The humble beard is currently in a renaissance, the likes of which we have never seen. Celebrities, sportsmen, musicians – the list goes on for those embracing the once oppressed facial feature, all thanks to the tireless work of four brave men.
“We knew we were up against it spruiking for such a highly maligned attribute. Certainly at the time those were dark years; we’d walk down the street and people would spit at our feet,” says Facey McStubblington, lead guitarist of The Beards on the time the band formed 10 years ago.
The Beards have spread their hairy message across the globe, costing the big shaving companies countless dollars in their war against the razor, while also putting themselves in grave danger.
“Schick and Gillette have all dropped in their annual growth and we take full responsibility,” explains McStubblington. “We get death threats every day from the CEOs of these companies and we just stand true. If they want to come and razor our throats then they will just make us stronger. We will be martyrs, stronger in death. The message will be true … I say bring it on, come at me, WHAT HAVE YOU GOT!”
Despite the threats on their lives, The Beards have not shied away from their message, instead releasing The Beard Album, with McStubblington revealing what fans can expect: “It’s very much about beards, I can tell you that. In fact, I’m going to go out there and say this is probably the most beard-related album ever.”
As McStubblington highlights, this record will again be wholly on the subject of beards. And for those of you wondering how they manage to keep writing song after song about beards, well, you just don’t understand the power of this bushy fixture.
“Ultimately artists throughout time have always relied on outside sources, which they would refer to as a muse,” says McStubblington. “More often than not it’s a woman, and women, all respect to them, can be a bit flighty at times. There’s not always a woman on hand to help you or inspire you, whereas my muse, my beard, is always right there on the end of my chin.”
With the release of their latest album, The Beards are also embarking on their biggest national tour to date. Yet despite their strong stance on beardlessness, there still seems to be a clean-faced presence at their shows.
“In my stomach I feel sick at the thought of it and beardless people listening to our music,” says McStubblington. “But then at the same time that’s kind of the purpose of our music, to reach out to these people and try and offer them a better life. People without beards who come along will experience a life changing event. Something Tibetan monks spend 50 years trying to achieve, you will achieve that in one night at a Beards gig.”
But for all those clean-shaven fans making excuses, McStubblington has these words of advice: “Just stop shaving, gee-whiz! It’s easy. All you have to do to have a beard is nothing. Females always come up to us and say, ‘Oh I can’t grow a beard’, and that’s bullshit, because if you wait long enough you’re going to get one. When my grandmother turned 80 her beard came into full force and she was a handsome woman.”
When&Where: The Karova, Ballarat – July 16; The Barwon Club, Geelong – July 17; and Theatre Royal, Castlemaine – July 19
Written by Zach Broadhurst