Vergangenes Groezrock Festival hatten wir ein Date mit Beach Slang, aber verfehlten uns tragischer Weise doch irgendwie. Danach hatten die Amerikaner viel im Studio zu tun, doch wir freuten uns sehr, als irgendwann die Antworten von Sänger James bei uns reinflatterten, die wir euch natürlich trotz der Verzögerung nicht vorenthalten wollen.
LT: This is your first time in Europe as a band. Have you been to Europe with your former bands?
James: I toured Europe just once before when I was doing the thing with Weston. It was a time. But this run around, I felt more ready or something. Ready in a way that let things get wilder and looser and louder and everything that it should be. My suitcase is in a state of always half-packed. I really cannot wait to do the deal all over again and often. This was the first touring-with-a-band trip to Europe for the rest of the gents.
LT: After your first gigs: What would you say what’s the difference between european crowds and american crowds?
James: The thing that stuck the most was the unabashed „being in it“, you know? Like, absolute heart-on-your-sleeve, really, like really living in those moments of loud guitars, sweaty dancing and drunken sing alongs. And I love that. And, look, that thing absolutely exists in the U.S., but it’s maybe a little less widespread, a little more guarded. I say tear that junk down and have at it.
LT: Is it special for you to play a genre-Festival like Groezrock?
James: Absolutely. It feels like getting asked to some really weirdo party by really interesting people. And they play music you
dig, know the value of good beer and gentle makeouts are things that just happen. A lot.
LT: Which bands did you see at Groezrock and which bands did you miss sadly because of driving to your next show?
James: Groezrock was this wild, litle whirlwind for us. The day we played, we pretty much did press from immediately after our set up until we had to split (the next morning was the first date of our tour with Knapsack). So, yeah, we missed entirely too much. I’ve vowed to make up for it next time. But, you know, there are worse things than good people wanting to talk to you about your band and your songs and things. We did manage to run around during small breaks and catch bits of Knapsack, Mineral, Against Me, Smith Street Band and a few others, but, yeah, not nearly enough.
LT: You’ll release both of your EPs as an 12 inch in europe. Are there any differents besides the wonderful new cover lady? By the way: who is she and how did you get to know her?
James: Musically, there aren’t. We wanted it to be an honest release of those EPs, you know? Not some, „Hey, we made these subtle, meaningless differences so, even though you own the two EPs, you really should buy this thing, too.“ Man, I hate that slimy music business-y junk. But, yeah, I made new art for it because (1) I like making art as much as music and (2) I just fell in love with this photograph of our friend Therese. I first met her writing letters. She was the very first person to get a Beach Slang tattoo. And something about that meant way too much to me. But, yeah, she’s the sweetest human and photographs like Edie Sedgwick.
LT: Before the release of the 12“, you could only listen to your music on spotify or mp3. What do you think about the possibilities but also the negative sides of the internet?
James: The best part of the whole digital internet thing is it leveled every playing field. Like, you can be a kid making records in your room and they’ll get heard. I love that power shift. I don’t know about negatives. I mean, I’ve heard the argument about having to sort through so much more stuff now to find a thing that connects, but, really, that’s no different than digging through stacks in a record store, you know? Yeah, it’s less romantic (and there’s a lot to be said for the romance of rock & roll), but the hunting process really is pretty much the same.
LT: Will there be full album in the near future or do you rather release more EPs?
James: I am actually doing this interview from the studio. We finished tracking the entire thing yesterday and are currently mixing.
And, man, I cannot wait to throw this thing out into the world. That goodness happens this October on Polyvinyl.
LT: I really like the lyrics from „Get Lost“: „We’ll grow high not up“ – Is that some sort of mantra you have because another song is also named „To old to die young“?
James: I suppose it is. The idea of non-conformity, of following your guts and really meaning it…yeah, it’s pretty safe to say
that’s my thing. Look, life is a short, little weirdo blip. And I want to know I lived it all the way. I mean, really, it’s the
Bukowski thing of living life so well that Death will tremble to take us. Fuck, I love that.
LT: Talking about age. What’s the tour life like if you aren’t 20 anymore? Do you spend most time on the road or are you able to visit places?
James: Not so strangely, it’s not a whole lot diferent. That’s the really right-on thing about doing the thing you honestly dig
doing, you know? That fire keeps you young and hungry. Yeah, most of my time is on the road, but, you know, it helps keep your head together to see some things outside of rock clubs. Culture and architecture and friends and all those necessary things. Yeah, I make time to make that happen.
LT: Doing the interview for a german blog, we have to ask this: will there be more tour dates in the near future and maybe some headline-shows in our country?
James: We are touring a real good bit over the summer (our one-year-of-being-a-band shows, a bunch of amazing festivals, all sorts of things I cannot wait for). We then leave for a full U.S. tour in October as the first tour to support our first full-length. That pretty much fills out 2015. But, then, yes, we will definitely be coming back over to Europe in early 2016 and I wish I could find how to write how revved up I am to do that very thing.
LT: Only in Berlin you’re playing the „German Groezrock“ Pirate Satellite Festival. How come? Did it collide with your other dates or we’re you just asked for Berlin?
James: We had our tour already in place except for one open date (which, very fortunately for us, was the same date as Pirate Satellite in Berlin). And, then, yeah, they invited us to come along for that one. And it was really alright.
LT: Last question: We’re doing this interview for a website called „Lieblingstape.de“. In English the name means „Favorite Mixtape“. Which songs would you put on your own Lieblingstape?
James: This would change all the time (meaning, I’d make new ones often), but if I made one today, right now, it would sound like this:
Side A: (1) „Too Much Kissing“ by Senseless Things (2) „Disorder“ by Joy Division (3) „Anything, Anything“ by Dramarama
(4) „Crank“ by Catherine Wheel (5) „Together Or Alone“ by Sebadoh
Side B: (1) „This Is England“ by The Clash (2) „Stain Yer Blood“ by Paul Westerberg (3) „Midnight To Midnight“ by Psychedelic Furs (4) „Jeane“ by The Smiths (5) „A Million Miles Away“ by The Plimsouls
Die Tourdaten sind inzwischen auch bekannt:
01.02 COLGONE, DE – Blue Shell
02.02 MUNSTER, DE – Sputnik Cafe
03.02 HAMBURG, DE – Hafenklang
05.02 BERLIN, DE – Cassiopeia
06.02 LEIPZIG, DE – Conne Island Cafe
08.02 NURNBERG, DE – Club Stereo
09.02 VIENNA, AT – B72
10.02 MUNICH, DE – Milla