Boygenius On The Band’s No. 4 Debut With ‘The Record’ – Billboard

Boygenius On The Band’s No. 4 Debut With ‘The Record’ – Billboard


On release night for The Record, the celebrated debut album from supergroup boygenius, the band can hardly contain their excitement. “I”m so f–king stoked,” says Phoebe Bridgers. 


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Julien Baker adds that though she’s a bit overstimulated, “I’m trying to let it be bliss.” She then speaks to Bridgers directly, excitedly telling her of the text messages she’s received from former bandmates The Star Killers — alerting her how it was 10 years ago to the day that they released their first DIY record on a small Memphis label. 

Are you f–king kidding me?” replies Bridgers, with a cartoonish gasp.

I almost started crying because it’s been 10 years of me trying to make music with friends and people who care about me, and it’s cool to still be doing it,” continues Baker. “I don’t want it to be a glory-esque, ‘We made it!’ type thing — it’s more complex of a feeling than that. It’s that I still love this in the same way that I did at that moment.” 

It’s that exact love — for their craft and one another — that unites boygenius. It informed much of the supertrio’s widely acclaimed 2018 self-titled debut EP and is undoubtably what threads its first full-length together. “I hope that the ethos of our band and relationship is infectious to people,” says Bridgers. “And just seeing that it pays off when you make offerings to each other,” adds Lucy Dacus, saying that part of the magic of this band is that as three musicians with thriving solo careers, they each want to carve out the time to make music together.

And when they do, the results are unmatched by any of them solo. The Record (released March 31 on Interscope) debuts at No. 4 on this week’s Billboard 200 (dated April 15), the highest-charting entry on the tally for any of the members. It also enters at No. 1 on Billboard‘s Vinyl Albums chart, with the format accounting for 67% of the album’s overall first-week units.

“We were told, if we were lucky, maybe we were going to break top 10. And then it was, actually, maybe we could break top five. And the fact that it’s [No. 4] is cool,” says Dacus, noting that Bridgers was the one to tell them during band practice. “We celebrated by playing the songs.”

Ahead, the band will keep the celebration going with a Coachella set and tour that, according to Dacus, is “at a scale none of us have done before” — and that Baker can only tease as “rock and roll.” 

Below, Bridgers, Baker and Dacus discuss the joy of uncomplicated love and why everyone – not least of all themselves — are so obsessed with boygenius.

The fandom surrounding this band is palpable. What do you think drives it?

Lucy: I think since a lot of the boygenius fans are fans of the three of us they have been following along separately and maybe understand that we had to carve out the time for this. I think people know this is a rarity and that there’s no guarantee that it’ll continue. Like, we will continue to be boygenius and be friends, but we also will get back to our own things. So I think people have this awareness that to be present with it now is really to be existing in a moment. We demand presence from each other and I think our fans feel very present with the work and that is a feeling that feels harder to come by as you get older — not to be a Boomer.

You previously talked about some nerves over who was going to bring up becoming a band again. Between then and now, did any anxieties ever creep in?

Dacus: We’ve been holding the idea of this for two and half years — of course there’s been anxiety around it. We’re all people that experience anxiety. But even despite hiccups, I think overall I would still say that it’s been smooth sailing. Because we all still like each other, we all still like the thing.

Bridgers: We got a bad review that made it seem because we have a great relationship with each other, there is no complexity to it. What a way to live. There’s more complexity in this relationship than any relationship in my life. 

Dacus: I have a hard time talking about it to other people.

Baker: Totally. 

Dacus: Because people can’t relate.

Baker: It’s stupid to have people not be willing to perceive that people can love each other uncomplicatedly, like it must be untrue. 

Bridgers: It must be Oasis or fake. And Oasis is fake, that fighting was fake. 

Baker: And getting back to the writing, so much of the record is in conversation with each other.

Bridgers: But we’re so f–king spoiled. The reviews have been amazing. We worked really hard and it’s great.

Dacus: I love to stretch my humility with you guys. 

Bridgers: I have no humility about this band. I’m just like, “Yeah it’s tight,” or f–k off.

Dacus: Maybe we are annoying. 

Baker: We are. 

Bridgers: Fuck yeah.

Phoebe you’re now a label boss with your Dead Oceans imprint Saddest Factory. When you were taking label meetings for Boygenius, did you ever consider signing the band?

Bridgers: I think we all wanted a new experience. And also it’s very important that we’re equals — so it’d be weird to have an extra line — which is why we didn’t even sign to any of our labels that we’re signed to. And it has been a f–king treat to be having a first experience with these dudes.

How did you celebrate the release?

Dacus: We [went] to Sound City where we recorded the EP, and we haven’t been back there together since then, and [we listened] to the record in full with a couple people who worked on it and just got in our feels.

The Record sold especially well on vinyl. Why was it important to have the format available on release date?

Dacus: We know that our fans are excitable people, like us. And so having it available when it came out, just felt like a momentous occasion. And I’m a vinyl person too. I think we all have favorite record stores. So we try to do stuff to keep those alive when we can.

During the writing process, was there a specific lyric or song you were all especially excited to share with one another?

Baker: I’m trying to think of a song that I didn’t want to send y’all… 

Dacus: I do remember showing “Leonard Cohen” to Phoebe and Julien and Phoebe just like, making this face like, “F–k you.” 

Bridgers: Like, “Hey, I wrote you a song,” and it’s just a f–king roast. 

Baker: You getting dragged. 

Dacus: I’m sorry. I literally call Phoebe an idiot in the song. 

Bridgers: You’re making eye contact with me being like, [singing] “You are an idiot.”

What’s the most tattooable lyric on the album?

Bridgers: Oh my god.

Dacus: “I wanna be happy.” 

Baker: I was gonna say that.

Bridgers: That’s tight, that’s hella tight. I think that is going to be the climax of the record, and it being the last huge moment that happens. Just the arch of the album, with the singles, and then ending there at the revisiting of our EP — I don’t know, it makes me emotional as f–k. 

Baker: It makes me emotional, because it’s you revisiting unhealthy thoughts [and] being coaxed into potential and awareness of possibility for being happy. 

Dacus: My girlie exhibiting growth.


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