Boadz (Dale Boaden) remains as a rare gem hidden deep within the budding groves of Melbourne’s colossal underground music scene. Moving to Melbourne from Perth during 2013, Boadz immediately set out to insert himself as an iconic figure in the local community of performing musicians.
Boadz boasts an incredible display of virtuosic guitar styles in both his live performance and recorded works. Displaying spectacular levels of mastery throughout many genres, Boadz is one of those remarkable artists that refuses to be bound to a single genre or singular methodical framework. His didactic approach to artistry sits as a reminder for both listeners and musical peers alike; stagnation sits at the root of complacency.
His debut solo guitar EP ‘Plain Jane’ rests as a masterpiece rivaling some of the greatest solo guitarists such as Andy McKee, John Williams and Mason Williams. Delving into a disparate journey through the instrumental work of his intricate guitar styles in ‘Plain Jane’, Boadz leads listeners down the rabbit whole into a wonderland soundscape comprising a mix of classical, folk, blues, celtic, swing and jazz melodically composited worlds.
“The name ‘Plain Jane‘ comes from the guitar it was recorded on, which was my new Lowden acoustic that I was and still am extremely fond of, and is in my opinion one of the nicest acoustics i’ve ever played or heard, but is nothing particularly fancy to look at, so I referred to it as a plain Jane. It is also a reference to the songs themselves, which are solo acoustic guitar compositions, all in standard tuning – nothing fancy. The inspiration was to not go insane during the long Melbourne lockdown in 2020, but it was also a way for me to get back to serious guitar playing. For a few years I had fallen into a rut with my playing, and was leaning entirely on my loop pedal to fill out the sound at my gigs. It made me sick that I couldn’t accompany myself adequately without the loop pedal, or simply play solo guitar music, so when all my gigs went away I took the opportunity to start from scratch, and that album was the outcome. It’s not perfect, but I’m really happy with it and still love playing all those tunes. And I don’t use a loop pedal any more (nothing against them, i’ll probably use it for something different at some point).” – Boadz
Like a well built building Boadz’ guitar skills draw upon a strong foundation that was laid early on in his life. Before he even imagined that music would be his professional route.
“My parents are both musical and my dad always had a few guitars around, and at first I just liked guitars for how they looked and how cool they are. So I asked for and received a bright orange nylon string acoustic for Christmas when I was 9. I started getting lessons, and found it really exciting and took to it pretty quick, due in large part to the huge amount of praise I’d receive from the adults in my life with every tiny improvement I made. My dedication to practice only ever wavered slightly when I was in my early teens, but playing music has always been my favourite thing and I never wanted to do anything else professionally.” – Boadz
When asked about the rewarding aspects of a professional career in music Boadz goes on to say “I like having something I can always improve at, but never master. It ensures that i’ll always have something to do, and an epic quest to embark on. Something that is also really fun is just playing for an appreciative audience, which in my world most often involves playing covers that everyone knows to a packed room, and having the crowd get right into it (I hope to have this experience with my own music at some point in my life, that would be swell). Being able to make any kind of a living playing music, to me, is 100% ‘making it’, and that is also very rewarding.”
If it wasn’t clear listening to the well constructed and logical composition in Boadz’ recorded works; a maturity and wisdom definitely come to light when he talks about his personal philosophies and academic approach to music as a whole. When asked about the greatest piece of advice he had ever received in relation to a career in music, Boadz harks back to his UNI days with an honest response in criticism from his teachers.
“I had a great teacher at UNI named Freddie who one time hammered into me that basically, everything has been played, and what’s important is your own thumbprint. In other words (or, my interpretation of that is), don’t get too caught up on being groundbreakingly original, or stratospherically virtuosic. The most important thing is figuring out what it is that you do, and doing that. That same teacher also pointed out to me one time when I was about half way through my degree, that I sounded good sometimes, but was inconsistent because I lacked history in my playing. After that, I spent a lot of time transcribing Louis Armstrong, Charlie Christian, Django Reinhardt and other earlier jazz greats, and it helped a lot of things fall into place. At the moment I’m doing the same again, trying to sure up my foundations by going back to the source.” – Boadz
Currently, Boadz is working on a new EP that steers away from his solo guitar style. “This project has beats, vocals, and has been (and still is) a massive learning curve for me, and I’m really enjoying making it and excited for how it’s coming out. It will be out before the end of the year (hopefully much sooner), so help me god.” – Boadz