Dubai Week

PEOPLE: Against The Odds – The Boxtones have made it

The Boxtones, a Canadian/Scottish band based in Dubai, are hard rockin’ proof that if you believe – and work blooming hard – you can eventually succeed.

Reporter Kritika Ayra sits down with lead singer Louise Peel to find out more.

Having netted a Universal MENA studios record deal in 2014, the five-piece pop/rock band are finally releasing their first studio album, ‘Home’, this November.

Singer Louise Peel tells Dubai Week that the road to minting that first CD was a long and often winding one.

“It was really exciting to get signed by [Universal]. It’s been a long time coming, it’s taken us a long time to get to where we are,” she says.

Chances are you’ve already heard of The Boxtones. You’ve might even have seen them jam at venues around Dubai over the best part of the last decade.

Alongside Louise is Gill Tierney on drums, her brother Gary Tierney on guitar and vocals, Will Janssen on keyboard and guitar and Patrick Thibault rocking the bass.

Normally decked out in black and mixing heavy guitar riffs with Louise’s traditional rock diva vocals, the award-winning band have, up until recently, mainly been known for their covers.

That’s about to change.

Their first single from the album will be Against the Odds.

It’s the perfect title because, frankly, the odds of a band from the UAE ‘making it’ in the UAE can seem slim at times.

Louise puts it, this song is, “about overcoming obstacles, we wanted a happy song, a chanty song.

“When you’re in that crowd mentality, and you lose yourself in the music to relieve frustration or to celebrate your excitement, that’s what this song is about. A crowd happy song you can imagine the crowd with their hands up in the air”.

She explains that this album will be completely different from their previous independent effort, which was a rock album through and through.

It’s perhaps no surprise that The Boxtones’ sound has evolved, as they cite an eclectic range of influences from reggae to Eminem with various genre hopping along the way. Louise told us she particularly draws inspiration from the soulful tones of RnB singer Erykah Badu.

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Going all out for the first studio album and to elevate their sound, The Boxtones have also collaborated with other local artists featuring bagpipes and a string section.

Louise jokes about the difficulty of trying to trawl the streets of Dubai looking for a guy who plays the bagpipes and owns a kilt, while, proving that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, the vocalist and the lead guitarist’s daughter also sings on the single. It’s all in the mix.

Now that the hard work is on the album is done, Louise hopes for nothing more than: “On a nice sunny day, if you’re listening to the radio in your car, and the song plays on the radio, you’ll be singing along.”

Well, you won’t have too long to wait to learn the lyrics as ‘Against the Odds’ will be available 2nd September 2016 on Apple Music, iTunes and streaming site Anghami.

For more information about The Boxtones, visit www.boxtonesband.com

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