Boyscott: From Brainchild to Band

Boyscott is an alternative pop band that was born in Nashville and is now based in Connecticut. Despite beginning as a collection of bedroom recordings, their 2015 release, Goose Bumps, has garnered millions of Spotify streams and Bandcamp downloads. Over the past three years, the album has stayed fresh within a changing band lineup diversifying the songs differently on each tour… including the one that frontman and songwriter Scott Hermo Jr. skipped college graduation for.

The band would consider their current tour, continuing through March and taking them to Savannah Stopover and SXSW, one of their best yet. “The shows have been the best shows we’ve been playing to date, like every show has just been… crazy crowds. Everyone’s singing along, and we have real merch now so people are lining up at the merch table,” said Hermo before playing the Dunk Zone, a DIY venue in Charleston.

Besides Hermo, the band’s current lineup consists of Emma Willer, Taylor Berghoff and Conor Ryan, and Hermo is embracing the uniqueness: “really, the biggest thing has been dynamics, we’ve added a ton of dynamics to these songs, like, drums stop here, someone comes in here, does a different thing there. And it’s been like, crazy to rehearse.” However, despite the crazy rehearsals, Hermo said “now it feels great, and it feels natural, it feels the best it’s ever been.”

Boyscott’s origins as Hermo’s brainchild allow the music to develop organically within the changing lineups “because we recorded the album without a band, and then it became a band, and then I learned how bands work, and all that you can do,” Hermo said. This sentiment goes hand in hand with Hermo being inspired by watching bands at live shows: “I get so inspired and I’m like ‘Oh, I wanna make it sound like that!’”

When it  comes the the creation of their first album, Hermo is honest about the way it developed: “my process is a very long process. Years. Because I was always very self-conscious of myself, it was always like a bedroom hiding thing where no one hears it.” Interestingly, a shift in environment is the push Hermo needed to fully produce and release his project. “I was working a job and then I’d come home and [my roommates and friends] would all be at the house and we would just record like all night. And it was just a very chaotic, crazy thing,” Hermo said. “I was also not self conscious at all. They were giving me so much confidence I wasn’t worrying about people hearing it. I didn’t even think people were going to hear it, so we just had fun with it and didn’t even think about if anything, if it was silly or whatever, we just did it.” It was that carefree attitude that allowed many of the quirky guitar riffs, brutally honest lyrics and uplifting melodies to develop.

The band cites Vampire Weekend, the Talking Heads and Dirty Projectors as inspiration, with the influences audible in their music. But impacting the band more than anything are friends and local influences: “This band Loser Vision, that’s like my everything. They’re out of Memphis. And just friends in Memphis, China Gate, they just changed their name to Super Low, and they’re coming out with a new album really soon,” said Hermo. Not only has this impact come from outside of the band, but from inside the fluctuating lineup as well. “This band Elf Rage is our friend Alex, he used to play in the band…  he’s influenced me so much it’s insane. His music is just so honest, and so genuine… Honestly, Emma [Willer]’s band, Slumbers, blew my mind.”

There are new releases in Boyscott’s future, but this time around there are both new hopes and fears for the band’s music. “It’s really tough for me to record a new thing because now i’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, people are actually listening.’ I didn’t ever think, ever, that someone would listen to this stuff. And it’s terrifying,” explained Hermo. “But this tour has actually been a huge moral booster to finish the new things because everyone’s so supportive and it’s reminding me that people are listening and they’re enjoying it. ‘Cause I can get it my head pretty easily, as you can tell, i’m an insane human being, so, that doesn’t help.” Hermo laughed.

The band says to keep an eye out for new releases later this year. Listen to their previous releases on Spotify and Bandcamp, and watch their day-to-day adventures on Instagram and Facebook.

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Callista Milligan, music editor, is a Senior arts management major from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. In her free time, you can find her in Second State Coffee with a cold brew in hand.

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