The Boys are Back: Boys of Fall frontman Michael Martenson talks comeback

“Playing live music is in our blood and after a year and a half, we couldn’t deny it anymore.”

In June 2016, Detroit based alt rock band Boys of Fall performed what they thought was their last show. Fast forward to now; the band has come back full force with the addition of two new members, Dan Quigley and Victor Yousof.

The Michigan band did not hesitate to release new music, and “No Good for Me” was met with great praise from fans. In addition, the band announced their signing to InVogue Records. They recently were in the studio with Andrew Wade, who has produced bands such as A Day to Remember, Neck Deep and Wage War.

In anticipation of their first headlining show since 2016 at the main floor of St. Andrews Hall, vocalist Michael Martenson took a moment to chat with us about what brought Boys of Fall back and what they have in store for fans.

Kailey Howell: I’ll start with the obvious; what brought Boys of Fall back together? You guys never truly stopped making music, but what made the switch from studio work to bringing it back full force?

Michael Martenson: It was the feeling of playing the music we loved so much to other people that really made us decide to come back. We love writing music and that was clear because even after we announced the end, we were back writing together a few months later. But there is something about playing live, interacting with people and watching them sing along that gives you a sense of purpose.

We missed seeing the world. We missed meeting new people and hearing from them and hearing how our music changed them. Every good memory we had was always related somehow to the band. It became overwhelmingly obvious that this is what we are meant to do. When InVogue originally came along, it felt like all of our hard work finally came to fruition and we knew we’d finally have a platform to get our music to as many people as possible. So, here we are.

KH: Right away you announced that you guys signed to InVogue Records, how does it feel to finally be signed?

MM: Honestly it still hasn’t hit us. It’s so great knowing there’s other people that believe in you so much that they’re going to spend their time and money just to make sure other people can hear you in the best possible way. Us being gone for awhile and just now coming back, it’s crazy that it’s not only us anymore who want to make the push. It’s a team of amazing people and we’re just grateful we’re working with them.

KH: ‘No Good for Me’ is very “poppy” compared to Boys of Fall’s older songs. Is this a trend that will be continued? 

MM: It never really was a thing with us where we were like “we need to be heavy here or poppy here” and the more we mature as song writers, we just write what comes out naturally and ‘No Good for Me’ was so natural for us. It’s what everyone in the band loves and writes best and we’ll never sacrifice that for the need to fit a trend.

KH: Will you ever do harsh vocals again?

MM: I’ll never say never to harsh vocals because that would be limiting us. As of right now, we write “poppy” better than we write anything else and we just want to write good music and what comes naturally and not force something just because it might upset some people.

KH: Boys of Fall recently recorded in Florida with Andrew Wade, how was the experience working with him?

MM: Insane. For every song we’ve ever done, it’s always been self produced and for the new music, we really wanted someone else to be creative with us and push us past our boundaries and allow us to be artists and not me have to be a producer as well. He’s a genius and he’s really good at making you see the song in a new way and wanting to be creative and step out of your comfort zone. We’re perfectionists and he’s the ultimate perfectionist so we meshed very well. He understood our vision and the direction we’re going and he brought that out tenfold. We have full intentions on continuing to work with him.

KH: Is there an album in the works? What’s in store for you guys now that you’re back?

MM: We have plans on releasing an EP within the next few months and an album this fall. Currently we’re writing and we have a tour booked with We Were Sharks this February and a couple more this April-May. Always staying busy.

KH: You personally just announced the decision to commit 100% to music, was it a difficult decision to make? 

MM: It was a very, very difficult decision to make. It’s not just me living at home with my parents and not having bills (which I envy that freedom). Being married now and being a homeowner, it’s not just my well being I have to be worried about. So making sure I’m always busy and doing my best is my top priority. But it’s been the push I needed and it’s what I needed mentally to be happy. The business I was in, I understood better than anyone how short life is; I want to make life mine and be happy every day and making this decision was the best decision I’ve ever made. I have a very supportive wife and friends and my band always loves and supports me so the transition has been easier. I’m terrified, but that keeps me motivated.

KH: How does it feel to take the stage again?

MM: I’m nervous, excited, terrified, happy; my emotions are all over the place. But for the first time in a long time, I feel happy and like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing and that’s the best feeling in the world.

KH: You have an upcoming tour with We Were Sharks; How are you preparing for this tour differently than previous tours? What can we expect from your sets?

MM: We’re just trying to get that tightness back as a group and create the most captivating and exciting set we can. The bar has been raised and the stakes are higher. Every set we play is the chance to make people a fan of our music. We take that very seriously and as always, we just wanna have fun with it. This is our dream job and that’s exactly how we look at it. I get to play music with my best friends every night and see a new place and gain a new experience. You can’t beat that.

*Photo credit Paige Albin
Kailey Howell