In pursuit of hirsute

WITH three albums under their collective belt (The Beards, Beards, beards, beards and Having a Beard is the New Not Having a Beard) The Beards have come a long way since they got together in 2005 in their hometown of Adelaide to do a one-off show. All were members of other bands but found they had something in common; something that bonded them together - beards.

"We noticed at that rehearsal that we all had beards," Johann said, "so that's what we wrote about. We wrote songs about beards."

Their obsession with facial hair not only gave them a theme for their music (and titles for their albums), it has led them to pop success with gigs all over Australia and a gig at the World Beard and Moustache Championships in Alaska in 2009.

The Scene asked Johann what would happen if a band member suddenly decided he wanted to - heaven forbid - have a shave.

"He would be instantly dismissed," Johann said. "And then killed."

That's pretty tough. But clear: you have to have a beard to be in The Beards. Which rules out women, I guess.

"There are no women in the band. I'm not ruling it out completely but it's quite difficult finding a bearded woman these days."

Facial hair is very fashionable at the moment; everyone has a beard or at least a trendy stubble. So what if clean shaven becomes the new trend?

"We don't follow fashion trends," Johann said, somewhat indignantly. "We're just into beards and if they go out of fashion then it won't affect us. Beards are our life. We won't be happy until the whole world has beards.

"We're based in Adelaide, the city of beards. Everyone has beards here now. Our work is done here. So now we tour…"

All songs by the band have a beard theme. They're mostly written by Johann and the bass player Nathaniel Beard. Their current tour is promoting the film clip for Got Me a Beard, from the album Having a Beard is the New Not Having a Beard.

"I once wrote a song that wasn't about beards," Johann said. "It was terrible - worse thing I ever heard. We're inspired by our own facial hair and by bands that have facial hair. Like ZZ Top, and the Beatles in their bearded era. We love beards so much it's why we play music."

The Beards are no flash in the pan or one-hit wonder. They have a plan for their future.

"Our plan is to keep growing our beards and keep convincing everyone else to grow beards and once everyone has beards our work is done and we'll retire."

You can catch The Beards at the Beach Hotel in Byron on Friday, September 28, from 9.30pm. Don't shave.

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