The Boy Least Likely To
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   The Boy Least Likely To - Law of the Playground (2009)

The Boy Least Likely To - Law of the Playground
 01. Saddle Up
02. Balloon On A Broken String
03. When Life Gives Me Lemons I Make Lemonade
04. I Box Up All The Buterflies
05. The Boy With Two Hearts
06. Stringing Up Conkers
07. The Boy Least Likely To Is A Machine
08. Whiskers
09. Every Goliath Has Its David
10. The Nature Of The Boy Least Likely To
11. I Keep Myself To Myself
12. The Worm Forgives The Plough
13. A Fairytale Ending

The Boy Least Likely To are an English indie pop duo, composed of composer/multi-instrumentalist Pete Hobbs and lyricist/singer Jof Owen.
Owen and Hobbs both grew up in the village of Wendover in Buckinghamshire. They met when they were still in school and started writing songs together. They began writing and recording songs for The Boy Least Likely To in the summer of 2002. The group created the independent label Too Young to Die as a means to release their music. Their first release was the 7" single "Paper Cuts" in 2003. They released three singles and completed the recording of their debut album before they played any live shows. Their debut album The Best Party Ever was released in the UK in February of 2005. The album was released in the United States in late Spring 2006.
The Best Party Ever was included in the Pitchfork top 50 albums of 2005 and was number 8 in the Rough Trade Shop top 100 albums of the same year.
They are known for the colourful characters that they use in their artwork, which are drawn by Jof Owen's brother, Tim. The artwork for their second album features 3D versions of the drawings that have been knitted.
They were included in the top ten bands of 2006 in Rolling Stone magazine, and described as sounding like what would happen "if all your childhood stuffed animals got together and started a band."
In October 2006 they toured the United Kingdom with Razorlight.
The touring band commonly included: Alistair Hamer, Adam Chetwood, Anthony Bishop, Bahar Brunton and Amanda Applewood.
In September 2006 they began work on their second album.
In 2007 they made a brilliant cover of the song "Faith" of George Michael released as a limited edition download.
In February 2008, the band posted two new songs from their upcoming album on their MySpace. They also released a "I Box Up All The Butterflies" as a free download single. The new album, previously delayed by label troubles, is entitled "Law of the Playground" and was released in March 2009. The album is available as both CD and LP, the LP is sold exclusively at Insound.

Interview with Jof Owen lyricist/singer of The Boy Least Likely To :

S: When and how was The Boy Least Likely To born? 

J: We both come from the same village in England and we grew up together. We were always in bands when we were young, and sometimes we were even in the same bands. I suppose we started writing songs for The Boy Least Likely To about five or six years ago. Everything else we’d done up to that point had been spectacularly unsuccessful.

S: Where is the name of the band coming from? 

J: A lot of people think it’s a Morrissey reference because he recorded a b side called "The Girl Least Likely To", but I didn’t know about that song til afterwards. I just came up with the name one night when I was watching TV. I don’t know where it came from, but it just seemed to suit everything that we were doing. We were recording songs in quite an unassuming way. We didn’t ever expect it to come to anything. When we started recording all we had in mind was releasing one single just for the fun of it. Just so we could have a seven inch in with all the others in rough trade. We didn’t even have big hopes for the album. We didn’t make the record with radio or TV or press or anything else but ourselves in mind. And I want to always keep it that way. I don’t think you can make very interesting music if you’re thinking the whole time about whether the radio will play it or whether people at the NME will like it. We didn’t care about that at all. And we still don’t. We didn’t send any demos off to any record companies or anything. We were completely happy just recording songs on our days off from work and then getting them pressed up and releasing them every now and then. And that’s probably why the records sound the way they do. And the name just seemed to fit with that. We never felt particularly likely. We still don’t really.

SWhat are the positive and negative sides of being a musician in UK?

