Scientists have been studying beards for hundreds of years attempting to compile a complete catalog of all beard species, but the list is endless. All we can do is love them for what they are and spread that love all around the world. I've got a beard, and sometimes I've been insulted because of it. One heroic group of men who are praising the concept of the beard has formed a band, and they've called it the Beards. This weird Australian act has been touring for a few years now, attempting to create a better and more bearded world. All their songs are about beards. All their records are about beards. Their love for beards is a black hole of facial hair and cannot be completely fathomed by anyone without some fuzz on their face.
After understanding their levels of beard love, I decided it would be best to conduct an interview to gain some wisdom. Once I sat down to do the interview though, their beards formed like Voltron and I pretty much just talking to a single floating super beard. Beardtron spoke about beards, people without beards, and their support for bearded women.
Noisey: You're from Australia is that right?
The Beards: Yeah man. The Land of Beards.
Is it the Land of Beards?
It is now. Every single person in Australia has a beard now. That is true. When we started it wasn't popular at all. It wasn't cool to have beards and that's why we started the band. Us bearded men were heavily discriminated against.
Within in the past five years, having a beard is much more culturally accepted. Was your music to promote greater beard usage?
Yes just because it's the right thing to do. We didn't want to follow and fashion trends. We are hip-fashionable, but that's besides the point. It's strictly out of coincidence. There are no bad reasons to grow a beard, but we don't really like the idea of growing a beard because they are jumping on the bandwagon because it's cool at the moment. We doubt any of those people will actually keep their beard when it's not cool anymore. Part of what we are doing is to encourage people to keep a beard for life. Anyone can grow a beard, but it takes a real man to keep that beard.
When did you start growing facial hair?
We don't remember our lives before having a beard. We purposely repress those memories and we burnt all the photos of ourselves as a child. Now, our only memory was being a beard in a field and humans grew out of it. We're great now, but we were better when we were all just beards. We think that's why we can't be killed by conventional weapons.
That's amazing. I had a powerful beard when I was in high school.
A lot of schools in Australia don't allow their pupils to have beards. They call them "grooming standards."
Are you doing anything to try to stop that?
We can't talk about a lot of things that we do, but we have written a lot of strongly worded letters. Often, we'll get approached by a high school kid online and he'll complain about his stupid school not allowing him to have a beard and ask if we can do anything. We'll then write to the principal of that school a sternly worded letter. After, we usually wrap the letter around a brick and throw that brick threw the window of the school. Brick aside, the arguments made in that letter are irrefutable. They are water-tight, sound arguments made by extremely intelligent bearded men and they are scientifically proven as well. Sometimes even writing the word 'beard' over and over again works really well.
What are some of your favorite bearded celebrities?
A lot of celebrities have recently jumped on the beard bandwagon like Brad Pitt for example. We love that they are doing that because it's a good benchmark that beards are on the rise when celebrates are doing it. We are still not at the point where our politicians have beards. It's a been over 100 years since the last U.S. president had a beard and we think that's one of the main things that is wrong with America and Australia for that matter. Our Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, ridiculed one of the sitting politicians for growing a beard during parliament question time. We're pretty sure she has never had a beard once in her life. Regardless of all of that, we love that celebrities have beards now, but we particularly like the ones who've had the beard before it was cool and stuck with it. Celebrities like Father Christmas, Gandolf, Jesus, ZZ Top, God…all of those guys.
How often do you get questions about your beards?
We get asked questions about our beards daily. We get asked "what's with the beards?" And we respond with, "what's with your lack of beard?" Those are always from those people who don't have a beard and simply won't get it. You would never ask us a question like that because you understand. We also get asked quite a lot if they can touch our beard. The answer to that is, of course, yes! Hell yes you can touch my beard. It's here to be touched and stroked and loved. We don't mind getting questions about beards though. We love it. What really annoys me actually is when I get asked a question that is directly pertain to beards. Like, "where's the bathroom?" Oh god, what a stupid question. "Would you like fries with that?" That's stupid!
You played the World Beard and Mustache Championships. How was that experience beard-wise?
It was the ultimate. It was as if for one glorious week we were living in the utopian society that we've dreamed and strived for. It was almost as if you were walking down the street and you had a beard, you had the right of way. That's what we hope that it will one day be. Anchorage isn't a big town so the bearded community that descended on the city really took over. We had right of way. We'd be strolling down the street and a bunch of dudes with beards would walk past you and you'd give them a little nod or stop and talk about beards. It was the most natural thing in the world. We won the team furthest travel that year.
How do you guys feel about mustaches?
We don't like mustaches. We get asked that a lot and we just don't care for them at all. We think it's a poor man's beard. You're shaving off most of your beard which is something that we find personally insulting. It just doesn't make any sense. It's a real slap in the face to everything that bearded men have fought for all these years. Don't walk around with just a mustache.
Glad we're all on the same page on that. Anybody's beard in Anchorage that blew you away?
