“Blessed are the bearded men, for they shall inherit the Earth.” Jesus Christ did not utter this phrase, but he should have. Bearded men the world over have suffered stoically in a world not suited for their facial hair. In recent history, the bearded have been forced to live under a regime of shaving cream, razors and after-shave. A cabal of clean-chins has controlled the power for too long. The bearded ones for generations lived their lives in quiet desperation, waiting for follicular emancipation to come.
“I am dreaming of a world in which bearded men will no longer be oppressed by their clean-chinned inferiors,” Nathaniel Beard, bassist of Adelaide-based comedy folk rock band The Beards explains. “I’m dreaming of a world in which bosses, schools and wives don’t impose draconian sanctions about being clean or neatly shaven. I’m dreaming of a world where no man without a beard would ever have the audacity to speak down to his bearded masters.”
It’s probably no coincidence that “beard” is also a verb – its definition is “to confront, face or oppose.” And that’s what The Beards are all about. Formed in the mid-2000s as a joke – “But we’re not joking anymore,” Beard intones – The Beards’ maxim has remained impressively consistent: beards, beards and more beards. Their third album, Having A Beard Is The New Not Having A Beard, is being released later this month, and its first single You Should Consider Having Sex With A Bearded Man has just come out in video form.
I ask Beard if the world has become a safer place for bearded men. “[The Beards] met at a bearded men’s support group during late 2004 – a dark time for bearded people,” he explains. “Back then you couldn’t walk down the street without being called Jesus by dick-for-brains metrosexuals. There was no beard on Brad Pitt’s face back then I can assure you! It was an age of extreme beardism during which the clean-chins held all the cards. Luckily, people with beards are just plain better than people without beards, so we were able to begin the beard revolution without too much resistance from our utterly inept oppressors.”
Women certainly seem to have caught on to the benefits of having sex with bearded men. I mention this fact to Beard, and ask him if perhaps The Beards ever feel the slightest tinge of guilt for all those clean-shaven men whose women have left them for the arms of men who are more follicle-y enhanced. “Not in the slightest,” he casually says. “For well over a hundred years, the clean-chins have enjoyed a completely undeserved position at the top of society’s pecking order. Let’s not ever forget how they tried to hold us down whilst they were on top – Disney’s no-beard policy, the obligation to shave at weddings and other ‘formal’ occasions, labels like ‘hobo’, ‘hippy’ and ‘rapist’.
“No more. Now the bearded man is back in charge and the beardless are running scared or growing a big beard so they can avoid retribution. The second age of the Beard is just beginning, and if you don’t have a beard, you are finished.”
Beard, along with his cohorts Johann Beardraven (vocals), John Beardman Junior (drums) and Facey McStublington (guitar), is busy making the world a better and safer place for bearded folk one amazingly amusing and skillful song at a time, and he has loads of advice on offer for anybody who wishes to grow their own facial brush. His first tip is surprisingly simple:
“DO NOT SHAVE,” he states most emphatically. “Shaving is COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE to beard-growth. Anybody who tells you that shaving more frequently will stimulate beard growth is a dirty liar who has probably been paid to say that by the big shaving corporations. If you do not shave, ever, you will grow a beard. I promise.
“Also,” he continues, “remember that a patchy teenage beard is still a beard. Also, don’t let the fact that Kyle Sandilands has a beard deter you – the entire bearded community is against him having a beard as it damages the reputation of bearded men everywhere!”
I seek to clarify with Mr Beard the dilemma faced by the men out there who desperately want to grow beards, but are not allowed to by their women. Beard is quite direct with this query. “I shouldn’t need to give advice for this – dump her and never once look back. That should be obvious, for the real you has a beard, and if she doesn’t love your beard, then she doesn’t love the real you, so she’s got to go. If you can’t work that out, you don’t deserve to have a beard at all.”
Wise words, wise words indeed. With the release of their new album fast approaching, The Beards are preparing themselves for a national tour to share with their fellow countrymen the joys, thrills and advantages of growing absolutely fantastic beards.
Finally, I tell Beard, how refreshing it is to see a band that does what it says on the tin.
But I have one last question for him: Do bearded men tend to use more napkins? “Yes, we do require more napkins,” Beard admits. “On the upside, we require less razors, less shaving foam, less pink shirts with the collars turned up and less commercial radio.”
BY THOMAS BAILEY
The bearded, non-bearded and beard-curious alike should go on and check out THE BEARDS as they hit The Corner Hotel on Thursday March 15. Their Corner Hotel show on Friday March 16 has sold out. Having A Beard Is The New Not Having A Beard is out Friday March 9 through MGM. Beards.