RADNOTBAD: Boxed Wine – Cheap, Fun

23 May

Boxed Wine

“I don’t wanna have to get a real job, I wanna go on tour, and I’m cool with being broke if that’s what it means or work freelance in-between or doing whatever. I just wanna play.” – Ralph Nicasto Boxed Wine

There aren’t many bands I want bigger things to happen for than Boxed Wine.They are super positive dudes who have spent the last fifteen months, day-in and day-out, putting in tireless work to make music that they seem to thoroughly dig playing, and they do it with complete awareness of the current mindset towards the genre they loosely fit into.

I had a chance to sit down with these guys back in January via Skype and of all the bands I’ve been lucky enough to meet and talk music with none have felt as genuine and outright positive as Chris Mactire and Ralph Nicastro (the two dudes standing on the outside in the above picture) do… none have been as unabashedly honest either and that’s how art should be.

Normally in interviews it’s a constant loop of generic answers and vague allusions, not with these guys. They would feed off of each other, energetically adding one point to the other where one would take a straight forward response and the other would run with it giving a very friends hanging out with friends vibe, which is the cornerstone of what is so magnetizing about their songs. It’s energy but it’s uncontrived energy.

Before going any further, if you are new to Boxed Wine here’s what you should know:

This marks the fifth time they’ve been featured on HCK!, they made 2012’s HCK! best song and best albums lists, and they’ve barely been playing together for a year. Although a four piece live, Chris (Vocals/Guitar) and Ralph(Lead Guitar) make up the creative side of the band, they live twelve miles outside of New York City in Rutherford, New Jersey. Apparently Franzia Sangria is the best kind of boxed wine (I heard it straight from the horse’s mouth). They restore my faith in pop music.

Oh and they just released Cheap, Fun, a full length album which I would be surprised to find you did not absolutely love.

What was set for the typical twenty minute interview turned into over an hour of energetic banter between Ralph and Chris about everything from why the last Animal Collective album was not so good to what it must have been like to have to clean off the microphones after a Hall and Oats show, they even took me on a tour of their home studio, the underlying message that kept surfacing came down to this, they just want to play shows, they just want to play shows, they just want to play shows. Not once in an interview where they held nothing back in confidence or criticism did they mention making money as a goal, another rarity, but at least twenty times they mentioned wanting to play more shows. I know right?!? A real live band, not many left are there? And none of it is lip service, I mean, hell all of their albums which the two spent day after day working on are up for free (via Bandcamp link below).

What I took away from talking with the two is that they are super humble guys (and not the pretentious kind of humble either) with unbelievable energy for the music they create. It’s not what they said in response to questions that struck me it was how, these guys love making music and they love the idea of being able to continue playing dancy basement shows for the rest of their lives. This is what pop music should be about.

I also got a rare chance to hear firsthand about the difficulties of playing a style of music that your peers have deemed as being uncool (I guess that’s what they get for not turning the reverb on their amps to eleven and sounding like we’re listening to them through a gigantic sewer drain). It’s unfathomable to me that despite having nearly every festival in the world wanting Boxed Wine on the bill they seem to have nearly given up trying to play Brooklyn in general. The  unfortunate truth is that they live on the wrong coast for having such catchy positive songs. With an album as good as Cheap, Fun none of those concerns will matter for long. They are a band people have steadily been warming up to, this album is well timed to say the least.

There will be much more from these guys featured on HCK! in the near future so rather than breakdown the album track by track for you here’s Cheap, Fun in it’s glorious entirety. Why waste my time trying to sell you on it… it sells itself. Do keep in mind though that pop bands are the black sheep in our musical landscape so if you think they are half as rad as I do then make sure to let someone else know.



Boxed Wine Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter | Website



Bonus: As with pretty much everyone I meet I made sure to ask the guys for some band recommendations I may not have heard and these were the bands they came up with:





2 Responses to “RADNOTBAD: Boxed Wine – Cheap, Fun”

  1. Anonymous May 31, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

    Perfect summer tunes! Thanks for the intro to Boxed Wine.

    • heycoolkid! August 11, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

      So glad you’ve liked it!

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