Written by S. Bowyer

 

The BorderersThe Borderers too

 

     The BordererS, fronted by Jim and Alex Paterson, are a well-known South Australian band who have sailed the world for their music, conquering hurdles and winning many accolades. They always have fresh, new ideas, and eclectic music styles they are attuned to. Their latest idea brings them to your living room, with the introduction of their acoustic house parties. Fans can arrange for them to play at their next BBQ, birthday celebration, anniversary, or even Hens/Bucks night. It makes for a hassle-free night, having songs (including some covers) played on-demand with your family or friends, without having to worry about the safety of your guests out on the town. Select the humorous tracks such as Fat, Bald, Ugly and enjoy a beer with your loved ones, or prepare a sit-down dinner and request some mellow song stylings.

     House Parties have been performed for fans in Australia, Europe and America, so location is not an issue.

 

 

 

The Borderers Journey

     The Borderers began with 2 people: Jim and Alex. Jim, born in Glasgow, Scotland traveled to Adelaide in 1994 to see a friend while backpacking, and was invited to hear a Celtic band in a studio. While there, he met Alex, an adorable Irish lass who already lived in Australia. Their friendship, then relationship, flourished quickly, and Jim had a new place in the world.

     "Suddenly I was in the band, became the co-producer and had 5 songs featured on the album. From being a simple backpacker, I suddenly became a step-father of a 3-year-old and a live-in boyfriend."

     The two later married, and have been a powerful duo at home and on stage ever since. Being the front personalities of the band, The Borderers, they have traveled the world, from Scotland, to Australia, America and Europe. However, unlike a lot of bands, their success is all their own work, being independant artists. Mr. Paterson explains that while they did consider the typical record label model of business, they decided it would not have worked for them. Be it time, or their eclectic style of music.

     "You also have to be willing to fly around the world promoting your albums and we had two small kids still at school. We also realised that you could make a good living by being independent and selling your own cd's. Nobody could tell us what style we should be recording too."

     "A big company in the USA wants us to sign with them but we're a bit wary if it's an exclusive contract. If it's non exclusive deal then we may try that out for a while."

     Being an independant has presented challenges, especially financially in the beginning, the band taking every opportunity to promote and perform as many places as they could, including old folks homes, kindergartens, weddings, funerals, conferences, organ donor assemblies. . . and now a fan's living room. They consider all these steps important for their success.

     "If you can survive as a band for 20 years and not rely on the dole or other jobs then you've made it in the music business. We just want to make people happy and don't really care about being famous. The really famous stars have all died young or developed serious drug or alcohol addictions."

     The band has received professional recognition, winning the Independent Music Award for Best Contemporary Christian song in America for Sinner and The Saint, as well as a Musicoz award for Best World Music. Their win increased their audience by 11 million people. They have also toured Canada, Singapore, New Zealand, France and Denmark, as well as Australia and America.

 

 

     Many agree the wish to stay their own style is what serves The Borderers most. They are inspired by so many forms of music that their own music type is very mixed. Their songs are blends of rock, pop, Christian music(on some titles), celtic, and sometimes blues. Each song is like a delectable cake with the ingredients of varying amounts, depending on what the flavour is to be. Sometimes it's serious, sometimes it's a revamp of a celtic classic, and sometimes it's out-right funny, such as the song, Fat, Bald, Ugly.

 

 

     "It's very hard to describe the sound. We suppose that Alex's voice is the constant but acoustic flavoured music with high energy would be close," Jim says. "We love to write positive lyrics that inspire people. Recently we've been writing Christian songs too."

     When asked how they find inspiration for a new song, Jim replies, "Titles are a good start, or often just adding new strings to my guitar sparks off a new song. Sometimes you hear a beat by another artist and think that would be good to emulate. A live show needs certain types of rhythms to be fully effective. So writing a song to order can be an inspiration too. Mostly we use our own lives for the lyrics."

     "Bruce Springsteen has been a big inspiration lately. He's so fit and healthy plus his lyrics mean something. He's also very into social justice."

     Jim's favourite song to date is Temptation. "It's like a fast blues song done on a stomp box. The energy it creates live is amazing."

     Alex, who is very fond of Gospel and New Orleans Dixieland, adores their song, Higher Ground. Jim explains, "She loves the way it builds up and the lyrics are about trying to be a better person each day. " Her favourite cover to perform is Hallelujah.

 

 

 

     Every so often The Borderers will perform a cover, polishing it with their own stylings, and making it a fun event for their audience, such as this cover of 500 Miles, recorded at the Skagen Festival in 2012, featuring their signature tartan and high energy performance skills.

 

 

 

     Jim says his goal yet to achieve is to have a song of theirs performed at Eurovision Song Contest, or to have another artist cover one of their songs and make it to Number 1.

     While The Borderers life has seemed like a perfect fairytale, it hasn't all been joy. All of their musical success could not prepare them for the passing of their 18 year old son, Rowan, 4 years ago. He committed suicide after battling depression.

     “He started running away when he was about 13 and ended up with mates who were 23, 24," Jim told Perth Now last year. “It was hard. When he was running away for months on end, we realised there weren’t any systems in place to look after him because he wasn’t ‘bad enough’. We tried to get him into certain kinds of houses that look after teenagers who are running away but it didn’t work out either.’’

     Rowan was involved in drugs and alcohol "in a big way." After a month-long binge, he took his life. Jim and Alex took comfort in support groups and their music, penning many songs about the experience. While a double CD was released, Alex is still unable to sing some of tracks live.

 

Rowan

Rowan, their missed son.

 

     "One side of the album is called Tales of Love and Loss, and the other is Rise Up, it’s how you come back from things like that in your family,’’ Jim said.

     The Borderers did a sideshow to help Youth Focus, a not-for-profit organisation that provides mental health services and support in the prevention of youth suicide, depression and self harm.

     More recently, The Borderers attended an 8 day tour on a Sydney to Vanuatu cruise ship along with 30 other country music artists. The aim was to work with and inspire homeless kids, "so they don't don't spiral into depression and end up taking their on lives," Paterson says.

     To book your house party, buy a Borderers CD or get more information, see their website at www.theborderers.com.au/. Songs are purchaseable in mp3 for $1.49.

 

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