The Google machine this month has been overworked with phrases containing words associated with beards. No Shave November is upon us, and men from around the country are attempting to take advantage of the relaxed dress codes at work and bring awareness to cancer and its victims. In honor of that, we found something special for our readers.
But before we get there, we just need to add that the hirsute are a proud people. They’re fearless. They’re humble. They have artists devoted to their cause. Delve into the divine with an interview we grabbed with Johann Beardraven, one of the men responsible for the Australian rock group The Beards.
While their North American tour last month was canceled because of issues with government clearance (we won’t claim it was beardism, but come on), they still maintain that they’ll be in the states soon, spreading their facial follicle love over all of our faces.
As a band, image is very important. Why was it so important for you to portray yourselves as “The Beards” and to all carry on magnificent facial locks of your own?
We don’t really consider it an image – our beards are more like a way of life. Sure, we do look amazing, but that’s only part of it – we have a strong belief in the glory of the beard and we’ve made it our life’s mission to spread the message of how great beards really are. I guess we’re not so much a band as a religious movement. Or a cult, if you will.
What are some of the varying responses you get from city to city about your music, and about the topic you’ve chosen to highlight?
The responses we get are generally overwhelmingly positive. Sure, a few places will be skeptical at first – probably slightly intimidated by our raw bearded power – but once people hear our songs and experience our live performance, they’re generally ready to embrace our pro-beard propaganda. When you combine our ultra-impressive beards with our expertly crafted tunes, the result can be pretty persuasive.
Have you ever been victims of beardism? That is, treated differently because of your beards? Give some examples if you wish.
We do seem to get treated differently, but only in a good way. We often get women throwing themselves at us, beardless men bowing down to us wherever we go, that sort of thing. And when we do gigs, we get several free beers EACH! I’m not sure if other bands get that sort of treatment – I assume it’s only because our beards are so damn awesome. That’s what our manager tells us anyway.
Is it that men who can grow beards feel they’re better than those who can’t, or does a natural beard grower have sympathy for those affected by no facial growth?
It’s not that we feel we’re better – we ARE better. It’s simple science that bearded men are manlier, better looking, better lovers, and just generally superior to those without beards. I don’t tend to feel sympathy for the beardless – pity, perhaps – but I do believe that every man, woman and child can grow a beard if they believe in themselves and never give up trying to grow one. In the meantime, they should find themselves a good quality fake beard and wear it at all times.
There’s a British pressure group called the Beard Liberation Front, who is fighting for equal treatment of men who wear them, which started out as a satirical movement, but is now actually gaining momentum as an authentic campaign. Do you think this kind of a thing is necessary?
Unfortunately yes, it is necessary. There are still many areas of society where bearded men are unfairly persecuted – in the workplace, in relationships, getting told you look like the guy from The Hangover when you walk down the street… Here in Australia, the Chief Police Commissioner in Melbourne banned all police officers from having facial hair, and they’ve been forced to take the matter to court to protect their rights. It’s sickening. Groups like us and the Beard Liberation Front continue to fight hard for equality, but there’s still a long way to go…
What are your most valuable beard grooming tips you’d wish to share with others?
The most important thing is to take proper care of your beard, and it will in turn reward you with luscious and vibrant growth. Shampoo and condition regularly, comb and brush every day, and don’t be afraid to trim and sculpt your beard into your own individual style. You should also whisper words of encouragement to your beard at every chance you get. Don’t worry if you think it will make you look like a nut, because it definitely won’t. You can trust me – I have a beard.