If you ever dreamt about the day your parents got a new appliance, so you could reimagine the box into a car, a ship, or even a wrestling commentators box; (I was a weird child,) then this is for you.
Boxwars, created by a couple of mates over drinks, takes cardboard and reimagines it into amazing feats of engineering; putting on monumental shows and displays of 3 story monster trucks, battles and more crazy stuff. Boxwars travels around Australia, battling and workshopping around festivals and events. Ahead of their Boogie 9 show on the 3-5 April 2015, Ross Koger from Boxwars had a chat to us about the makings of Boxwars, their inner workings and an insight into their newest Boxwar theme!
How did Boxwars come about?
So the conception of Boxwars started when we were much younger – we were all drinking at parties, a fair bit of alcohol was involved. We sort of imagined this concept one day, and thought yeah lets give it a go. We did it [boxwar battle] at a party, and had a great time, and thought lets do this again!
The first time was really pathetic; really shit. But like any war, it had progression. With each new box war, the suits and structures became more elaborate and bigger and bigger until it became far too big for our back gardens, so we took it to the park. It was on Boxing day, (it fitted us well,) people were at the park already having BBQ’s and they all rushed over to check on what we were doing. We didn’t realise that there was entertainment value in what we were doing, or that other people would be interested; but they were! That was the beginning of Boxwars, and we go to the same spot every year on Boxing day! The suits, since then, have gotten more elaborate as have the crowds, and it’s funny that something which spawned from a stupid idea at a party has become so big.
Do you base the suits and structures off historical armour, or is it from your own imagination? Take us through conception to creation of a Boxwar outfit/structure:
We’re more influcenced by things we do, rather than other things. Everyone has their own method and certain style of creativity, ours is called ‘additive,’ where we start with one piece and add on pieces until we get something amazing and detailed. We do workshoips with kids and adults, and the most common thing we come across is people saying that they’re not creative and that they can’t do it. But we’ve found that the additive style is a really good way to break down that barrier, and by the end of the workshop, the people who said they weren’t creative can create amazing suits and pieces through the additive method.
Out of all the Boxcar creations you have made, which one has been your favourite?
I really like the monster truck we created for last years Boogie. It was 3 stories high, it rolled, and was fully made out of cardboard. It supported 3 people, and we even had drum kit on it! I was on the top with a guitar, and we rolled in to ACDC’s ‘long way to the top.’ I was at the back rocking out with a cardboard guitar, and a guy at the back of the crowd had the devil horns out – it was one of those great moments, as well as conversely ‘what am I doing with my life!’ There’s a paradox in Boxwars, as it’s simultaneously the most you can be a loser, and pretty awesome at the same time!
Where do the Boxwar creations get built? Are they made by hand or in a factory?
All the warriors build their own things, everyone’s a builder. The scale of our creations has come from the evolution of Boxwars, quite like a real wars evolution; as with each battle, the creations have become bigger and better, and we have learnt how strong cardboard is, and how to manipulate it for large structures.
How many people are there in your team of Box warriors?
It completely fluctuates. With us, there’s a core group that do Boxwars, and a bigger group of warriors that build with us all the time. There are lots of different groups that come to events in all cities around Australia who help build. The concept has even spread overseas in Edinburgh and a bunch of guys in the Netherlands who we got ot meet last year, (that was awesome,) as well as in Russia. It’s getting around, as it’s a concept that can work anywhere, and we’re happy that people overseas can identify with what we’re doing here in Melbourne and make stuff that’s pretty awesome.
So how many Festivals have you taken Boxwars to/ What other things do you do at Festivals besides battles?
We do props and workshops. For Stereosonic last year, we built these large robots with lights that hung over the crowd. I don’t really know what big Festival we haven’t done. This years Sydney Festival we did a Mad Max theme where we shut down a city street and drove dune buggies down it!
What can Boogie Festival goers expect this year?
We can’t really say anything – it’s a bit of a ‘tasty’ surprise. The hint is “whose cuisine will reign supreme?” So whatever that may mean, but if you’re a big fan like me of what I’m talking about, you’ll know instantly….
Check out Boxwars @ Boogie 9, 3-5th April 2015. For more info visit the website.
Check out a clip of Boxwars in action here!