Brendan Eprile of the Los Angeles-Based Pop-Punk/Electropop Duo BOYR!OT Discusses Their Debut Single, “MA!N CHARACTER”

BOYR!OT is a relatively new queer pop-punk/electropop duo that formed in New York, New York and are currently based in Los Angeles, California. Comprised of partners Brendan Eprile and Greg Driscoll, the project has been gaining traction in the City of Angels for its high-octane, rebellious pop jams which invoke the pop-punk/emo heyday of the 2000s. In May, the band dropped their debut single, “MA!N CHARACTER.” Brendan emailed Post-Burnout to discuss the single, meeting Greg on Tinder, working in L.A., and much more


To get the obvious question out of the way: I believe you and Greg met on Tinder. What were your musical backgrounds and how did BOYR!OT begin?

We did meet on Tinder! We were both very musical growing up and immediately connected over our love of music. Greg was pursuing a career in musical theatre at that point and I was trying to make it as a singer-songwriter. We were a couple for over a year before we started to pursue music together. Since we started playing music together, we’ve been signed by a major label, dropped, moved cross-country, been on multiple national tours, and opened for artists like Betty Who. Now we are proud to introduce our new project BOYR!OT.

Was there much overlap in musical tastes from the beginning? What did you find were the contrasts in your tastes, and did they have an influence on the direction of the project?

One of the things that brought us together was our shared musical tastes and love of emo and pop-punk music. Overall we have pretty similar tastes in music, but Greg tends to lean a bit more to rock while I lean a bit more to pop and electronic, and musical theatre is a big influence of Greg’s. Our sound reflects our diverse tastes, as it has elements of rock, pop-punk, mainstream pop, and electronic music. 

In general, how is it working (primarily) as a two-piece? What are the challenges and what are the benefits?

Honestly, it’s been great! We’ve both had times when we were solo artists, but we always end up going back to playing music together. Nothing beats doing something you love with the person you love! We obviously sometimes have creative differences, but it makes it even better when we both agree on a creative idea. Our main advice would be to separate your personal life from your band and don’t take anything too personally when it comes to differences of opinion. 

Greg Driscoll (left) and Brendan Eprile
Photo by Nathan James
Courtesy of BOYR!OT

You formed in New York, but are currently based in Los Angeles; two cities which are known to have a few musicians poking around. How do you differentiate and sell yourself in an endless sea of competition?

It can be so hard to stand out but we also couldn’t imagine living in a smaller city! We started to make a name for ourselves in NYC and were just starting to break through when the pandemic hit. We ended up moving to LA and starting over. It’s a blessing and a curse living in LA, because there’s so many networking opportunities and access to the music industry, but it’s also insanely competitive. We’ve never had a problem standing out though! 

Do you find working in a competitive environment gives you the necessary kick in the ass to do what you do or could you still generate music in a sleepy, no-name village?

Working in a competitive environment is a must for us! We both grew up in small towns and we could never go back. Even in the internet age, it’s still so important to live somewhere with opportunity. While it’s hard not to compare ourselves with people who are more “successful” than us, it’s still inspiring to see so many peers making it in such a hard field. We find that being around people as ambitious as us gives us the drive we need to succeed. 

Your debut single, “MA!N CHARACTER,” was released in May. Could you tell us about the song and why you chose it as an introduction to the band?

Because we ARE the main characters! We wanted “MA!N CHARACTER” to be our debut single because it’s so bold and unapologetic. The song is a self-love anthem about tapping into one’s “main character” energy and a mantra we tell ourselves whenever we feel insecure or insignificant. As cliche as it sounds, it felt like one of those “songs of the summer”, so the timing could not have been more perfect. 

With Marky Style and Taylor Morrow working as producers and Justin Hergett working as a mixer, the song has a strong pedigree from a production standpoint. How did you go about choosing who to work with for your debut and was it easy to get them on board?

We found everyone by looking at artists we admire and seeing who they work with. Marky Style works with Royal & The Serpent, one of our all-time favourite artists, as well as the rising hip-hop duo Flyanna Boss. Taylor Morrow has worked with the band Weathers, a mainstay of the alternative scene. And Justin Hergett has worked with a few artists we’ve heard of (if P!NK or Beyonce rings a bell to anyone). We wanted this project to have nothing but the absolute best talent working with us. We were shocked that some of these huge players in the music industry agreed to work with us, but it just goes to show that it never hurts to ask! 

How important is the right production to your music? Would it be the same, regardless of who produced and mixed it?

We’ve learned throughout our career that production is EVERYTHING. We had a previous musical project where we did not put the same priority into production and mixing, and it unfortunately reflected in the music. We’ve always thought of ourselves as performers first, but we’ve realised that we have to release songs that people want to listen to if we ever want them to see us live. We now go by the rule that if we don’t want to listen to the song on repeat, then it shouldn’t be released! 

I’m not sure if it is the same where you live, but, in Ireland, I have been observing a huge resurgence in the kind of high-octane, Warped Tour-esque, pop-punk/electropop music that you guys are incorporating. Do you find that people are coming around, rediscovering the music of that era and appreciating it? Would the kind of people attending your shows have been teens when it was popular, or do you notice younger people also coming along?

We’ve noticed that too, and we LOVE it! That genre of music is both being rediscovered by older millennials nostalgic of that era, as well as a new generation of emos and punks! What I love about the punk and emo scene now is that it’s a lot more accepting, and one of our main goals with this band is to make that scene a more welcoming space. While I loved going to Warped Tour in the late 2000s as a kid, there wasn’t much diversity with the bands we were seeing and there weren’t openly out many queer/ gay men doing that kind of music. We slowly see that changing and we want to be one of the leading voices in the queer alternative scene. We think about how impactful it would have been having a band like us growing up, so we don’t take this lightly. 

Now that you have your debut released, what is the plan for BOYR!OT, either immediate or distant? Do you have anything that you would like to add or plug?

Stay tuned for a new single coming out in July! If you want to keep an eye on us, our handle is @weareboyriot on all social media platforms. Hope you all join the riot, because this is only the beginning! 

BOYR!OT’s debut single, “MA!N CHARACTER,” is out now on all streaming platforms. You can find the band’s music and social media accounts here.

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