The Band of Beards
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The Band of Beards

Indianapolis, Indiana, United States | SELF

Indianapolis, Indiana, United States | SELF
Band Comedy Comedy

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"Meet the Band of Beards... and their beards"

The four members of the Band of Beards are sitting around a nice dining room table in a suburban ranch-style home on the Northeastside. It’s the kinda place you’d eat meatloaf and talk about soccer practice.

It’s not, however, the kind of place you’d talk about the time Bigfoot took your virginity. Or the time your beard caught on fire.

The Band of Beards is made up of Jim Grubaugh, 30; Kyle Gobel, 28; Ryan Burklow, 28; and Ryan’s 55-year-old dad, Doug. Each has a beard of varying thickness, color and texture — which they lovingly talk about as if it were a pet dog. Or a ferret. Even though they’ve been performing as Band of Beards for three years, they’ve only recently started playing “real” gigs — at Birdy’s and the Vollrath, and a July 23 show at the Vogue.

They do sing about their beards a lot (like the crowd-interactive “We Are the Bearded,” sung to the tune of “We Are The World”), but they have a pretty impressive repertoire of original songs. “When people ask us what kind of music we play, we tell them ‘rhythm and beards,’” Jim said.

They’ll release an as-yet-unnamed EP in November, and until then, will continue building and promoting the Brand of Beard. We sat down with the quartet to get to the root of the music.

How did the Band of Beards start?
Ryan: Jim and I started writing about three years ago. We started as a TV-theme cover band, and we’d play for our annual (family and friends) bonfire.
Kyle: The truth seems so boring. Well, me an’ Jesus were hanging out ...

Stereotypical question, but seriously, gotta ask: Where’d the name come from?
Jim: We didn’t have a name, and we both had beards at the time.

How’d you start playing (finger quotes) real shows?
Ryan: Our friends in Blue Luster asked us to be a special guest with them at Radio Radio. They just wanted someone to warm up the crowd.
Jim: Our original goal was to play at open-mic nights, and before we could play open-mic nights, the Band of Beards explosion happened.

Yeah? What’s the Band of Beards explosion?
Kyle: We pretty much took off where Boyz II Men left off.
Ryan: Our main goal was !to sound like Boyz II Men if they grew up and grew beards. So we started where they left off in 1995.

I think Boyz II Men already were in their 40s in 1995.
Ryan: Oh. Well, so was he! (Points to his dad, Doug).

How do you write your songs?
Jim: “Glad You’re Gone” was written at my cabin. We were drunk when we started and sober when we finished.
Ryan: We’ll come up with a theme, and we’ll throw lines back and forth, and if it doesn’t make us stop playing and laugh for about five minutes, we’ll throw! it out.

What can you tell us about the song “Bigfoot Stole My Virginity,” which you’ll be debuting at the Vogue?
Kyle: It’s a ballad.
Jim: It’s a journey.
Kyle: It’s really not a funny song.
Doug: Yeah, it’s really sad, if you think about it.

How have you managed to have such energetic crowds in your first four shows?
Ryan: We don’t give off the persona that we take ourselves seriously, and I think that lets people let go.
Doug: Audience participation is the idea of the Band of Beards. “Fun” is our middle name. You thought “of” was, but it’s really Band Fun Beards.

What’s next for you guys?
Jim: Letterman.
Kyle: Like, we’re literally not 8going to play another show until Letterman.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve had in your beard?
Kyle: I don’t have anything in my beard that I don’t want there.
Ryan: Vomit.
Jim: I don’t think I’ve ever vomited in my beard.
Ryan: Have I ever vomited in your beard?
Kyle: We’re like sorority sisters. When one of us throws up, we hold each other’s beards back.

Where do you ultimately see the Band of Beards going?
Ryan: We really want to play South By Southwest.
Kyle: We’re only on our fifth show, jeez-o-petes.
Ryan: We’re also building a quilt of all the women’s and men’s underpanties we have received in the mail.

What’s an address where can people send their underpanties?
Ryan: (Pause.) We need a P.O. box.
Jim: We should have a panty drop box at shows!
Ryan: And then we’ll put it together and sell it for charity.

What’s so captivatingly hilarious about facial hair?
Kyle: There’s nothing funny about beards.
Doug: I’ve had one all my life.
Ryan: Actually, I trimmed this one part so short by accident.
Kyle: I saw that!
Ryan: I was like, “Oh no, we’ve got to cancel the Vogue show.”

Going?
The Band of Beards play at the Vogue at 10 p.m. July 23. $5, doors open at 9. - Metromix - Indianapolis


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

The Band of Beards... they're a band and they have beards. But their allure is more than just their bearded nature. An undeniable force lies deep beneath the sexy carpets of hair they've grown upon their faces. But when asked what is behind the strong gravitational pull of countless promiscuous women towards their music, Ryan Burklow simply replied, "It's the beards. Women dig beards. Ask Kenny Loggins! Beards meet you half way. Beards are a highway to the danger zone. I believe in love, and I believe in beards. I grew my beard because of Kenny Loggins... and all the hot chicks it got him."

Jim Grubaugh feels differently about his band's draw. He interrupted, "Yeah, I guess our beards have a pretty sizeable influence in our song writing. But The Band of Beards would be sexual magnets; facial hair or no. I'd say it's more of a combination of our heavenly harmonies and chiseled physiques." Ryan agrees, "Yeah, our success definitely has a lot to do with our chiseled physiques. Probably about 99 percent. The other 1 percent all goes to Kenny Loggins."

Contrary to popular belief, The Band of Beards were not always bearded. Nor were they always a band when you really think about it. Before they were The Band of Beards, they were merely two lost boys in a lonely beardless world searching for the meaning of life. In the early 90s, they wanted to be like Boys II Men, but soon realized they weren't black and couldn't sing. In the late 90s, they wanted to be like The Backstreet Boys, but found out they didn't have the boyish good looks and couldn't dance. In the early 2000s, they wanted to be like Eminem, but noticed they couldn't rap and didn't know any famous doctors to drop the beat. As a last resort, they formed what is now known as, The Band of Beards.