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10 Qs with Rocky and Balls (EXCLUSIVE)

Whether from our posts on various sites (Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter), or your own hairy YouTube searches, by now you had to have heard of Rocky and Balls, The Beard Song, or at least figured out how awesome a ukulele can really be… We’ve been on this particular ‘Beard Folk’ bandwagon since connecting the seminal song to the overdub of Beardo: The Movie (another favorite) and swooning over it ever since that very moment on… but the story gets even better.

Seemingly following the Build-A-Beard 'all inclusive' philosophy, Rocky and Balls didn’t just want to recognize beards among the facial fuzz elite; to prove their true devotion to loving all things hirsute the duo went above and beyond their calling to raise money for Movember with The Mo Song… at that point the halls of Build-A-Beard were buzzing, we knew we had to find these two fair neighbors to the east, get into their heads and see what other fuzzy things we can uncover.

To scoop an EXCLUSIVE interview, Build-A-Beard’s own El Beardo gladly flew across the Atlantic over the weekend to sit down with Sophie Madeleine and Hannah Rockcliffe and get to the bottom of everything we and our readers were dying to know. Below is the resulting unedited conversation, and is our gift to you on this Monday, hopefully the three of us can make it a brighter day/week for y'all... and maybe, just maybe... the duo will love us for more than our beard now. Hopefully...

B-A-B: First things first, how did you meet and how long have you been singing together? What about the name… where’d that come from?

Rocky: I was flat-share-hunting because I was moving to Bath to start an MA in Songwriting. And, as fate would allow, I unknowingly came across the house of another prospective Songwriting MA-er, Balls!!

Balls: Yes, we met through a flat-share website, and I actually had to pay a membership fee just so I could message her back! She was worth it though!

Rocky: I moved in and we became great pals indeed. That was September 2007 and we've been "Rocky and Balls" officially for about a year now. The name is from our surnames and nicknames pertaining to our surnames. Rockcliffe and Ball.


B-A-B: I'd say it was worth it for sure, and a happy belated anniversary ladies! One of the pillars of your repertoire is The Beard Song, which is absolutely amazing, how did the idea come about?

Rocky: We had to write a song together for a University assignment, so we were thinking of all of our commonalities, the list was: fajitas, being a student, cats, and then beards! So we rolled with the beards idea.

Balls: Yes, a few weeks before the assignment I had just started writing songs on ukulele, and Rocky really liked what I was doing and wanted to write a song for ukulele too! I seem to remember it was a lazy Sunday and I was in my pajamas throughout the entire process. 'Twas a good day!


B-A-B: You say that the song was made by Balls to cheer up Rocky... what was Rocky so sad about?

Rocky: I was moving home from University early due to the terribly sad passing of my uncle (which helped inspire us to support the charity Movember with a song about Mustaches in aid of Prostate cancer) so Balls recorded a video of our song and sent it to me to cheer me up. And it worked!

Balls: I was in the middle of recording my album. I was getting a bit tired of it, but then I came across the lyrics to "that song about beards" that I had written with Hannah a few months before. It made me laugh so much that I thought Hannah should hear it because I knew she was going through a tough time. 


B-A-B: Do beards always cheer Rocky up? or is it Balls' uke playing that puts a smile on Rocky's face? We'd think a kazoo session can always help too...

Rocky: Laughs "just the sight of a beard can cure a frown!" springs to mind! When we get together there is usually a lot of cheeriness.


B-A-B: The Beard Song was used in the trailer of Beardo: The Movie... is that a big and furry honor? I’m sure you can get a private invite to the World Beard and Moustache Championships now (the theme of the movie), will you take up the offer if it comes?

Balls: A very big honor indeed! And if we ever receive in a invite to go to the championships we'd happily accept! (hint hint)


B-A-B: The Mo Song was a great charity initiative for Movember; was that your first charity work with the organization? How much did you raise?

Rocky: Yes, 2009 was our first bit of charity work using Rocky and Balls. We felt we wanted to raise some money and awareness the best way we knew how, and that was to write a song. We posted it on for download for the week leading up to the charity's event in London and managed to raise £350. We were so pleased to raise so much in such a short time and all the proceeds went straight to the charity.

Balls: Also, my Dad had the most amazing mustache for all of his adult life. He sadly died of cancer when I was in my teens, so when Rocky suggested the idea, I had every reason to agree to it!


B-A-B: Rocky, we have to admit, you look awesome with a stache…you donned not one, but two fake staches for The Christmas Song Song... why not during The Mo Song? 

Rocky: The tache's were a present and unfortunately I didn't own the mo's til after we had finished the video for the Mo song! 


(B-a-B: Rocky used it also for The Mo Song 'promo' as seen in middle picture)

 B-A-B: What is each of your favorite beard or facial hair style? Please say corporate beardos

Rocky: I enjoy a dense but neatly trimmed beard on a man.

Balls: I concur, very much so indeed. I just visited the BUILD-A-BEARD website in order to research "corporate beardos", because neither of us had ever heard that expression before. And I THINK that is exactly what Rocky just described, no?


B-A-B: You just made me the happiest beard blogger alive! Let me compose myself, take a cold shower and switch topics… In The Gay Song you make it a point to say that your gay fans' beards are “always neat,” do you find that the straight beardos don’t upkeep their beards as much?

Rocky: Laughs some don't…

Balls: All the bearded men that I know have very neat beards, regardless of their sexuality. But our gay friends are very well groomed in general, and we wanted to express that in lyrical form. Plus, we love beards, so of course we're going to mention them at every opportunity!


B-A-B: ...And finally, what's next for Rocky and Balls? Any more opportunities for facial hair recognition in any future songs?

Rocky: It's difficult living so far away from each other to come up with regular videos. Although, we are brainstorming a new song at the moment, but its subject is a closely guarded secret! What other types of facial hair can we write about!? Eyebrows perhaps?

Balls: We're also traveling to Italy at the beginning of April to do a show in our respective solo guises, and the organizers have requested some Rocky and Balls songs as an encore!

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Reader Comments (2)

Truly fantastic girls. I love the beard song of course, but it is more than just a silly song about beards, it's well crafted songwriting. Keep bearding ladies. The beard is strong with these two.

March 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

Rocky & Balls have been my favorite Youtube artists by miles. Best of luck, ladies!

March 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJgemonic

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