Beach Fossils – Interview 2017

Beach FossilsThe long-awaited return of Beach Fossils, Somersault exhibits a band in bloom. Moving into new musical territory with a refined songwriting style, it’s an album that captures flashes of life in New York grounded in personal experience. The Brooklyn band will be showcasing it to Brighton at the beginning of September, ahead of this show I caught up with Dustin Payseur from the band.

How old are the songs on the new album and what was the recording process?
We started writing songs for Somersault around 2013-2014 so I think the oldest riff on the album ended up being from around that time. It’s more just certain parts than a full song. We come up with an idea and keep cycling it through until it finally clicks in with another part. So some songs are like a verse we wrote in 2014 with a bridge we recorded in 2016.

Are you conscious of how the tracks will sound live when you’re in the studio?
No, we never really think about that while working on something for the album. It’s always a surprise to see what happens when we start playing it live. The songs take on a whole new identity and personality.

Can you pinpoint the influences from the album?
It’s kind of from everywhere. We were listening to a lot of soul, jazz, rap, trip hop, etc. It just blended together in our brains and we let it come out however it wanted.

Is there a particular process that your songwriting goes through when crafting the tracks?
If anything it’s the opposite of a process. It’s really aimless without any goal or destination in mind. We just fuck around on the instruments in our studio until something sounds nice and we record it. So, for most of the album, what you are listening to is the moment we wrote something, we recorded it on the spot in the first few takes.

What does the next 12-18 months have in store for the band?
Touring, touring, touring!

If you could work with any artist, who would it be and what would they bring to?Beach Fossils??
I’m open to collaborating with anybody as long as they have the same passion. It’s hard to explain. I don’t want to collaborate with people who make music that sounds like us, or like rock music. Personally, I don’t really listen to rock music, so it’s nice to collaborate with people outside of that spectrum.

What music are you listening to at the moment? Are there any bands on your label that we should listen out for?
Been listening to a lot of Thievery Corporation, Bach, Handel, Erasmo Carlos, Vince Staples, Playboi Carti. As far as music from Bayonet, we have a lot of new artists we are signing right now, 2018 is going to be a crazy busy year for the label, and I’m really excited about it. I can’t really name names yet since we are still in the process of signing, but it’s going to flame status.

Is there a particular ethos that drives you as a band?
Just staying true to who you are and never compromising the integrity of your creative process. Life is short, so make something real, something that can continue to speak to the world and represent who you are long after you are dead.

What is your relationship with the city of Brighton?
We actually filmed the music video for ‘Generational Synthetic’ there. It was directed by our friend Pierce McGarry who used to play bass in Mac DeMarco’s band. We had just played The Great Escape together and filmed the video outside the venue in the parking lot after the show. Excited to come back.

Paul Hill