Arena-worthy London alt rockers the Boxer Rebellion stopped by the Billboard studios for an interview and an exclusive two-song performance of selections from their 2013 album “Promises.”
For their fourth LP (their third released independently through their own label), the quartet was able to secure their own writing and recording studio, which allowed their music to truly come into its own.
“I think we’re looking for it to be more positive and more upbeat,” frontman Nathan Nicholson tells Billboard. Following 2011’s more introspective “The Cold Still,” the band chose to use their newfound independence to let their songwriting ideas soar.
“Being slightly faster-paced, more upbeat, and more hi-fi sounding were some things we wanted to aim for,” lead guitarist Todd Howe explains. “We just had a lot of time to experiment, create, and hone in on melodies and lyrics. There were no limits on what we wanted to do, so we ended up layering a lot of drums or percussion on top of tracks.”
This is evident in the live performance of “New York,” while the band’s knack for silky-smooth alt-rock balladry kicks in on “Diamonds.” As the band jokes, a gospel choir was just about the only creative nuance that eluded them this time around.
“There are a lot of bands out there that would envy where we’re at,” Howe says.