music in the beginning, we started off taking a grass-roots approach to spreading our pro-beard message, incorporating rallies, parades, flyers attached to bricks and that sort of stuff.

"When you have beards as good as ours, nothing is difficult. For example, I can run really fast."

None of us had any musical training so music wasn't really considered until one day our normal meeting room was double booked and we were moved to the music department for our weekly meeting. We sat down behind the instruments and immediately played a perfectly-crafted three and a half minute pop song about beards and we just went from there.

How difficult is it to create beard-specific songs all the time?

Not difficult at all. When you have beards as good as ours, nothing is difficult. For example, I can run really fast.

What makes for a great beard? 

Lots of people say that size is everything, I think this is untrue. While a massive Santa Claus beard is impressive I think that each and every beard is special and unique in its own way.

"If beards fell out of favour, we wouldn't give a shit that beards had fallen out of favour."

Which bearded individuals do you most admire?

God, Jesus Christ, the Prophet Muhammad, Santa Clause, Charles Darwin.

Where is your favourite place to play live?

We love playing gigs anywhere that there are bearded people or beard-curious people who are willing to pay money to see us.

Your music has taken you as far afield as Alaska and the UK - Is the beard love stronger abroad than in Australia?

Beard love is strong all over the world right now, which is a great thing, We can report overwhelming amounts of beard love in every country we've ever played. Europe and North America have a rich bearded heritage, and that combined with the fact that right now beards are accurately deemed to be awesome has resulted in unprecedented amounts of beard enthusiasm in every part of the world.

The Beards, Australia 

Image courtesy of www.thebeards.com.au 

If beards fell out of favour might you consider changing your song content accordingly?

If beards fell out of favour, we wouldn't give a shit that beards had fallen out of favour. Having a beard is not about following trends, it's about perseverance, dedication and commitment. We'd just keep growing our beards until they inevitably fell back into favour...so no, we would never change any of our lyrics or musical content. Even if we were the last four bearded people alive.

In your live shows you use some unusual instrumentation including a keytar and saxophone, is this something you’d like to explore further?

We like to work with an array of different instruments that we already know how to play to find the perfect sound that fills the listener with a deep subliminal message, usually pertaining to beards.

We have been experimenting with mic-ing up our own beards and recording us rubbing and scratching them. It's still very much in the developmental stages but I'd say that’s almost definitely where we will go on the next album.

"I like sandwiching my beard between Nathaniel's beard and Johann's beard."

What is your favourite sandwich?

I like sandwiching my beard between Nathaniel's beard and Johann's beard. Does that count? If not, probably like an egg sandwich?

Do you find that you have less respect for people without facial hair?

Yes, very much so. I don't think I could have any less respect for them. But at the same time I do kind of feel sorry for them, in a pretty patronising way.

What are your thoughts on moustaches? 

My thoughts are that they are rubbish. Why would you only grow that bit of your facial hair when you can grow a beard? I'm all about a sweet moustache attached to a beard but on their own I have no time for them.

Do you ever feel restricted by the band’s association with beards?

No. And if I did I would be instantly removed from the band for even thinking a negative thought about beards. I would then most likely withdraw from society completely and live out the last of my sorry days in silent contemplation as I waited to die.

Would the world be a better place if women could grow beards as well?

Yeah – the more beards the better.

The Beards have been going for 10 years - What do the next 10 years hold for you?

We have spent the last 10 years spreading our bearded message to the world via musical propaganda, but recently we have been looking into new avenues to achieve our goal for a bearded utopia. I can't say much more at this stage but we have some big plans on the horizon.

Where have you not yet played that you’d really like to?

Probably Wallaroo in South Australia – Luckily we'll be playing there this October.

The Beards, Australia

Image courtesy of www.thebeards.com.au 

Can you give us a beard haiku?

Beards beards everywhere
I close my eyes and see beards
Please someone help me.

Do you ever get beard envy?

I used to get a lot of beard envy in my earlier years but now I'm more comfortable in my own beard so I can enjoy another man's beard without sinking into a pit of self-loathing.

Who in the band has the best beard?

We don't like to judge ourselves by our beards in the band. Each beard is different and vital to the band in its own way. For example Facey McStubblington's beard is smaller but he's able to play guitar with it, whereas Nathaniel Beard's is longer and he's able to get it caught in the strings while he plays. 

What do you think of ZZ Top?

Fantastic beards, and a great band I'm told. But the drummer doesn't have a beard so I've never listened to them.

Best unbearded band?

We don't listen to any music unless it specifically relates to beards.

Any tips for growing a beard?

Just do nothing. Nothing.

Thanks guys, it’s been real.

Go support Australia’s finest purveyors of beard rock at a venue near you when they tour this October.

You can find out more about The Beards here, or on their Facebook page here. Also keep your eyes peeled for upcoming editions of Spotlight, or if you're a fan of convenience, sign up to our mailing list below to get all this good stuff in your inbox.

And don't forget to write vaguely related things in the comments section below!

Till next time, this is Mr. Jack Baxter signing off.

Mr. Jack.

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Jack Baxter
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