1.To begin with, have you been pleased with the response to Teen
Dream and how do you feel before releasing new music is it still
Yeah, it is exciting and with Teen Dream, theres nothing
to be displeased about. For us, weve always been a really DIY
band, very small labels, doing a lot of touring, not selling a lot of
records weve always done it because we like doing it! But
for this record, theres been more support than with our previous
records, because people have liked it more. I think it also has to do
with the fact that weve been touring so much and working so hard
for so long! So, theres absolutely nothing to be upset about with
the reception that Teen Dream has received. Theres been good reviews
and weve been playing great shows, people have been coming out,
so we consider ourselves to be very lucky at this point in time!
2.What are your memories of the bands early years and has your
outlook on The Music Industry now changed?
My outlook on The Music Industry has changed since Beach Houses
early years, but I wouldnt say its changed for the better
or worse (pausing), its just fascinating how everything is going.
In some ways, its against artists because its harder to
make money, but thats almost kind of for the artist too, because
I think that there are a lot of people out there working very hard and
I think thats good! I dont think it should be easy for anybody.
3.How long was it until you first felt that you had found
your audience, and did the success of your first couple of LPs give
you more freedom to pursue the musical path that you wanted to?
Yeah, definitely its been very lucky for us! Our
first records were received well, but not too well, so we were allowed
to develop. We toured a lot and we learned a lot and we were able to
grow and save-up some money, and then with that saved-up money, we went
to a nice studio. So, its been a very steady growth and we couldnt
be more happy with how its been!
4.Can you remember when you first felt that you were beginning to grasp
the art of songwriting, and do you see a thread running through your
I think I do certain things very, very well and Victoria does
certain things very, very well and when we met, it was just really,
really amazing! Because it seemed like all of the things that I couldnt
do, she could do, and all of the things that she doesnt really
do naturally, I kind of do naturally. So, I think if I were to write
my own song, it wouldnt be that great, I think its just
working with her that makes it good its kind of like a
marriage of sorts you know? And hopefully, in most relationships, people
bring out the best sides in each other. Victoria writes all of the lyrics,
but the only common thread I see, is that she tends to write in a very
interesting and abstract way. She just lets out whatever she feels and
I think thats really the thread that you could connect all 3 albums
with. Her style is very much her own and I think she really writes from
5.As youre classically-trained musicians, how do you agree on
the final sound of a song, if youre both pulling in different
One thing thats really lucky about us, is that we tend to
always agree about everything aesthetically. When one of us thinks that
something sounds good or looks good, generally, we both think so. So
when were writing, its just kind of a fun process of putting
out ideas and methodically working over them and waiting for the inspired
points to emerge."
6.Your songs have a real mystique to them, but are you interested
in rock n roll mythology and the mystical / indefinable
qualities that music can have + are there any records that you just
love the overall atmosphere / sound of?
I think my answer to the first part of the question would be yes.
Because I think that Victorias and my aesthetic, the things we
like and the things that we go after, are very much things that arent
defined theyre very abstract you know? Like very open sounds
and very open feelings, something thats not a song about one thing,
like a love song about two people. Theyre much larger and less
defined. In terms of records that I love the overall atmosphere / sound
of, I think a lot of great records have a feel thats continuos
throughout the whole listening experience. Recently, records that Ive
really liked for the feel of the actual overall sound, have been Washed
Out Life Of Leisure, and I know its more modern music,
but The Walkmens last record, You & Me, has a great feel throughout
the whole record. The sonic element of the record is really continuos
and it doesnt sound like a studio you know? I think thats
what Im always interested in, is when a record has a real sound
and it doesnt just sound like people in a studio doing multi-track
recording it has an organic feel to it.
7.Recently, some artists / groups have been going on Reworked
Tours whereby they reinterpret and rearrange songs from their
back catalogue. Are there any bands that you would like to see do this?
I tend to be of the opinion that when artists write a song, that
its probably at the best point that it ever will be at
it doesnt really get (pausing), I kind of think when someones
written a song they should go on tour and play it and then stop playing
it (laughing)! So, I dont think Id like to see anyone doing
that. I always think its really sad when I go and see someone
like Neil Young (pausing), well, Ive never ever seen Neil Young,
but you know, like an old artist and all theyre doing is playing
their old songs I think thats really sad, because theres
no way that that could mean anything to them anymore. They wrote it
20 years ago, or 10 years ago, or 5 years ago
Or when you go and
see a band and people just clap for The Hits, its
kind of like that. I like when artists are playing new material.
