Since speaking to Nathanial Beard from Adelaide folk-rock band THE BEARDS, I have come to appreciate the complexity and diversity of facial hair. The different styles, colours and lengths, not to mention the overall maintenance and grooming required to keep a beard, is simply a marvel. Bassist Nathanial, of said Adelaide four-piece, describes his band’s affinity with beards akin to religion.
“It’s a holy experience,” he says. ‘I think that most people have a void in their life, but people with beards don’t have that. Growing a beard is the correct thing to do. [It’s a man’s] duty to grow a beard.”
In August, The Beards will start their month long 100 Beards tour of the country, visiting all the states to spread the word of the beard. “We haven’t been on tour since last year,” Nathanial says. “This time we are trying to recruit 100 people to embrace the beard life and start growing their beards instead of shaving.”
Formed in 2005, The Beards make music to help promote the return of facial hair into general society after the rise of the metrosexual. “We have noticed that in the last five years or so, there has been an increase of men with beards, and I’d like to think that we have something to do with that,” Nathanial says proudly.
However, Nathanial does point out that persuading some men in the nation’s capital to grow beards will be a challenge. “We have a lot of Canberra fans who are in the military, who unfortunately aren’t allowed to grow beards. They should defy their country and grow facial hair.”
The 100 Beards tour is not only a recruitment drive, but it is also about promoting their third album and new single You Should Consider Having Sex With a Bearded Man. Sounding like Duran Duran having sex with Tenacious D in Europe’s dressing room, the first single from the upcoming album is just a taste of the vast musical range of The Beards. And with lyrics like “And you grab him by his facial hair / He’s got some food stuck in his beard but you don’t care / You say, rub that beard on me everywhere”, it is a fun listen.
Beard promotion is, however, a very serious thing to The Beards, as Nathanial points out. “If any member [of the band] wanted to shave their beard off, they would be kicked out the band, never to rejoin. Also, our friendship would end,” he states in a stern tone.
“Beards are something natural and invigorating. You don’t have a beard so it’s hard to describe the feeling to someone without a beard.”
I’m still not sure whether that was a snide jibe or just a musing, but regardless, The Beards do make growing a beard seem like so much fun.
The Beards will roll into town alongside buddies Gay Paris and Super Best Friends on Thursday August 18 at the ANU Bar. Tickets are $18.90 + bf and are available through Ticketek.