Interview mit Beach Slang

Wer exklusives Material von Beach Slang hören will, sollte bei der aktuellen Tour zum Soundcheck auf der Matte stehen. Denn dort basteln Beach Slang bereits am neuen Album.

Beach Slang aus Philadelphia verkörpern den Punk-Hype des Jahres 2015. Fette Filter, Spielereien und immer geht es um kleine Coming-Of-Age-Geschichten. Das Album “The Things We Do To Fing People Who Feel Like Us” ist in Deutschland voll eingeschlagen. Während ihrer Tour durch Europa basteln Beach Slang trotzdem schon an LP2 – und es soll noch shoegaziger werden, verraten Gitarrist Ruben Gallego und James Alex im Interview.
So you are back again after you have been touring Germany in May 2015. Now that your record is released – what is different?
Alex: Yeah, i think there is a little more for people to bite into. You know like the first time, we came over we were a favor to the people, we were the “new kids on the block”, just trying to get ourselves in front of some people and maybe someone would like our band. And I think this time we are back here on our own legs and people are coming to see us. Beach Slang are just a rock’n’roll-band doing what a rock’n’roll-band is supposed to do, playing shows and hoping that people will know us.
And what does it do to you? Do you experiment more know? Do you play songs now that are a little more laid back and not just the very pushing ones?
Alex: Yeah, I would say that this is totally true. Last time we only wanted to put our best feed forward. And I think now that we are headlining, the show can’t be just one speed. So now we do vary it up with different tempos and songs that have different feels to them.
I have to tell you, I was so disappointed, when you put out your EP Broke Thrills this year and all the songs up there they were great, but I knew all of them. Why did you do this?>
Ruben: Yeah, well we had the two EPs out in America and then we signed with Big Scary Monsters over here, and he was like: ‚To make it easier for people in Europe, let’s just take the two Beach Slang EPs and put them on one record. Cause that format is more excepted here.‘ And we didn’t expect people to react like: ‚What are you doing man, you are just repackaging the two records already?!‘ We just thought about the accessibility.
You made it! You raised a lot of attention with this EP and then you brought out your record “The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us”. When did you create this record, because you have been touring so much?
Alex: That was a real tight time-line. I’m learning how to write songs while we tour, which I have never been able to do before. So we recorded the record in two weeks, it was really kind of fast. Time is a luxury that we don’t have anymore. So we recorded just between two tours and we are working on LP2 right now. When we go home in Late February we leave in late March, we will record LP2 in that window. So we get to look at our calenders, basically we are lapped out for the next time.
Aren’t you afraid to start writing about nothing else then touring and being on the road?
Alex: I don’t think so. I wanted to be a writer long before I was a guitarist and a singer, so it is in me to wanna explore things. And I am an introverted studier of humanity. So when we are traveling around, I will not try to turn songs in journey-songs about ‚how it’s thought to be on the road‘. I am studying all the interactions and moments that people don’t see and that I see. Those are the things to me that are really sweet and that I write about. Those are not necessarily connected to the road.

Beach Slang – between Bukowski and Hunter S. Thompson

A lot of songs on the record are about growing up, coming-of-age-stories about being wild and free and you are not 20 anymore – do you think some day you will be too old for these stories?
Alex: I hope not. My whole thing is like Bukowski said ‚live our lives so well, that death will tremble to take us‘. Like Hunter S. Thompson about skidding into the grave. You know, science is still out on this, but as far as we know, we have one crack at this live-thing. And I just wanna make sure, I am not puffing out my last breath in the question of ‚I whisI would have‘. I wanna live it the whole way and have fun. Nay, maybe next year I will be back and say ‚oh, my knees are killing me‘ but right now I am absolutely in love with the notion of being alive.
More specific on the album: „Too late to die young“ is definitely the cheesiest song on the record. How did you decide on putting strings on this song?
Alex: We were on Tour with ‚Cursive‘ and Meghan played Cello on that Tour. And I would always here her practicing backstage. When it would just be here. And I always thought, it would just be so hunting and beautiful. What other song could it have been, that it would work so well on? I just send her the tracks and she send back these two different tracks and our engineer accidentally played both at the same time. So she never meant it to be like that, but it just sounded so well. For a lot of people it was like ‚why would Beach Slang record a song with an acoustic guitar and strings on it‘ but I want those freedoms. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think are no other guest musicians on the record, did you plan on this?
Ruben: We had some ideas, but we just wanted to make sure, who Beach Slang is, before we wanted to have other people on there. Only my roommate Hannah has some vocals on the record.
Alex: Yeah, she has some tunes that I could here, but even in my best falsetto voice I could never sing this. Just like Porno-Love, she helped with the harmony on that. And how does she think about the record now?
Ruben: She screamed and flipped out. She loves it! So how about bringing other people to scream or flip out on the next record?
Alex: I have half of it written, but so far I don’t see a need for anyone else being on there. But we will see. There are some Gang-Vocal-Actions right now, so we can limit it for the band or bring in a bunch of friends and have the party on there.

New Beach Slang record will push into New Wave, Brit-Pop & Shoegaze

So Gang-Vocals … Is there anything else that we can already know about the LP2?
Ruben: I am so excited about this!
Alex: We started working last night in sound-check on the first one, that I took from the demo. So I was like ‚let’s make it loud‘ and it sounded pretty great. We are pretty thrilled. I have the title already. We are really in great shape. It will sound like a Beach Slang record, but I think it is going to push into New Wave and Brit-pop and Shoegaze – the whole stuff that I sort of flirt with all the time – a lot more. We have started making it, yesterday and this was really fun and exciting.
So on the next shows we should be on the sound-check….
Ruben: Giving away all the secrets…
I am a bad Journalist right now, but who are you playing with tonight?
Alex: We are on tour with Pedal for the whole tour.
Ruben: Kiley is the most talented people I ever met, she is a brilliant songwriter and your voice will just flaw you.
Alex: So typically it is a full band, but the band couldn’t make the tour. And it takes a lot of moxy to do that, to come out before a band and expose yourself to the audience. And how was the audience to her? Alex: That is the great thing about our audience. This sort of fun for lyrics and gentleness of human spirit, I think we attract people that are going to be open to giving people a shot. We attract good human beings.
So far as I can see they have been great. After these shows in February you are going back home, what are you going to do first?
Ruben: My Roommate Hannah has a new baby-cat, so I am going to meet the cat. And I will give my girlfriend presents and hang out with her.
Alex: Oh, man … probably smooch, probably sleep and eat this tomato pie, that always eat when I get home from a tour at this little restaurant down the road. And then I am going to go into my room and write, cause the new Beach Slang record has to get done.
And in Summer you come back, but only for the big festivals – are you intentionally skipping the little ones?
Alex: That just happened!
Ruben: We are not intentionally skipping anything. It is cool, I have no complains.
Alex: There is definitely a bunch more that we are not to say set, it will be a very festively summer.