Q&A with Best Coast
The California pop rockers will play The Blue Note on Tuesday.
Best Coast, made up of singer Bethany Cosentino and multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno, are a duo best known for sunny, upbeat melodies. These melodies, although often simple, have led to exponentially increasing fame and critical acclaim.
The band will be performing in Columbia for the first time, playing The Blue Note on Tuesday with opening act Bleached. Awaiting the appearance, MOVE talked with Cosentino about partying, songwriting and the importance of making connections with fans:
[MOVE]: There's been talk about a new EP being released in 2013. Is there any news on that front?
[Bethany Cosentino]: We just announced that the EP, Fade Away, will be released Oct. 22 on my very first label, Jewel City. We recorded the EP at the beginning of the year in a Hollywood studio with producer Wally Gagel. We are so stoked on this new material, and really can’t wait for this EP to come out.
[M]: Both Crazy for You and The Only Place have their fair share of hits. When it comes to performing, do you have any favorites or least favorites?
[BC]: I think one of my favorite songs to play is "Goodbye." It was one of the first songs I wrote for Crazy For You, so I feel like I have this really close connection to it. It's a darker, moodier song, so I get to be angsty on stage, make mean faces and channel all my anger into the performance. "Boyfriend" is the most obvious song we have, and there are some nights I'm just like, "Fuck, I don't want to play this song again," but people seriously lose their minds when we play it. It's really fun to see the crowd get so excited and sing along to all the words.
[M]: Are college towns ideal destinations for the band?
[BC]: We play a lot of college towns, and we always have great shows. I think our demographic is mostly teenagers and college-aged people, so it makes sense that we make stops in college towns. Plus, I am really obsessed with college parties, so if I'm ever near a college town I always ask everyone where the keg stand is at!
[M]: What is special about a live performance? Do you like a wild crowd or a more subdued one?
[BC]: There is this really special connection you make between an audience and yourself. It's unlike anything else in the world. When I'm onstage, I just feel completely in control of things, and I feel confident. I used to feel really awkward and shy, and I never talked much in between songs. But we've been doing this for so long now that I’m used to it, and I have grown to love it.
[M]: Many of your songs — "No One Like You," for example — are overtly romantic. Do songs like that usually stem from specific situations in your life, or are they more ambiguous than that?
[BC]: I truly write about my own life. I wish I could tell you that some of my songs are about other people, or situations from other people's lives, but they're not. I'm basically just a big, giant diary of emotions and I turn them all into songs. It's weird because I'm a super emotional person, but I tend not to talk about my feelings in real life. I feel like once I found songwriting I was like, “Oh okay, I can talk about how I feel in a song, and everyone will hear it and know what I'm going through.”
[M]: You and Bobb Bruno make up the band as we know it. Do you get help from other musicians to play tours?
[BC]: We have a live drummer named Brady Miller and a live bass player named Brett Mielke. Actually, both of them played on the LP. It was the first time Bobb and I ever really let anyone else into our recording experience. We normally do everything totally on our own, but we love Brett and Brady. It feels nice to finally feel like we have found "the ones.”
[M]: The name of the band implies a love for California. What's special about California to you, either personally or as a band?
[BC]: We love it because we both grew up there, and it means a lot to us as a place. We love the weather, the attitude, the landscapes, the food — everything. I personally feel the most inspired in California, which is why I do all my songwriting at home in LA at my house. My bedroom has become this fortress for me where I feel so inspired, literally just sitting in my bed wearing a giant T-shirt playing a guitar.
[M]: With that in mind, how do you make playing at less beachy places fun? Can you rock the Missouri vibe?
[BC]: I feel like since we have such a beachy, "summer is forever" vibe and aesthetic, we just take that with us wherever we go. We did a tour once in Europe in the middle of winter, and it was literally snowing every single day. It was seriously depressing, but I felt like when we played, we brought our sunny beach vibes to the place and made everyone forget for a second that it was absolutely dreary outside.
[M]: Just one more question: Do you run the official Twitter page? It's hilarious.
[BC]: Yes, I do! Thanks. I think it's cool because it has bonded me with so many of our fans. People feel like they know the real Bethany because they can see what I'm eating for dinner, or what I'm watching on TV in bed late at night. I like to let the fans see what I'm really like.