J: I still find it quite difficult in the UK. There doesn’t seem to be anywhere for a band like this to exist. In the USA there’s a home for bands like us, because the alternative genuinely is an alternative to the mainstream. So the two of them exist completely separate from each other, but both of them can survive. In the UK it just feels like the mainstream and the alternative are both fighting for the same little space. I like the UK and I live here very happily, but i think the music industry and media is controlled by too few people.
S: Do you feel anxious before a show?

J: Sometimes I do still. I got really nervous last month when we played in the rough trade shop in london, just because it’s quite weird playing in shops and I really didn’t want us to be rubbish.

S: What musicians or artists had an influence in your life and in your work?

J: We both have lots of different influences. I guess The Boy Least Likely To is just a big mess of all of them. We like a lot of the early eighties pop groups that came out of punk, like Altered Images and Orange Juice and Aztec Camera, and Dexy’s Midnight Runners were always a big influence. And then all the c86 bands, and all the bands on 53rd and 3rd records and a lot of the Sarah Records and the k records stuff. I love felt and beat happening. And the go betweens. And Daniel Johnston. And Kenickie. And Pete’s always listening to the Bee Gees and Abba. And then all the sixties girl singers, like Sandie Shaw and Nancy Sinatra, especially all the Nancy and Lee albums. And Shangri-las and all the Phil Spector stuff. And the Beach Boys. And then I listen to a lot of country music and a lot of simple pop music. And Ivor Cutler. I loved Ivor Cutler when I was growing up. Too many things to list. But we still buy a lot of new records too. we’ve never stopped being geeky about music. Weirdly one of the bands that both of us loved was Manic Street Preachers. We loved the way the lyrics and the music were divided up between the two different halves of the band, and everything about them. The lyrics, the interviews, the way they looked. I know we sound nothing like them, but they were one of the biggest influences on us.

SDo you remember what was the first CD you bought?

J: I think it was "Easy pieces" by Lloyd Cole and The Commotions. I was so excited by the idea that you could program a CD player to play something over and over again that I used to leave it on repeat all night, so it would probably play through ten or twelve times while I was asleep, and then in the morning I would just wake up and turn it off.

Lloyd Cole & The Commotions - Easy Pieces  

S: How could you define the music of The Boy Least Likely To?

J: We’ve always called it “country disco” whenever we’ve been asked before. It’s indie pop too i guess, but really it’s just a big mess of glockenspiels, fiddles, banjos, guitars, keyboards, and any other weird instruments we have lying around.

S: Do you agree with Victor Hugo who said :"Melancholy is the pleasure of being sad"?

J: Yes. I’m quite weirdly preoccupied with sadness. I think about things too much, and I worry too much. About death and dying. Sadness can fill your heart and it is important I think to have something that fills your heart, even if that thing is sadness. All these things make me sad and that’s why I find them so pleasurable I guess - still I dream of it by Brian Wilson, Bright Eyes by Art Garfunkel, The Straight Story, The Chapter in which Christopher Robin and Pooh come to an enchanted place and we leave them there from the house at pooh corner, a happy prince by Oscar Wilde, the nightingale and the rose by Oscar Wilde, when the wind blows, and christmas makes me sad too.

S: When you write a song you follow your heart, your brain or your hand?

J: My heart first, then my brain I guess. Lastly I follow my hand because I like it to look nice on the page, so I lay all the lines out to make it look pretty.

S: What is your favourite song of The Boy Least Likely To and why?

J: I like most of our songs because I kind of wrote them so that someone like me would like them. I am my own demographic. But if I had to pick just one, then there’s a song called "The Boy With Two Hearts" that I’m really proud of on the new album. We recorded all the brass parts with the Grimethorpe Colliery Band. I remember the demo was quite mournful in a really sweet way and I ended up writing relatively simple words for it. It sounds quite sad and Christmassy, and it reminds me of the theme tune to The Flumps but I don’t expect anyone else will think that.

S: As musician, what is your feeling about Internet?

J: I love it. We probably wouldn’t exist without it. It means we don’t have to worry so much anymore about whether someone at radio or tv wants to play our record because people who like us can listen to us without having to go to those places. The blogging community have always been very kind to us and I love spending time on Twitter and Myspace.
S: Aside "spiders what do you see when you close your eyes" ?

