Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Interview: Beach House

In the spirit to attempt to recover from last week's tragedy, I will be posting much of last week's planned items. To update you, I am still without a primary computer posting whenever the opportunity is available. To kick off, the redux of last week's posts is my interview with Beach House. I had the pleasure to sit down with them when they came through Chicago last month with Grizzly Bear. That evening was Victoria's first run through of a live performance of "Slow Life" returning to stage during the GB set. Prior to the evening's show we spoke about their excitement to begin recording their next album and Victoria's new rain slicker she picked up that afternoon. It was a blast meeting and learning of their plans for the upcoming album, to be released by new label Sub Pop in the beginning of 2010. Alex Scally is climbing walls with excitement about their new material and imaginatively defining their music style visually.

Drawing From Music: Your music both lyrically and in the variety of orchestrated instrumentation lends itself to be from an earlier romanticized generation. Would you say you're old souls or is there an influence from a specific era?

Victoria Legrand: Our influences have come from so many things, we're not attached to the past. We are very much into making music with whatever we're into.

(Alex Scally quickly joins us as we are just beginning our Q&A session, having finalized upcoming recording sessions)

DFM: If one were to run a background check on you what would they learn?

VL: I am gonna stick with no comment
AS: I studied Geology, I went from rocks to rock. I'm a science nerd, excited anytime I pick up a Scientific America.

DFM: If you were to tell a story, or paint a picture that would best describe your music to someone who has never heard it, how would it be?

AS: We should talk about what our new stuff would be like. It's more exciting to talk about. The painting would not be complex from far away but intricacies up close, bold colors. (At this point, he enthusiastically paints the imagery with this light in his eye) We are just a chip that God dips into the salsa of life.
VL: We should make a song called, “good dips”

DFM: What would you say is the constant idea or themes you try to address in your music? Would you describe your music as more abstract or literal?

VL: Let's go with abstract for $500...it's not like heartbreaking, my heart is like a triangle
AS: The new record is ecstatic, a passionate teenage love story

DFM: The layers and styles that are emitted in your music seem endless. Who were some of your biggest influences at an early age and how have they changed through the years?

VL: Michael Jackson (unfortunately since his death, it seems like the answer of the year, but he really was...I cant help it), Andrew Lloyd Weber*, Tom Petty, Children's TV (Mr. Rogers)
AS: A “shit-ton” of Bob Marley, The Beatles,Velvet Underground

* Victoria's excitement is emitted as she vividly describes the first scene from Act II of Phantom of the Opera. The skull in the masquerade part, the oppressive scene; she didn't exclude any detail regarding this red velvet scene.

VL: My biological father is a painter, a realist. He did all the sucky things you have to do to survive as an artist...commissions for annoying people until it drove him crazy.
DFM: What sort of stuff is he painting now?
VL: I don't know what he's doing now, he just gave me this nice painting of a bouquet of flowers, nice colors.

As Victoria have gotten a bit off conversation, we have turned to see Alex has scaled the wall in the room responding to Daniel Franz (the band's touring drummer) introduced to me as D, their most awesome drummer. He greets me overlooking the same wall...After a laugh, Alex sits back down ready for the next question.

DFM: What are your roots as musicians? Who were some of the musical influences that aided in the molding of the musicians you are today?

VL:We're both classical people. I like to play Chopin and romantic piano things. I also like dance things, pop music.
AS: I also took lessons as a teenager, and played with 4 tracks putting music together at an early age.

DFM: Are there any bands or music that you're listening to lately? Any bands you enjoyed touring with this summer?
VL: “Deadbeat Summer”, by Neon Indian...Theres a resurgence of old stuff with youtube..we've toured a lot. Avi Buffalo, they're young and have their whole life in front of em.
AS: There are a ton of great bands, so many people are making awesome music lately. Definitely Neon Indian and the new Fever Ray.

DFM: If there were any character in history from any media (TV,literature,comics, etal.) that you would best liken yourself to who would it be? Why?

VL: I don't know who'd I identify with.
AS: Someone I definitely identify with is Wayne Coyne, he is just so full of life. Not sure if I'm like him but more aspire to be like.

DFM: And finally, aside from music what would you say are some personal outlets for you?

VL: Clothes, costumes, my cat, I studied theatre in college and afterward, it's a dying format.
AS: Listening to music, building stuff to make music

Beach House will be touring through the States and then Internationally for a while with Grizzly Bear, definitely worth checking out if they head your way. At this point, there's no real idea concrete details on the duo's third album or when it should be released on Sub Pop.

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