Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Beaty Heart

25 November 2013, 10:00 | Written by Michael James Hall

After a couple of years on the London squat party “scene|, a couple of deliciously psychedelic singles and EPs including Slush Puppy/Cola and some much-vaunted live performances, Peckham’s Beaty Heart are at the dawning of their career proper.

Their debut album Mixed Blessings, produced by the legendary Dave Eringa, is on the verge of release and it’s being trailed by the irresistible single “Lekka Freakout”. We spoke to the band about their roots, the present and future of the band.

How did the band first meet, and how was the decision made to form a band?

We are originally all bros from the school days where we all jammed in different bands. When we each moved to South London for college and started vigorously thrashing out drum beats and experimenting with sampling, the bedroom project developed. Here we are now.

You are based in Peckham and I believe you rehearse in New Cross – are you part of a scene there? If so what’s it like and what other artists are you friendly with?

We’ve all kind of moved around a lot in last two years since college and are now based all over London. But most of our favourite new bands are still from the area which we would always regard as home. Our buddies Crushed Beaks, La Shark, Fiction and Flamingods are all down there still. I think the scene in Peckham isn’t much of a music focused one, but more of a general good vibe with young artists doing there own thing. I’m not sure if we’re part of it though.

There seems to have been a change in direction since, say, Slush Puppy/Cola – what’s changed for you as a band in the last 2 years?

A lot has changed! We’ve definitely matured in our songwriting and general attitudes towards what and why we are doing this. For us, this has been a slow and steady development. We are most happy to show people our work now.

The new single is very poppy, memorable and accessible – do you think it’s possible to sit down and try to write hits?

Yeah, “Lekka Freakout” is kind of poppy. We didn’t set out to write any ‘hits’ for this record, but we did have this constant idea throughout writing it that we wanted to create these kind of fucked up pop tracks. Sweet melodies backed up by warped sounds and groovy drums. It was an idea we began with “Slush Puppy” and feel we’ve book-ended with “Mixed Blessings”. We’re ready for the next record now.

What’s your process when writing?

The process is really varied and can come from jamming, exchanging ideas on emails or someone coming up with a complete track and us all working on it. It can be super fun or a total ball ache.

Do you ever start with the beat and work from there? And who’s got the best sense of rhythm?

Our tracks often start with a beat. For us a beat is kind of like a riff and if you’re vibing off it then melodies just fall around it. One of our favourite tracks of the album started off as a gnarly beat Charlie made 2 years ago. Josh (the only ‘non drummer’ in the band) claims to have the best rhythm …

How was it working with Dave Eringa?

It was cool. Dave is super positive and really helped in creating order in the chaos of all our sounds. He was really up for keeping in a lot of the original sounds we demoed and then peppering it with his producer magic. He also transformed our attitudes towards bass and low end, helping us create a definite signature bass sound for this record.

What can we expect from the debut album?

For us it’s the finished article from this first stage in our musical journeys. A collection of rambunctious pop hymns that wrap you up in a thick pastry then cook the shit out of you.

What is your live set-up like?

The live set is percussive and covered in lush fabrics.

Where are the best places to play in the UK in terms of response and crowds?

Sheffield has been really good both times we’ve been. They’re mega up for it and its a good night out too. Liverpool is also a favourite of ours.

Who were the artists and bands that first made you want to pick up an instrument?

Lou Bega, because he got all the babes.

What do you think being based in London offers to a band that living elsewhere would not?

London is dope. There’s so much going on and so many venues and spaces, which is perfect training ground for musicians and artists. I like how there is always a night bus to get on and that your apparently never further than two metres away from a rat. The only downside being how expensive it is to live here and the occasionally ropey promoters!

What’s in the immediate future for the band? Do you have some kind of ten year masterplan?

Mercury prize, drug problems, Portugal for three years, 5 year anniversary reunion world arena tour, repeat.

What’s your favourite album of 2013?

We really like the Splashh record Comfort. Oh, and King Krule’s 6 Feet Beneath The Moon.

Beaty Heart: The Movie – who would you want to play you?

The guy that played Van Pelt in Jumanji (Jonathan Hyde) for Charlie. Sylvester Stallone for Josh. The pig from Babe for James.

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