J: Sometimes I see puddles. With raindrops falling really infrequently in them. Then sometimes I see rats.

S: Where was "the best party you have ever" been to?

J: I remember a good one when I was seven or eight. We were outside. It was sunny but it was really windy too so I had to blow my candles out under a table. I remember being happy.

S: Can you describe what is a typical The Boy Least Likely To's day?

J: All morning I will be doing boring stuff like emails and making phone calls, then in the afternoon I’ll just be at home writing songs or I’ll go in to the studio to meet Pete and perhaps record something. And then in the evening I’ll probably sit about watching TV or reading. Then I often do any interviews or writing I’ve got to do after midnight. I like working when the rest of the world is asleep.

S: Are you venturesome persons?

J: No. I have no desire to get out and see the world. I have a small comfort zone and I am very comfortable in it. I still live in the same village I was born in and I don’t suppose I’ll ever leave now.

S: Where would you like to play in the future, is there a place in the world you would love to visit?

J: I’d love to play some more shows in Europe and I’d love to go to Japan one day.

S: Are there any things, which you are afraid of? Do you have any fears?

J: Flying, spiders, frogs, toads, bats, mice, rats, food poisoning, loneliness, failure and death. I supposed I’m mostly just scared of being unhappy. I’d hate to be unhappy. Being happy is the only thing I’m good at. In a nervous paranoid way.

S: What is the best moment and best place to listen to your music?

J: A lot of people tell us it makes a nice soundtrack to having a bath.

S: As our website is dedicated to Manic Street Preachers maybe can you say some words about them?

J: They were a huge influence on us, even if they didn’t sound like anything else we listened to. I was never really into rock music, but everything about them seemed so completely different from every other rock band I’d ever known. I fell in love with Motown Junk. They talked about a lot of the writers I liked in interviews and a lot of the films that I liked too and I would always want to find out more about all the other things they talked about. I’ve seen them live more than any other band. My favourite ever gig was their third night at the Astoria in London at Christmas when they completely destroyed the stage. It was beautiful. Then it ended up being the last gig Richey played with them, so it means a lot to me now. I’m so excited about the new album coming out. If i had to pick a favourite song by them I don’t think I could. This is some of my favourite manics songs though in no particular order: Motown Junk, Little Baby Nothing, Born a Girl, The Everlasting, everything off the Holy Bible, particularly This Is Yesterday and Yes, From Despair To Where, Patrick Bateman, Motorcycle Emptiness, Donkeys, Sepia, Australia, Removables, Ocean Spray. Too many to list really. My favourite lyric is from Faster – “I know I believe in nothing but it is my nothing”.

S:  I know it’s a difficult question, but if you would have to keep just one album from your CD collection what album would it be?

J: Easy. "Get In" by Kenickie. I think it’s perfect and it’s the only album and can listen to when i’m happy and when I’m sad too. A record I can wake up happily in the morning to and then have dance to in the evening, and then cry myself to sleep with last thing at night.

Kenickie - Get In

S: What was the last song you listened to before the interview? And, if you know, which one will be the next?

J: "Sugar Mouse" by Oh Atoms. It’s a very sweet little seven inch I’m playing a lot at the moment. I’ll probably play it again a couple of times and then I’ve got a copy of the new yeah yeah yeahs album that I’ve been listening to all weekend so I might go for that again.

S: Can you tell us the name of one French song, or singer, or band?

J: "la madrague" by Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot is hauntingly beautiful. One of my favourite songs ever.
S: And say something in French?

J: Je suis triste sans toi. Emmène moi chez toi.

S: What are your plans for the nearest future?

J: Tomorrow I’m just going shopping. I need a new hoover.

SAnd finally, what’s the most important thing in life for you?

J: The few people I love. I would be useless without them.

MANY thanks to Jof and The Boy Least Likely To for the interview!

More informations about The Boy Least Likely To:

- on their site:

- on their Myspace:




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