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BAND OF HORSES
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IN IT FOR THE MUSIC.


Perhaps it is their ability to create music that sounds completely mysterious, heart-achingly sad and profoundly beautiful all at the same time. It could be Ben Bridwell’s voice that guides you through each song, leaving you no choice but to feel the lyrics in a wave of emotions. Without being able to pinpoint exactly how or why, Band of Horses’ music never fails to reach out and grab hold of your heart.

With the release of their new album,Infinite Arms, the band will be travelling across the globe touring their twelve new songs.

“When people ask me, ‘What’s the exciting part right now?’ I’m always like, well, part of it is still trying to figure out how to play what we made on the record,” bassist Bill Reynolds says over the phone.

Although fans and critics have been moved by Band of Horses’ music, it is sometimes easy to forget that it may resonate in the same way with those who have created as with those who listen to it on repeat for days on end.

“When you get in a studio and you get to make something that really moves you – it’s all you really do it for,” says Reynolds.

Although the album has received some mixed reviews, Reynolds’ tone indicates no fear of failing to impress.

“When something [musical] comes out that’s great, and has nothing to do with you, [but] just comes out of you – it’s just a blessing. You get to see it and you’re like ‘wow.’ To me, that’s the art. It’s the pain and the stuff you go through in life – being able to feel better through playing music and being able to make people feel better by playing music.”

Reynolds speaks with unmistakable sincerity. His love for what he does can’t be disputed. When asked if he would prefer a life of obscurity as opposed to one in the limelight, he answers without hesitation, “No, it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.”

His passion for music might help explain why Band of Horses’ sound is a connection to the ’60s golden age of rock. Reynolds also admits that if he had the choice between living now or back in the Woodstock era, he would choose to live back then.

“I find myself always listening to all that music and I guess what people were talking about back then was more important than sometimes what people are talking about now.”

Lyrically, Infinite Arms is a collaboration amongst all the members, but instead of gathering in a studio, Band of Horses works a little differently.

“All of us go to different remote places on our own and kind of just draw upon whatever is happening in our lives,” Reynolds explains. “I’ll be listening to a certain style of music for a month and I’ll write a batch of songs, and then I’ll send them to Ben [who will] be listening to a certain style of music, and he’ll throw words on top of my music.”

The result is a song like “For Annabelle,” which in some ways is a love song, but not your stereotypical one.

“Ben’s daughter is named Annabelle,” says Reynolds. “I think he was writing that at the time before she was even born. Maybe having the feelings of what it was going to be like to have a child, the anticipation of it.”

Although Reynolds cannot speak entirely on Bridwell’s behalf, he does share that sometimes Bridwell won’t know what he’s writing about until a few years down the road.

“When you’re writing words they kind of just come at you, they tap you on the shoulder.”

Despite groups of screaming girls that clutter the front rows of their shows, Band of Horses are in it for the music.

“It’s sweet and all, [but] none of us really get out there and do anything. We’re not dirty of old men or anything like that,” Reynolds says with a laugh.

Although Sydney, Australia, may top Reynolds’ list as his favourite city to play in, a recent spontaneous show in Toronto stuck out in his mind.

“It was wild. We just walked up and used whatever instruments were up there. We tried stuff we hadn’t tried and [we were] just rippin’ our clothes off and sweating,” he reveals, recalling the excitement he felt during the show.

Reynolds would like to see the band head in a direction that involves more spontaneity, similar to that Toronto show.

“If we were able to be a band that could just show up and play off the cuff, we’d be excited about that.”

Words by: MELISSA RENWICK
Photography by: Philip ADELMAN

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