*I ask Alex if there are any musicians he would like to collaborate
with in the future*
I dont know, Ive always been so obsessed with what
were doing, that Ive never thought about collaborations.
8.One of the most outstanding aspects of Beach Houses music,
is Victorias extraordinary voice but which other vocalists
do you find inspiring?
Singers? I mean thats kind of my favourite thing about music,
is the voice. There are a million singers who I think are great; I really
love John Lennons voice, I really like Kim Deals voice,
I really like Phil Lynotts voice Ive been really
into his voice lately, theres almost a kind of hidden emotion
in there, but its over this cheesy rock thing, which is kind of
awesome (laughing)! Its really endless I think there are
many, many great voices!
9.Have you had any personal highlights / spine-tingling moments during
your career so far?
Um (long pause + thinking), theres just been a lot of really
good shows along the way, a lot of great little moments you know? Weve
met a lot of wonderful people and I think the main thing about touring
thats so wonderful, is meeting all of the various people and seeing
the different places. Its all very transient, so I would say there
are too many personal highlights / spine-tingling moments to count.
10.Do you enjoy the promo side of things photo shoots, making
videos, interviews etc. + do you read your own press / has there ever
been an opinion that you didnt agree with to begin with, but now
I like the things that feel creative, and I think photo shoots,
videos and interviews, can all be really creative, but then all of those
things can also be really banal and soulless. Its like everything
like touring too. I think touring can be really inspiring, but
then it can get to a point where its very soulless. So, I think
anything in the world of creativity, can be very good or very bad. We
do read our own press, like if its for something big, like a big
magazine you know, something like that. But, I always find it quite
odd, because the thing is, I think everyone listens to music so differently,
that of course were not going to really understand or agree with
a lot of reviews. We both take it with a grain of salt and we dont
really care what people say. So I would say no, there hasnt ever
been an opinion that we didnt agree with to begin with, but now
11.As youve now established yourselves as a formidable two-piece,
who do you consider to be among some of the great duos of all-time?
Great duos? Oh, The Vaselines (without any hesitation)
theyre a pretty great duo (long pause + thinking)
having a hard time thinking of other duos now (laughing)
& Oates, theyre pretty sweet (laughing)!
12.Your songs are very melodic with lots of dreamy harmonies and
have been described as both uplifting and heartbreaking.
But from all of your favourite music, which melodies and harmonies instantly
spring to mind?
Well, Im pretty obsessed with Fleetwood Mac, I love their
harmonies and the way they tend to do it, is to have a wall of sound,
where distant harmonies sound really giant and spaced out I love
that kind of harmony. As far as melodies go, I just feel like there
are infinite good melodies made all of the time, but I think that some
of my favourite melody makers were all of the really early ones, like
early pop melody writers, such as The Beatles, The Zombies, The Beach
Boys, the girl groups
I think those melodies are unbelievably
inspiring and they somehow never get old!
13.How is your current tour treating you and is there anything that
you always carry with you on the road?
(laughing) Not really, weve been trying to eat a lot of
fruit and drink a lot of water though, so we can stay healthy! But the
tours been great this is kind of our first tour in Europe
where lots of people have been at the shows, so its been a blast
and weve been sort of getting to know all of these different cultures,
trying to understand them and see what each little country sees in our
music. So, its been really good, definitely no complaints and
were looking forward to the Summer Festivals too!
14.If you could own a beach house on any beach in the world, where
would it be and why?
Well, I dont really like vacations, so I would probably
choose a beach that had a studio (laughing)! Maybe it would be somewhere
cold like Maine, or I really liked Brighton Brighton is very
beautiful. I think it would be a cold beach that was near a lot of people,
because I like cities.
15.Lastly, chips or cream buns?
Oh, I think Id go for savoury (laughing), so chips!
A very special thanks to Alex and to Luke @ Bella
Union, for all of their time and help.
We were sleeping til you came along