Beaty Heart Interview
At Mint we’d like to think of Beaty Heart as something like one of ‘our own’. We have been neighbours with them, we have been friends with them, we have even interviewed them once before, we have basically been following them since those house parties way back when. Now they aren’t just our friends because they sort of became something of a big deal, being really good and everything.
So, a single on Loose Lips (see Chad Valley and Azari & III), they’ve supported The Rapture over the summer, played a bunch of festivals around Europe and this week they released their second EP, Slush Puppy/Cola, on their own label, Worry Free. I caught up with them and we had a chat about releasing their own single, recording and tried to get to the bottom of their complicated influences.
Why the decision do your latest release through your own label?
We do all of our own art work, videos and recording (with help) so there didn’t seem much point in just getting someone else to put their name on our work. We got the opportunity to self-release so we took it. It wasn’t a plan, it just went that way, but having done it we feel a lot more accomplished.
B-side Cola has been around for a long time, your first ‘release’ even. Why did you choose to re-record it?
We really wanted to round off the previous year or so of work and writing and I think recording Cola felt like an honest way to do that. Although the first recording is still probably my favourite version, it’s been nice to give it a new lease of life as more people have hopefully heard of us now than when we first recorded it (I’d like to say now that the panpipes were not my idea).
Your live shows are a lot more raucous compared to the evident tranquility of the record, how does the process of recording compare to playing live?
The reason that our live shows are so much more raucous and shambolic than our recorded material is that usually with the live stuff it’s often new and still being worked on and developed. For us the recording process is the end of a song and for that reason the song come across more coherent and realised. Once we’ve recorded a song we kind of want to end it there and say good bye to, and stop playing, it, going back to writing and jamming, hence the raucous aspect to a lot of our live stuff. There’s also the fact that we’re still learning how to use our equipment and develop the sound we have.
Your last single came with a mixtape and a DVD of visuals and your live shows are always covered with tripped out projections. Are the two (sound/visual) intertwined for you?
Yeah, definitely. Personally I’ve always been drawn to how a video or visuals can enhance or change your perception of a song or band and how music can totally change how you react to a film or something visual-based. Charlie was the first of us to actually start experimenting with this in second year and then I (James) followed after. Neither of us have much training in it so we’re still learning a lot, taking from how each other does stuff. We both approach things in different but, hopefully, quite complimentary ways.
So, what are the influences on the visuals?
Quite a lot of stuff and it’s different for each of us. I think to give away some of the inspiration might spoil the effect a bit. But maybe not… Gustav Klimt paintings, nature programs, youtube, porn, sleeping, smoking, Danny Perez, Black Dice, lucky dragons, boredom, clusters, KONTROL, kaleidoscopes, panaframe, looking at the sun with you eyes half shut, people etc.
Similarly in terms of the sound there seems to be a lot of referencing to different genres and styles going on in there.
Slush Puppy was probably the one that had most direction with its sound I think. We kind of wanted this tripped-out rainforest party sound pissing all over a really basic three chord song. We’ll often have specific sounds we want to try and get into a song but the process of writing and recording totally changes everyones initial ideas and you just end up somewhere you didn’t expect.
You guys are off on tour and are going to be stuck in a van together for a couple of weeks, how is the radio situation going to work out with all these competing influences!?
Les Troubadours Du Roi Baudouin’s ‘Missa Luba’ would definitely be making an appearance. It was made in like the late 60s or 70s but sounds so good. It’s got this sound that I guess was just not picked up on for ages and now seems to be really relevant. When Flamingods new album drops (it might have already dropped when this gets read) that will be going to the top of the list. The last time we were in the van together though, what went down best was TROPICAL FUNK EXPERIENCE a collection of funk, soul, reggae and afro-beat tunes from across the Caribbean.
What do you think a mint slush puppy would taste like?
Slush Puppy/Cola is out now on Worry Free with a lot of added extras.
You can catch Beaty Heart on tour towards the end of November:
Wednesday 23rd November – Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
Thursday 24th November – Start the Bus, Bristol
Friday 25th November – Green Door Store, Brighton