Meet Boxcutters: The Electric New Sound in Tallahassee

As my playlists beg for new music in 2020, I’ve found a gem that has literally brought music to my ears. Meet the Boxcutters, Tallahassee’s newest alternative rock band that promises headbanging, swaying, and vibing to any of their records. Members include, Clay Kramer (Vocals/Guitar), Ed Gonzalez (Lead Guitar), Nathan Lesser (Bass), Cameron Downs (Keys) and Noah Shaw (Drums). I attended their concert Jan. 24 at the Wilburyand as an alt-music fan, I was thoroughly impressed by the unique and vibrant sound they have. I received the opportunity this past week to discuss with each of the band members on their establishment, new music, and their future prospects.

Her Campus (HC): When was the Boxcutters formed and what prompted you to start a band?

Ed Gonzalez (ED): Basically, I was in a band my freshman year and I just got into the Tallahassee music scene and had met a bunch of bands like Good Times Floral Shop and Golden Hour Trees. I got my foot in the water and that really helped, plus the band that I was in was mostly focused on doing covers, but my goal was to make music. After my last gig in April 2019, I knew I wanted to start a band and I knew it would be possible because Tallahassee is full of talent. I had met Clay through my friend group and I knew he sang, so I recruited him at the end of spring. Over the summer, I was telling my friend Nate about starting this band and he really likes music, so he offered to pick up and play bass which has been working out really well. Then, in the fall, my friend Joe who’s in the College of Music (connections man) hooked me up with our drummer Noah. In turn, Noah got us set up with our Keys player Cam and that’s how the band started. 

Courtesy: Nicholas Firlej

HC: What does your creative process look like?

Cameron Downs (CD): The creative process is a tricky one and I would hardly even describe it as a process honestly, at least for me. Sometimes the faucet is on and sometimes it’s off, but if you work at it enough, you can take full advantage of the creativity when it flows, and out comes new music.

Clay Kramer (CK): I like to read and write occasional poetry, so I’ll write little poems that have a nice flow and then create a melody and fill in chords with my acoustic later.

Noah Shaw (NS): Normally, we just start off with a riff or a jam or groove that we like and see if anything sticks, we try not to douse any creativity.

Nathen Lesser (NL): Random. Very random. A lot of just playing random notes and you find what clicks and then it kind of follows sequentially with each of us. Suddenly, a song is made.

Courtesy: Nicholas Firlej

HC: What is the most difficult aspect of creating original music?

CD: You got to have a lot of bad ideas for the good ones to shine through. For us, once we find a good idea that we like, someone just starts playing around it and we just join in. Everything just comes together pretty natural after that.

NL: What it’s going to sound like without sounding like another song you just listened to ten minutes ago. Also, writing lyrics, it’s really hard to write and create a jam. Some people have a knack for it and some people don’t.

Courtesy: Matthew Drake

HC: What is your most memorable gig? 

EG: My most memorable gig by far was the first time we played the Wilbury. A lot of good bands like Mild High Club and Japanese Breakfast have played on that stage and even though this was just a local showcase, the idea of playing the Wilbury felt good. I also had never played a mic’d up set with a full band and that was really cool and also getting to have stage lights, fog and a PA system was great. A few things made that show so memorable such as my friend being dumb and getting kicked out, having to watch our set from the window next to the stage, seeing all of our friends come to watch us play and the environment of the Wilbury. Such an awesome, unforgettable night.

CK: The Chxrch Show. It was a house venue we played last semester and I got a little too social before we went on. It was a beautiful disaster.

HC: What is a goal for your band to achieve?

NL: Make music that makes people dance. If I see only one person dancing, I am sad. But when I see people jam, it’s like nirvana.

CK: Probably to keep getting booked. Playing is a lot of fun and I’d like to keep doing it.

HC: How did you land on the name “Boxcutters”?

EG: Noah said it in my apartment when we were trying to decide and it kind of just stuck.

Courtesy: Matthew Drake

HC: Define your band in three words.

CK: Fun, punky and awkward.

NL: Friends goofing around.

CD: Somethings are better left undefined.

HC: Should we expect new music any time soon?

NS: Always expect new music from us because we always have new music in the pipe.

NL: Yes, definitely. New music is an ongoing process that we are trying to work through and hopefully we’re going to get some stuff online for people to listen to.

Courtesy: Nicholas Firlej

Make sure to check out the Boxcutters Instagram for upcoming gigs, new music and to follow their clear and inevitable journey to success!

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