Texas Invasion: The Boleys, Modular Sun on Touring Lessons, Private Pool Parties and Family Matters 

click to enlarge XAVIER WARD
  • Xavier Ward
Austin, Texas, bands The Boleys and Modular Sun put on a high energy show in the City of Trees’ Olympic venue Friday night, joined by local acts The Seatopians and Empty Suits. It was the first time in Boise for both groups. Members said they were surprised at the vibrance of Boise. For them, it was off the radar, but no longer. They hope to come back soon.

“Come to Treefort!” someone in the audience yelled at The Boleys. They hope they’ll get to, The Boleys vocalist and guitarist Ethan Boley said.

Despite falling under the same genre, they produce wildly different experiences live. For both of the psych rock bands, this is the second tour, and they’ve learned plenty of lessons along the way. Importantly, if you try to go swimming at a hotel in Kansas, you might up accidentally invading a private pool party that consists of three people.

Additionally, Modular Sun drummer Zack Lauden learned to fasten any bags securely to the roof of your touring van—his bag came flying off the roof the first day of tour. The most important lesson of all, Modular Sun synth player Michael Noriega said, is appreciating the little things on the road.

“Enjoy the small things,” he said.

Despite a modern psych rock sound and aesthetic, the bands are undeniably Texan. They’re loud, proud and always looking for somewhere to buy a sixer of Lone Star beer (but they’ll settle for Rainier in the Pacific Northwest).

The Boleys have something a lot of other bands don’t—they’re all siblings. Joe Boley, 19, plays the bass and is the youngest of the three, followed by Emma Boley, 20, the drummer. Ethan, the oldest at 23, is the principle songwriter for the group; he’s on guitar and lead vocals.

For both of the bands, being on the road is about striking a balance between sleep, partying and playing music. The sleep-to-party ratio might be off sometimes, but the bands both agreed they come ready to play every night.

“Usually party time comes after the set,” Ethan said. “When you’re off, you’re off.”

Ethan said Emma usually keeps them all in line. Family road trips can be stressful, but since they’ve all known each other for their entire lives, it’s usually pretty easy to work through any drama that comes up on the road.

Even though they’re touring around doing what they love, it’s still about having fun with friends. Modular Sun guitarist and vocalist Jake LaTouf said that on the last tour he found it easy to get bored by the end of it. He doesn’t feel that way this time around.

“Touring is a lot more fun if you’re with your friends,” said James Davenport, Modular Sun guitarist and newest member of the band. He joined the band just to go on this tour. Based on his stage presence, it seems like he may stick around for a while.

The Boleys and Modular Sun are headed to Seattle next, they’ll finish their tour Friday, July 26. All along the way, they’ll be searching for people to join the Boley cult, Ethan said.

“We’re actually not related, we’re in the Boley cult. We worship our leader, Cheech the Dog.”

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