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boygenius on Its First Grammy Nominations and Retaining Rock Enjoyable

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For boygenius, the indie-rock supergroup with a penchant for neckties and introspective songs, this fall has held the form of firsts that show a rock band has become a phenomenon: its first area present at a Madison Sq. Backyard full of followers chanting each lyric, its first efficiency on the Hollywood Bowl, and shortly, its first function on “Saturday Evening Dwell.”

On Friday, there was one other first — and second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth — with boygenius’s debut Grammy nominations as a band, a haul that included nods for 2 of the largest contests: file of the yr (for the ethereal and anthemic “Not Strong Enough”) and album of the yr (for “The File”).

The popularity has capped off a whirlwind interval for Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus, profitable indie performers in their very own proper who turned an thought for a one-off collaboration in 2018 into a gaggle that has captured the hearts of Gen Z followers and past, establishing a status for free-spirited onstage antics and the form of healthful bond not normally related to touring rock stars.

On a Friday afternoon video name, the trio mentioned their nominations, songwriting and the way forward for their music from the basement of a New York Metropolis resort the place they had been getting ready for “Saturday Evening Dwell” this weekend, a rack filled with attainable costume decisions lined up behind them. It was in that resort basement that they heard the excellent news, then, as Baker put it, “did just a little screaming, hugging, leaping up and down,” earlier than the texts began flowing — together with notes from Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish, who additionally obtained six nominations every.

“It’s like when children cry on Christmas morning as a result of I do really feel so overwhelmed that I may simply fall asleep,” Baker mentioned.

These are edited excerpts from the dialog.

This has been a exceptional yr of firsts for you. Has it modified your relationship to the album, taking part in in these giant arenas?

BAKER Not in a corny means you guys, however that’s the metric I return to. My relationship to it has stayed static, by making one thing that we preserved.

BRIDGERS And it’s grown — I consider “True Blue” now as a form of communal expertise as a result of that’s form of the primary second within the set the place the viewers acts the identical means each evening. Lucy and I’ve fairly low voices and when individuals sing “True Blue,” they sing the octave up which is basically humorous.

DACUS If I used to be doing “True Blue” for karaoke I’d do the identical factor.

What about your relationships with one another? You’ve been around the globe collectively at this level, in high-pressure conditions — what’s totally different about your friendship?

BAKER I’m happy with us. I believe our communication has gotten higher. We set out with a transparent listing of priorities in thoughts, and our pleasure in regards to the music and our real relationship with one another was on the high. That has stayed intact as a result of we stored it as a precedence. It’s being spoken into the challenge day by day.

BRIDGERS If you guys hit me as much as have dinner the opposite evening earlier than we really had to enter work, seeing you not at work first, I used to be like, that is so good. We simply obtained to speak about individuals and hang around.

DACUS I’m not sick of you guys.

Why do you assume “Not Sturdy Sufficient” rose to the floor for the Grammys? You’ve talked about the way it’s about psychological sickness, about self-hatred — is it the darkness that linked with audiences?

DACUS I believe the four-on-the-floor kick sample linked with audiences. For me writing above every little thing is necessary, however you may swap out the lyrics of the music and I believe it will be simply as a lot enjoyable.

BRIDGERS I used to be like, we’d like a music that may very well be performed on the radio, can we make one which’s like, actually enjoyable? And also you guys understood the task.

DACUS However “Not Sturdy Sufficient” isn’t a typical radio music, so it each fails the task however weirdly succeeded as a result of it’s on the radio. Finneas mentioned this too, it’s such as you attempting to repeat your idols and failing is who you might be. One thing like that.

BAKER And likewise “enjoyable” is deep. Like you may retroactively dissertation clarify what’s simply implicitly communicated by us having enjoyable and writing lyrics in the best way that we do. We put a breakdown in “Not Sturdy Sufficient” as a result of it rocks; I need to have an excellent time!

Has this previous yr made you need to dig deeper into boygenius or are you feeling prefer it’s time to return to your impartial careers?

DACUS We determined earlier than it began what the bounds had been, and that has allowed us to dig the deepest that we had been prepared to up till this level. We’ve put all of our vitality into this understanding that there’s form of a cap on this period of boygenius. We’re all going to make our personal solo information after this — that’s truthful to say, in all probability.

BRIDGERS Or attempt.

So you might have six nominations as a band, however Phoebe has one additional (for a collaboration with SZA, “Ghost within the Machine”). Are you lording it over the opposite two?

BRIDGERS All day. No, but it surely was the primary one introduced and Lucy was like, it will be so humorous if we had been all watching and it was solely that. However I’m so happy with SZA.

DACUS [whispers Bridgers’s section of “Ghost in the Machine”] I’ve had it caught in my head all day.

This yr’s nominees are led by ladies — did that stick out at you in any respect watching it?

BRIDGERS I seen plenty of music I like.

DACUS We’re excited for extra friends to be getting acknowledged and the truth that we’re ladies isn’t the cool half — the music is the cool half.

Have you ever been batting round any concepts but for a Grammys efficiency? Nirvana suits?

DACUS I haven’t considered this in any respect as a result of I didn’t assume it was going to occur, so now it simply opens up a complete world of getting to consider issues.