Twenty-four-year-old singer-songwriter Ryan Sambol (far right) founded this quartet nearly a decade ago, when he was a teenager in Dallas. The band moved to Austin in 2007 and, two years later, released an attention-getting debut CD. On their third studio album, Live Music (Rough Trade)—the “Live” rhymes with “give” not “dive”—the Strange Boys complete their shift from lo-fi garage rock to a shambling yet tuneful version of country rock.
You’re in San Francisco right now. Are you there on tour?
No, I’m just kind of living here for a little bit.
Is the rest of the band still back in Texas?
Everyone kind of split up this time around. Phil’s in the Northwest, Greg’s in the Northeast, and Mike is in L.A.
Is the band in danger of splitting up?
I suppose we have, but I don’t know if … well, only physically.
So the new record isn’t your swan song?
I hope not.
You’re in the odd situation of being a 24-year-old grizzled veteran of the music industry. Has it been weird growing up in the world of rock and roll?
It’s been pretty nice. The people I’ve met through music are my best friends, and they’re from all over. I don’t think I would’ve ever met the friends I have now if I wasn’t playing.
In one interview you said that lots of bands in Dallas were nice guys backstage, but the moment they got onstage they had all this attitude.
I’ve probably been guilty of it myself. Sometimes you can’t let the real world go when you’re onstage. Especially when you’re on a very long tour, sometimes you forget why you’re there.
The new record had me thinking about the fact that