Bootyard Bandits, the five-strong purveyors of “heavy, tongue-in-cheek, country rock from the Wild West of Worcester”, have just returned from a bloodthirsty rampage of Europe and completed their first UK tour supporting Massive Wagons in Preston, Glasgow, and Manchester. Their devastatingly catchy debut single ‘Hoedown Showdown’ has captured the imagination of music and LEGO fans alike, with a “hilariously gruesome” stop motion video whose sheer genius is best enjoyed with a whiskey in your hand and a Stetson on your head.
ANTIHERO: Bootyard Bandits was founded in Worcester in 2018 – can you tell us how the band was formed and the idea behind it?
[Bamm-Bamm] I’ve wanted to start a project with CJ for a long time as his voice is incredible. We’ve both spent a bunch of time on the road with Alestorm, and it’s really obvious how much people enjoy the lack of seriousness of their shows, so I decided I wanted to do something equally as daft. So we went with a country and western theme, moved to our ranch in Worcester and started making demos. Bootyard Bandits was born!
ANTIHERO: What are the band members’ real names and backgrounds? Have you all performed with other bands before and what genres did you previously play?
[Bamm-Bamm] We’ve all been around the block a few times in various bands (The Defiled, Grim Reaper, Villains, Cult Classics, etc), so we’ve all come from rock/metal backgrounds and in one capacity or another have toured together, which was really important when putting this together. CJ and I only wanted to get people involved who we knew were cool to be on the road with. You can be the best player in the world, but if you ain’t willing to wear leather chaps and a Stetson and blow up an inflatable cactus or two, it’s never gonna work.
[Big Mac] Our real names? Cool Joel Handsome, Joseph Bones, Bamm-Bamm McBammington, Two Puddings, and Little Mac.
ANTIHERO: According to your bio, “Bootyard Bandits are a bootscootin’ tongue-in-cheek country rock band hotly tipped to become one of the UK’s ‘most wanted’ bands in 2019”. How do you feel you fit into the UK’s new rock scene?
[Bamm-Bamm] Well, there’s quite a big scene at the moment for Southern and Country influenced rock, so it seems like a great time for us to be emerging. That and the fact that we’re funny as hell and much better looking than every other band!
ANTIHERO: Why do you think that so much Southern and Country-influenced music is flooding into the UK rock scene right now?
[Big Mac] There’s been a big resurgence of classic rock in the UK, with the whole NWOCR thing. I think it’s kinda a natural progression as a lot of the great classic rock bands had a lot of Southern influence. We just wanna play it coz we’re bad-ass cowboys though!
ANTIHERO: Your debut single ‘Hoedown Showdown’ was accompanied by a “hilariously gruesome” LEGO stop motion video (which is the best music video we’ve seen in a long time!) Can you tell us a bit about how it was made, who made it and how long the production process took from start to finish?
[Bamm-Bamm] Thank you very much! I made it all on my todd in my room on the ranch. It took around a year to make from start to finish. I already had the idea for the music video I wanted to make while I was writing the lyrics – an over the top Tarantino-esque bloodbath. But to do it with actual people in an actual saloon was totally unrealistic. So I set about teaching myself stop-motion and regressed to my formative childhood years of playing with LEGO for hours! The reaction’s been great and I’m very proud of it.
ANTIHERO: Can you tell us about some of your other songs, such as ‘Shirt Potatoes’ and ‘Cowboys and Indian Takeaway’? Do you have similar videos planned for them?
[Bamm-Bamm] All our songs are daft as hell and all pretty self-explanatory. If you go looking for anything deep in any of our lyrics, you’ll be very disappointed. We’ve got another couple of videos already filmed and ready for release. They ain’t LEGO stop-motion, but they are equally as daft.
ANTIHERO: You’re planning to drop an album later this year – do you have a name and release date for it yet?
[Bamm-Bamm] We do have a name, but we can’t reveal it yet. And there’s no specific release date yet. It’s gonna be worth waiting for though!
ANTIHERO: You’ve recently returned from a sprawling European tour. Where were your favourite places to play and was there anywhere that just didn’t ‘get’ your humour?
[Big Mac] We love playing everywhere! I don’t think anywhere, in particular, hasn’t got our humour. We’ve left a fairly hefty trail of heavy-metal-banjo fans in our wake so far!
ANTIHERO: How do you incorporate your music’s comedic element into your live shows?
[Bamm-Bamm] You’ll have to come to one of our shows and find out!
ANTIHERO: Who would you most like to share a stage with in the future?
[Bamm-Bamm] I think we are all in complete concurrence that we’d all love to open for The Spice Girls.
ANTIHERO: What are your plans for the rest of the year?
[Bamm-Bamm] We’re gonna film some more videos and put out some more daft country-rock for y’all.
ANTIHERO: When you’re not rockin’, rootin’ and tootin’, what are your day jobs?
[Bamm-Bamm] Day jobs?! We’re cowboys!
Watch the official music video for ‘Hoedown Showdown’ here:
Bootyard Bandits are:
CJ Handsome – Vocals / Guitar
Joey Bones – Guitar / Backing Vocals
Big Mac – Banjo / Guitar / Backing Vocals
Two Puds – Bass / Backing Vocals
Bamm-Bamm – Drums