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On the Rise: Best Coast

On the Rise
Best Coast

05 August 2010, 10:15

Best Coast are your new favourite band. It’s all pop hooks, romanticised slacker lyrics, and fuzzed out guitar melodies strung together with an air of hope. Jen Long meets Bethany from the band and talks cats cats and more cats.

I don’t really need to write an introduction here. If you haven’t heard Best Coast by now I can only imagine you’ve just come out of jail, or a coma.

Put simply, Best Coast are your new favourite band. LA duo Bethany and Bob make the kind of music I want to lose my summer to. It’s all pop hooks, romanticised slacker lyrics, and fuzzed out guitar melodies strung together with an air of hope. They just released debut album Crazy For You on Wichita and stopping in London for two shows on their way home I had a quick chat with Bethany from the band.

How is touring going?
We were in Sweden, Portugal and Rome, which was a lot of fun but tiring and we’re excited to be back in London.

Had you toured much before this year?
Not me personally. Ali toured in Vivian Girls and they were sort of known as being a band that were always on tour and Bob has toured a lot as well. Yeah, the touring for us happened very quickly and we haven’t had a lot of time off in the last year, so we requested the month of August off so we luckily get to have August to ourselves which will be very nice.

How long ago did Ali join the band?
We’ve had a bunch of different drummers. The reason why we’ve had so many drummers is because Bob plays drums on our record and so at first it was just Bob and I playing to a back up track and then we were like “Oh wait, we should probably have an actual person play drums”.

The first person who played drums with us, her name is Jennifer Clavin. She’s now in Cold Cave and she used to play in Mika Miko which was like, a punk band from LA. She was the first person to ever play with us and then Bob’s friend Adam Garcia started playing with us and he was with us at SXSW.

Then Ali filled in for us on a tour that Adam couldn’t do and we just fell in love with her as a drummer and as a person and the three of us got along really well. And then she did another tour with us and then she came to Europe with us and the Vivian Girls were all sort of talking of going in their own direction and Ali just made the decision to leave and to join our band and we’re happy to have her.

Is it weird releasing your album the same day as the Wavves album, especially since they both share the same cover star?
We have the same cat on the record. No, that’s cool. I didn’t know that it came out today but that’s cool that his record came out today too. That record is really great. I think that Billy and Stephen are sort of like the missing element that has always sort of been lacked in Wavves. It was always good but it’s absolutely great now.

Since unleashing your album artwork has the number of cat questions you’ve been asked in interviews changed?

I read one the other day where you pretty much only talked about cats.
Yeah, that was actually a cool interview. I would honestly rather talk about cats than my own music because I get asked about the same five questions as far as music goes every time I do an interview so it’s interesting when somebody asks you something like ‘What’s your cat’s favourite food?’ and you’re like ‘Oh, this is going to be a really cool interview’.

What’s your cat’s favourite food?
Ha, erm. It’s like a brand of cat food that I get at a local market and it’s like, organic, healthy cat food. But his name [Snacks] is quite fitting because he eats pretty much anything and everything. I try not to feed him too much human food but sometimes he just begs so much. He likes Taco Bell a lot. Bob’s the first person that ever fed him Taco Bell so I blame him for that. He’ll literally eat anything. If you’re eating food in the house he’s like a dog; he sits there and stares at you until you give him some. And then you give it to him and then he stares at you even more.

Have you done any press for cat magazines?
No! I am waiting for like, Cat Fancy to contact me. I don’t know why they haven’t yet. I’m like, the number one cat advocate in the music world.

Would you like to work with me on a conceptual synth album made entirely of cat noises?
Yes. I will do that with you.

What’s the best cat video on youtube?
The best cat video? Probably the standing cat is really cool and I’m also really into all the Japanese cat videos because Japanese cats just seem to be way cooler than any other cat I’ve ever met. Mario Cat is really cool.

Any great cat websites I can point people too at the end of this interview?
Catroulette is really good. The woman who runs it puts her cat in front of chat roulette and then just takes screen shots of her cat chatting with people. Another one is called Cute Boys With Cats and it’s just photos of boys with their cats and then there’s another one called Cute Girls With Cats. There’s so many weird websites. Stuff On My Cat is also really cool and Snacks was on that website.

What did you put on him?
He had all sorts of stuff. He had a bag of potato chips on him, DVDs, sunglasses, a cell phone, X-box controller. I found out about that website through a friend years ago and was obsessed with it and they made books and calendars and stuff.

We always put stuff on Snacks because he just lets us. He just lays there and let’s us do whatever. I took that photo and I was like “Oh, I’m gonna submit this to Stuff On My Cat’ and then he got picked. I felt like a stage mom, like when your kid gets picked for a commercial, I was really excited. And now of course, he is talked about basically everywhere on the Internet. Stuff On My Cat was like his first big Internet debut and now he’s just a rising star.

Have you ever considered offering him up for his own animated TV series? I can see it animated on Adult Swim.
Yeah, he should have his own Adult Swim cartoon. That’s a good idea. Maybe you should pitch that.

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