interview: Beaty Heart on Skype! Right brilliant, mate!
by Corey Allen
Once I started up skype for the call, Josh Mitchell, the lead singer of the UK-based band, Beaty Heart, jovially showed me around the mop closet of the restaurant he works at and I knew that this was going to be an extraordinary interview.
What direction are you guys planning on heading musically?
Well, since two of us are percussionists, percussion is pretty much the focal point of everything that we do. Especially on the record that we are bringing out in May, we are making sure that the beats are at the forefront of the music. I think when we started out we didn’t really know what we were doing that much, just putting a lot of everything in there to see what happens, but I think now we are trying to just clear out the clutter. I think it is just about honestly knowing how to write songs and constantly getting better at it.
Do you have anything you want to say regarding the visuals that you guys employ on your website and in your music videos?
Well, I don’t really know what we are going for in terms of our videos, but I know we try to do them all ourselves and we like to make them look extremely colorful and kinda reflect how our music sounds: everything as over the top as possible. Just thinking about our Seafood video still sends chills down my spine. All the fish that you see in that video, we actually ate that. All the prawns and jelly, it was just disgusting. We obviously had to get really really drunk by the end of it, and I’m not sure how it the evening ended, but it all kinda fell apart in a great way. Every time I walk up the stairs where we filmed that I can still just smell that video.
How do you guys deal with being compared to other larger bands?
Well Animal Collective and Vampire Weekend are the ones that we get most, I’d say. We’re fine with that, we really like those bands, so it’s not really a slight against us. I think that is just something that’s a natural instinct with people that write about music: trying to contextualize a new band with an older band. If we sound like a band, that’s just the way it is. I’m hoping that with the more material we release, people will be able to judge our old stuff with our new stuff and maybe stop comparing us, but at the moment it doesn’t bother me.
When’s the next time you’re making it to the US?
Ah man, I’d love to come back. We played some shows last summer, and just hung out in New York for about a month and played some shows in that area. We haven’t really talked about going back, but if there is an opportunity, we’ll definitely be back there as soon as possible. Hopefully with the support of the new album we’ll make it out!
Where is your guys’ favorite place to play?
Paris was a lot of fun. London, in general, is probably the worst place to play. The people at the venues treat you like garbage and don’t give you much space, whereas in France you get a full spread and food and it just makes everything so much more comfortable. New York is the same kinda saturation as London, though. London, right now, is just so grey. Everyone is just beyond miserable here. But there is a lot of great electronic music coming out of London at the moment; there isn’t really a scene though.
How was recording those Barn Sessions? (http://beatyheart.com/GET-THE-GURLS)
They had this really expensive looking camera rig in the barn, with all these nice lights, and we had just come off stage, this really shambollic stage in the middle of the woods, and got shoved into this barn and got handed some acoustic guitars and were told to play. Which is pretty great, because that’s something we definitely talk about in regards to the next record; stripping back everything so you can actually hear every instrument and it has a slightly more chilled out style with the amount of stuff going on in our music.
What’re you doing to promote your upcoming record?
Well we’re getting some more videos recorded, and we’re hopefully going to be doing a lot more touring. We’re going on tour in March with another English band named Jungle. A lot of getting our name out as much as possible.
How long have you been working on this upcoming record in particular?
Quite a while really. All the songs so far were written last summer. We all had some time off work and we all roped it together then. All the complications with being a band and affording a studio and everything, we’ve only just been able to do it and it’s been a really long-process to get to finishing it.
What are you thinking in terms of different formats?
I think digital is where the label is pushing, but I think it’s really important for us to push vinyl: for it to be a physical thing. This new single, Kanute’s Comin Round is coming out on vinyl, so yeah, I think vinyl for everything for sure.
How’s balancing out work and music?
It’s really difficult. Living in London is just so expensive, but I would just be happy if one day we could get to a place where I could just cut-down to part time or something; it’d feel like we made it. We get by and hopefully something happens so we can do it full-time, but if not, it’s cool
What about free-time?
I don’t know really, I don’t really get a lot of free-time. I just watch movies, play football every now and then, do a lot of drinking and that’s all I seem to have time for really.