America has some excellent beards. We met Jack Passion and he's obviously the champion and his beard is quite impressive. I remember the first night we got there we went to this little bar and their was this side room that was filled with a bunch of dudes with beards. We thought it must have had something to do with a championships. We walked in and asked one of the guys if they were here for the championships and they didn't know what we were talking about. They were a bunch of brewers and were there for a meeting, but they all had huge beards! There are so many beards in Alaska that there can be a huge congregation of bearded men and it has nothing to do with beards. It's like having a scarf, but you don't have to wash it.
On the topic of beard competitions, I like the idea of a whole bunch of bearded men come together, but I don't like that they are competing against one another. Having a beard isn't a competition and it isn't about how big your beard is or whatever, it's just about having one. The fight is out there. It should be bearded men competing against and dominating people without beards. It should be a competition with 50 beardless people and 1 guy with a beard and he wins. In the end, everyone without a beard is executed.
You guys plans for total bearded world domination?
We just think that bearded people should have rights that beardless people can't have. We just think bearded people should be extended more rights. Part of the reason is because for a century we have been discriminated against and an apology isn't enough. They were wrong to ever question us and I will hold that grudge to the day I die, which will never happen.
What about those people who's genetics don't allow them to grow any facial hair?
We used to feel animosity towards those people, but with a long beard comes wisdom. We don't feel anger towards them anymore, but instead a deep sense of sympathy and pity towards them. Our hearts go out to them. To live in this world and not be able to grow a beard and be surrounded by bearded people is our idea of Hell on earth. We don't know what the point of living is without a beard. We'd rather be violently killed than be without a beard.
What about women? Do you think women should have beards?
Ideally, yes. For those who can, we strongly encourage them to grow beards. I wish there were more. They are an elusive breed, but it's totally hot. We're really into that. It can happen though. It's all about patience. For example, my grandmother has waited 75 years, but she finally got her beard. So, it's just about hanging in there. My grandmother is a handsome, handsome lady.
Did you start making music before you had beards, or did the music spawn from the beards?
We had no musical knowledge before we had beards. As our beards grew longer, our skills became more proficient with more musical instruments and we became more skilled songwriters as well. At first, we would just gather around and talk about beards. Those were the days. We'd just talk about beards, read some beard related poetry, and listen to music by bearded artists. We would yell the word 'beard' into each others beards. It was kind of a theory we had that it would stimulate growth. Very hard to disprove. It seemed to have worked because look at us now. The music came second though and always will come second. We don't even like music that much. Music is simply the chosen vehicle for our message. I think it's easier to express our message with a catchy melody and a 4/4 beat. Interpretive dance is a lot harder to express the message than music; we tried.
Would you say beards have magical powers?
Yeah, kind of. We don't know if you'd say magical, but they definitely have powers. We firmly believe and we don't think anybody can really deny it that people with beards are better across the board than people without beards at all things. As our beards grew longer, we got better at: music, faster at running, became better looking, better at writing songs, and better at writing lists. Just better in general.
In the song, "Got Me a Beard," you dumped a girl because she wanted you to trim your beard. Is that based off true events?
Yes that happened to us. The film clip is basically exactly what happened. If was the first time she explicitly asked us to shave, but she kept dropping hints. A clean shaved guy would walk past us and she would say, "he looks good." We'd go to the supermarket and walk down the aisle with the razors and kind of look at them. Then she gave us a really expensive beard trimmer for my birthday and on that day we broke up with her and haven't spoken to her since. She's actually dead now ever since that day as well. Strictly coincidence though.
I want you guys to rate my beard. Feel free to critique it.
We don't like to criticize a beard, especially such a fine beard. If anything, it's too good a beard. We really like the shape that you've got just underneath the mouth. You've the bushy mustache and you've got a little soul patch, but you still got a filled in beard and it gets thicker. It's got good character. It's got good thickness. If you grew it out, it'd be lush and full. We like how it matches your hair in length as well, but we don't really care that much about your hair.
For people out there who have a little trouble growing a beard, any tips that you'd give to help them grow it out?
We have some wise words of wisdom from my father, who had a beard, told me. He said that a patchy teenage beard is still a beard. It's better to have a really patchy, kind of all over the place beard than just walk around with a hideous, clean shaven face. If you're concerned about your beard, we don't mind if you wear fake beards around to hide while they are growing their real beard, especially if you can't grow a beard. A fake beard is definitely better than nothing because then we don't have to see this stupid beardless face walking around. That's actually something we've developed into the audience of our shows. There will be people with fake beards. They are like second-class citizens, but at least they are not third class citizens. They are nothing to us, of course, but they are better than those beardless people. Growing a beard is really easy anyways… all you have to do is nothing. We also encourage the female audience to do something called 'bearding' which is when your hair is long enough, you tie it the front of your face. Kind of like a front ponytail.
Any last words?
Beards, beards, beards.
Daniel Dorsa is on Twitter - @danieldorsa