Beachwood Sparks

by the Electronic Sonic Press staff

Beachwood Sparks was kind enough to stop by Mod Lang record store in Berkeley and play an acoustic set, which was just what the doctor ordered that rainy afternoon. They’ve got the kind of sound that makes you feel alright. ESP did a little record shopping with the band after their set.

Dave: Hey Brent! Check that out.
Brent: Oh, I thought we could only get CDs.
Dave: No, CDs are17 bucks, so are records.
ESP: Everybody’s record shopping right now, eh?
Dave: Yeah, have you heard of the Beta Band?
ESP: The Beta Band? The Beta Band? I don’t think I have.
Dave: They say it’s good.
(shopping for a while)
ESP: You guys sounded really good.
Dave: Thanks.
ESP: I’ve heard a lot about you from like Mike and Eric, and like, I just never… every time, they told me the next day…
Dave: You just missed it.
ESP: Yeah. That happened to me twice already. How long have you guys been…around?
Dave: Um, just like, a year and a half or somethin’.
ESP: You’re from Los Angeles?
Aaron: Yeah.
ESP: You guys sound like pretty experienced musicians. Were you all in other bands before?
Dave: Yeah, like me and Brent were in Further and uh, Chris was in Strictly Ballroom, just all different kinds of local bands.
ESP: Strictly Ballroom?
Dave: Yeah.
ESP: Was that named after that movie?
Dave: Yeah.
ESP: (laughing) That’s pretty cheesy. Were you playing the same style of music then, or was it like…
Dave: No it was different. It was like Dinosaur Jr. and Sonic Youth and stuff.
ESP: Kinda like that band Idaho?
Dave: Who?
ESP: Idaho?
Dave: I don’t know. I’ve heard of ’em. I don’t know anything about them.
ESP: Oh. They kinda remind me of Dinosaur Jr. a little bit.
Dave: Brent says I have to do it. Will you do it too?
Aaron: Do what?
Dave: They want to ask us questions.
ESP: We’re already asking him questions, actually.
Aaron: Look at that business. (referring to the DAT recorder under my jacket)
Dave: Wow I just noticed that.
Aaron: That ‘s a cool bag. Look at that underhanded business.
ESP: No, I… I…
Aaron: No, that ‘s all right. It’s underhanded, but I like it. That’s a nice microphone.
Chris: Where’s the interview?
Aaron: We already did it.
(everyone talking at once)
Aaron: There’s another one.
ESP: The interview’s over here, it’s in progress.
Aaron: It’s over? …Oh.
ESP: Come on in.
Aaron: This is Chris. He plays rhythm guitar and sings and writes.
ESP: How ya doin’?.
Chris: Good. How are you?
ESP: Good.
Chris: Good.
ESP: You guys sounded great today.
Chris: Thanks.
Aaron: Thanks.
ESP: You needed a vocal mic, hawh?
Aaron: No, I’m… I’m barely learning how to sing.
Chris: The drive up here was kind of rough. I woke up so early today. It’s not usually so very early.
ESP: Did you drive up from L.A. today?
Chris: Yeah. We all had to wake up at like 7 in the morning and my body… I, I can’t do it.
ESP: (laughing)
Chris: Neither can Aaron.
Aaron: There’s a couple of… They physically suffered for our uh…
ESP: Oh, come on. You’re the one on crutches!
Chris: Yeah, but he can wail any time of day, cuz he’s built for speed.
Aaron: That’s true. I have a lot of nutrition. …Going on.
Chris: I have bad nutrition.
Aaron: (looking across the store) I like that girl…(pause) Are you going to put that in the interview?
ESP: Oh, definitely. Everything goes in. Nothing is edited. Even the "um"s and the "like"s and stuff.
Aaron: No, come on.
Aaron: (to Chris) Don’t say "um"s.
(more laughter)
Aaron: She’s leaving, see that?
ESP: Do you wanna go chase her? We can continue the interview later.
Aaron: No, she’s coming tonight.
Chris: Are you coming to the show tonight?
ESP: Definitely. Do you guys like Big Star?
Aaron: Yeah, that’s a wonderful group.
ESP: Yeah, Chris Bell…
Chris: I love Chris Bell.
Aaron: I am the cosmos?
ESP: Oh yeah.
Aaron: I am the chism. That’s good.
ESP: So what’d you do to your foot, er whatever? You got a story behind that?
Aaron: I need a better story than I have.
ESP: (laughing)
Aaron: It involves Disney, and I can’t say any more.
ESP: (laughing) Oh no…
Aaron: I’m gonna do a little more shopping.
ESP: Okay.
Aaron: I’ll talk to you some more in a few minutes.
ESP: Sure.
(picking up later)
Aaron: …out of the entire ocean, and the added incentive that it’s not coming out of your pocket, sets off a particular portion of your brain.
ESP: (laughs)
Aaron: That "Verve : Voyager One"s kinda cool.
ESP: Yeah.
Aaron : What do you like in music? You like electronica music?
ESP: I like everything.
Aaron: Pop music?
ESP: Huh?
Aaron: Pop music?
ESP: Yeah. I like all pop music. Like Janet Jackson and all that.
Aaron: Really?
ESP: Yeah, totally.
Aaron: Yeah, she’s all right, isn’t she?
ESP: Well, you know, I love a lot of the unknown stuff too, and the really old stuff.
Aaron : Honestly, that’s what we uh… We all like a lot of uh, California music.
ESP: Yeah.
Aaron: There’s quite a movement of it.

Originally published by Electronic Sonic Press in 1999