When you’re among good friends, everything comes easy. Cowboy Boy stands as a steadfast example, made up of Olivia Maria and Mike Nevin (Saccharine, Leaner), two Allston friends who have come together to release a pop punk EP that bites through confession with clarity. The EP titled , Princess, packs cathartic realizations that peel away self image and come to terms with reality versus expectation. The EP summary could easily come down to Maria’s line in “DREAM DREAM DREAM” where she spills, “I used to think that I was cool because I don’t ever take shit, but lately taking shit from you is really all I do and I’m so sick.”
You can check out Princess and get to know the band below, before they join Katie Ellen and Chris Farren at The Middle East on March 23rd. Tickets are $10 in advance/$12 at the door and it’s an all ages show.
Allston Pudding: How did you meet?
Olivia: Mike and I met through mutual friends in 2012 and have been good friends ever since but we didn’t start making music together until 2015 when I wrote the Cowboy Boy stuff and he was my first thought when I wanted to make an album with somebody.
Mike: We met outside of a coffee shop in Summer 2012 and immediately became very close friends. I always looked up to her as a performer and singer, so when she asked me to help with fleshing out some ideas for a new project of hers, I was immediately excited.
AP: How does this project differ from your other bands?
Olivia: This was the first thing I made that didn’t feel like it had to fit into a particular genre before I made it. This was also the first thing I’ve made and fleshed out outside of a band setting which is really different from prior projects where someone else did 99 percent of the writing so it feels kinda weird knowing I don’t have someone else’s words to hide behind.
Mike: For a long time, I’ve been very used to writing songs/most of the arrangements for bands that I play in. This band has been my first truly collaborative project and has been an incredibly refreshing and rewarding process. Olivia brings me incredibly written songs and my duty is to help make my vision for them match hers. It’s a very good feeling to be able to see eye to eye in a creative setting with someone, and we understand each other very well in that sense.
AP: What sets a Cowboy Boy from a Cowboy?
Olivia: I’ve never met a real cowboy before but I have a feeling that my twinkly band of Allston basement dwellers and actual cowboys are one-hundred percent the same.
Mike: I always picture a cowboy as like the Kid Rock song and a cowboy boy would prob just be a smaller version.
AP: How do Elle DioGuardi’s visuals play out the feel of the band?
Olivia: The best way I can explain it is that Elle’s visuals are what I had in my head when I wrote this album. Elle has the ability to understand and perfectly execute my ideal visual aesthetic for this project and that’s why Elle is a part of the band the same way Mike and I are.
Mike: Elle is one of my favorite visual artists and her work has definitely inspired a lot of my creative work.