Jen de la Osa and Henry Beguiristain make up Aloud, the the hardest-working band who also happen to be a married couple in Boston. The married part is new—they were wed just this summer—but the hard work is not. The pair has been active in the local music scene since 2002, performing countless shows with a rotating rhythm section and churning out a record roughly every two years. More recently, they’ve cut the fat and gained a stronger voice as a duo, taking to the studio on their own to record their best album to date.
Fresh out of months in the tour van, de la Osa and Beguiristain chatted with Time Out about their life on the road, and why they can’t wait to get back out there.
TOB: Welcome back! You were gone for so long. Do you want to talk a little bit about the tour?
Henry Beguiristain: It was magical. There’s so much that happened.
Jen de la Osa: It’s kind of hard being back and dealing with two months of mail and having to be an adult now. It’s so much easier being in a band.
It’s easier being in a van than being at home?
J: Absolutely. It’s also less expensive.
H: The thing about touring is you know exactly what you need to do everyday, and it’s pretty simple: wake up by check-out time, get in the van, drive for a couple of hours, find the place, play a show. You don’t have to think about a lot.
J: It’s actually a lot less unstable than people would lead you to believe.
Anything out of the ordinary happen?
H: There was this one music hall in Bryan, Texas that’s about the size of the Middle East Downstairs. People don’t really see local bands there, so it was just us playing. By the time our set came around, there were maybe 50 people in this giant, cavernous room. At first it was really unnerving, but these people got really into it. When our set was over, we didn’t really need to tear our gear down for a while so we just hung out at the bar with everyone, drinking and telling stories. As time went along, more people came in and were disappointed that they’d missed the show. We were a little drunk, but we just got some instruments and sat at the bar and played some songs. It was that kind of tour.
J: That’s what you have to do when you play new places—just adapt. You walk into a room you’ve never been in before, in a town you’ve never been to before and you have to figure it all out before you hit the stage. Lots of problem solving.
H: And we did have a masturbator at one of the shows.
Were you flattered?
H: When we found out about it, we were glad to hear he was so into it.
It sounds like you had a great tour. I can’t believe you are heading out again.
J: I can’t wait. Life just seems so much simpler and easier. You get to just do what you want as opposed to coming home and… picking out a health insurance plan. I don’t want to be an adult, screw that.
Well it sounds like you had a pretty busy 2010… the tour… the marriage… What’s really changed things up for you?
H: It’s a lot more work. We’re just kind of doing what we’ve been doing.
J: Everything really came out of losing our rhythm section. It forced us to focus on exactly what we wanted to do and put all our efforts towards doing it—we didn’t necessarily have to deal with input from anyone who may disagree. Writing a new record kind of puts us in that place where we can do better.
The sound on the album is much more stripped down.
H: It’s because of the way we recorded it. There’s a lot of stuff on there, but there’s really no repeated instruments. Everything that’s there, there’s a reason for us to put it in there. Me and Jen and our producer Dan [Daskivich] recorded the bulk of it, as far as instruments go.
J: We didn’t know what everything was going to sound like. We just kind of started recording them and let it happen in the studio.
H: There was definitely this element of, “Fuck it, we’ll make it up as we go along.”
How has this sentiment changed your live performance?
J: On tour, we’d have the rhythm section up on stage to start out and Henry would be at the bar on a mandolin, out in the crowd. It was this thing that people would remember. It’s a cool way to get your foot in the door with a new audience.
You’re pretty active participants of the Boston music scene. When you’re gone for so long, do you think you lose a bit of that or miss out?
H: These days, not so much because of social media being so ubiquitous—as long as you’re updating and chatting with people.
J: The other thing is that we can go out and come back and bring those influences back. If we stay in the same town and participate in one scene, we’re not being influenced by other things that are happening. It’s good for us.
It sounds like you’ve been getting a good taste of the music from lots of different places.
H: There’s one little thing I have to throw out there. Bands will ask about Boston, saying they have such a hard time getting gigs here. There needs to be more of give with out-of-town bands. We need to give them a little bit more of a shot to get in here. And it works both ways—if you’re really cool about it people will help you out. We’re all musicians; we’re all in the same soup.
J: There actually are some really awesome people out there, and a lot of them are in bands making good music and they’re trying to hit the road just like we are and make a living out of it. Why not support them? That’s kind of how it’s going to have to be. It’s not about the traditional record contract anymore, like with the whole Kickstarter thing. People helped us get out on the road. There’re all these different ways for us to help each other.
Aloud plays the Lizard Lounge, Jan. 29