"You don't get beards as long as ours by just joining the latest craze. It takes years to grow beards like these."
Back in Terra Australis after their fifth international foray in three years, Adelaide's most hirsute export since Federation, The Beards, have decided to celebrate ten years of celebrating beards in song with a quick run around the south eastern states they've perhaps inevitably dubbed the Ten Long Years, One Long Beard anniversary tour, referencing the forthcoming best of/live album of the same name.
"All we really did was hang in there — but we did it," an obviously chuffed Nathaniel Beard, bass player with The Beards, admits of the band reaching its tenth birthday. "There was no way of knowing that there was such a demand for beard-related music. We just knew that we liked beards. I was as surprised that people in Adelaide embraced it let alone anyone in Europe. Everything along the whole journey has been a surprise for us really. All we really wanted to do was try to express just how much we like beards, and we weren't expecting to necessarily draw a crowd in doing that."
"There was no way of knowing that there was such a demand for beard-related music."
Despite the fact that beards have, throughout history, marked out the "best" among us, from Plato and Socrates to Charles Darwin, The Beards feel they have very much been in the vanguard of a revival, despite suggestions to the contrary.
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"I guess the double-edged sword to that," Beard suggests, "is people who aren't acquainted with our backstory just assume that we jumped on the hipster bandwagon. You don't get beards as long as ours by just joining the latest craze. It takes years to grow beards like these. And yes, of course, ZZ Top have certainly got longer beards than we do — we can only hope to one day have beards as long as theirs."
ZZ Top have, however, never written a song about beards. "I assume all their guitar solos are about how much they like beards. If you think about the subtext of the guitar solos, I think really a joyous, boundless love of beards is being expressed. Obviously they've got another big cross against their name in that their drummer doesn't have a beard and has the surname beard, which is one of the most audacious moves in rock history in my opinion."
The Beards' prescience with regards to embracing all aspects of facial follicular abundance can be seen in the rise and rise of TV shows replete with beards of all colours, shapes and sizes — Vikings, and of course, Game Of Thrones.
"I think the reason why is people in the '90s were watching Full House, a show with no beards whatsoever, and just look how far television has come when you just add beards. I think you'd be hard pressed to find a television critic who would argue that Full House is a superior show to Game Of Thrones. The one reason for that, in my opinion, is beards."