Fun Fest Interview: Best Coast

Leading up to Fun Fest next weekend, we decided to yet again get as many interviews on the site as humanly possible.  We’ll begin this week with a sweet interview from hot indie band Best Coast.  ATH contributor Mair.Heard had the chance to sit down recently with leading lady and main songwriter for the band Bethany Consentino.  Follow the jump for this great interview.

ATH: How did the collaboration with Rivers Cuomo come about? Have you already recorded something and when can we expect it?

Bethany: We were Twitter friends and he tweeted me saying he was a fan of the band.  I’ve been a fan of Weezer since I was a kid and got really excited when he tweeted me back.  When I was on this last tour, my manager called and told me that Rivers wanted me to come in and record a song with him, and I was floored.  We recorded and co-wrote a song several weeks ago, and to be completely honest with you I don’t know when it’s coming out.  It’s going to be a Weezer song, not really a Bethany-Rivers track.  All I know it was extremely exciting.  It’s funny how the Internet can connect you these days.

ATH: Are your songs about relationships from true life or from observations?

Bethany: The emotion is very genuine. I have experienced those feelings before, but everything is not 100% sexual and not all about one person.  I think people want to assume the songs are all true.  When the record first came out, people in interviews would ask annoying questions like “Why are you so sad?” and I’m not.  It’s not all to be taken as literal as some take it.  I wanted to make a record that is relatable to people, and I think that relationships and the idea of longing and the confusion that comes along with it is relatable.   Like having a crush on someone; I think everybody can remember a time or place where they were really into someone and they didn’t know what to do about it.  I’m also really inspired by girl groups, and 50s and 60s pop music, which is a lot about love.  I took genuine emotions and turned them into these stories and took the music that inspires me for Best Coast, and used that to write songs along the same kind of lines.

ATH: You are an empowered woman in indie rock, if you could make a super-group of female musicians who would be in the group?

Bethany: That’s a really good question.  Stevie Nicks is my ultimate number one female role model.  Fleetwood Mac is one of my favorite bands and I think she’s amazing from her voice, to style to songwriting.  I love Courtney Love and people give me shit for that, but I think she’s awesome and I love Hole.  She’s crazy and that’s who she is and I totally respect that; it makes her who she is.  I’ve been listening to Aretha Franklin my whole life; my Dad listened to a lot of female singers and she obviously has one of the most amazing voices.  I feel like I could talk about this all day.  Patsy Cline, also.  I really love what Nicki Minaj is doing; taking this dominant female role in a very male dominated genre that is hip-hop.  She’s so cool because she always talks about how she hates ‘haters’ and always telling people to ‘not let haters get you down’, and that’s something I can relate to.  Those are my ladies at this moment.

ATH: We know you love your cat Snacks, what would you say if I told you I preferred dogs to cats?
Bethany: I would not be mad at you, I love dogs too!  I want a dog really bad, but they’re kind of like having a kid.  I love cats and Snacks has kind of become my thing. Our manager is allergic to cats and when he came on he said, “There’s just one thing…I’m allergic to cats.”  I told him, “What do you mean, do you think were not going to hire you?”  I personally love to talk about cats, and think Snacks is a really great guy. 

ATH: What is Snacks going to be for Halloween?

Bethany: I wish I could dress him up, but I’ll be on tour.  I go to Target all the time and look at these little dog costumes, and I always think about buying him one and putting it on him and taking pictures to put on the Internet.  They would end up on every website because he’s so famous.  My friend will be here with him on Halloween and will hopefully dress him up.

ATH: Best Coast has a California, surf rock, 60s theme, and you post a lot of 80s and early 90’s music and videos on your blog.  If you had to grow up in a specific culture, which decade would appeal to you most?

Bethany: I think I would pick the 60s because I’m so inspired by that time, and the clothes they wore were really awesome.  It was a really crazy time where a lot of shit was happening, and I’d love to experience it.  Then again, I grew up in the 90s but I wasn’t a true 90s baby because I was a baby.  I watched shows like Saved By The Bell, and I think the fashion is really cool in the early 90s.  It would be really awesome to be a teenager during that time and experience when grunge first came about, and to get to shop Contempo Casuals.  I can’t really make the decision, but two favorite eras are the 60s and 90s.  Maybe I would split my time between the two decades.

ATH: Have you scoped out the Fun Fest lineup yet?  Any acts you want to check out while you’re in town?

Bethany: We keep playing these awesome festivals with a ton of great bands, but we keep playing on a day where we end up missing the band we want to see.  I really want to see Slick Rick and Devo.  Gwar…I can’t imagine what that would be like.  I remember at SXSW I saw them walking around and it kind of scared me, but watching them would be crazy.  The Vandals were one of my favorite bands in junior high and I saw them play with The Ataris; so for nostalgic reasons I’d love to see them.  There’s tons of really awesome bands playing, including Weird Al. 

ATH: When coming into the ATX, what do you look forward to the most?

Bethany: I’ve only been there for SXSW, so I’ve only experienced Austin at it’s most insane.  I went all over the city but I can’t remember much of it because SXSW is so nuts and gave me whiplash.  I think what makes Austin so great is because it’s in Texas and has an “I’m in Texas” vibe, but not that scary Texas.  It’s a very hip city with a lot of cool stuff going on, with very good Mexican food. 

Thanks again Bethany for making the time for us.  You can catch Bethany and Best Coast on Sunday at 5pm on the Orange Stage.

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