BEACH PARTY: I DON’T LIKE THE BEACH
L.A.’s Beach Party are one guy from Totally Radd!!! and three other guys with similar commitment to raddness, and their debut release is the flexi (produced by last issue’s centerfold dude Ty Segall) within lucky copies of this very magazine. They do 60s garage riffs with an 80s-style lack of giving a fuck, and they speak all at once (so apologies when we can’t tell voices apart) during a ride where they were all laughing like maniacs. They play on Jan. 31 at the Satellite. This interview by Chris Ziegler.
You’re sponsored by a bunch of drinks that alter your body chemistry. How soon til you get sponsored by an ambulance service?
James Hurst (guitar/vocals): I have no idea how we got those.
Rob Banks (guitar/vocals): Red Bull was from a contest—they chose three people to curate an event, and our friend Matt Goldman from MFG was one of them, and he threw us in. That’s how we won that.
Did you ever win anything as a kid, or was this the first and only time?
J: That was the first thing I ever won! We’re a bunch of losers.
R: I never won shit! My mom won a Harley Davidson and she doesn’t even ride. She didn’t even keep it! It’s sitting in my garage.
Should we advertise in this interview that it’s for sale?
J: I’m trying to sell a bookshelf too if I could send you a photo to print? A really big bookshelf. With stains all over it. We wanna get as much out of this interview as we can.
Athletic companies sponsor people because they’re excellent athletes. Are you excellent … drunkards?
R: We’re seasoned drinkers. You can mention in this interview that Alibi whiskey is great and we’re out of it. And we’re single!
Maybe there’s one special woman who needs a motorcycle, a bookshelf and a bottle of whiskey.
Nico Nacciocca (drums): That’s Rob’s mom.
What’s the most money you ever spent in the shortest amount of time? Something where you could actually see your bank balance collapse?
R: Printing this flexi!
J: When we started playing shows, we took all the money and never divvied it out and put it in the bank and held on to it for a rainy day, and after we’d accumulated it, we decided to spend it on recording and flexis. You know when you go shopping and you buy one thing and it becomes a chain reaction …
R: We spent it all! We spent money on this record like it’s a fucking 80s record!
Did you have a briefcase full of cash or just a gym bag?
N: More like a small lunch box from the 80s.
Adam Arcos (bass): I have those checks where every one is different—sometimes there’s a kitten, sometimes a giraffe. This one was all kittens.
Is it accurate to call this a drunken flexi spree?
J: Absolutely! A drunken mixing spree too!
Rob, how is Beach Party different from your old band Totally Radd!!?
R: It’s completely different. No spandex in this band. No pyrotechnics, no hair metal. But it’s just as fun and just as insane with these guys. So minus the wardrobe changes, we still have as much energy and the full-on spirit of chaos and loud mess-ness.
What do you do with all your extra time now that you’re not constantly shopping for spandex?
R: A lot of long showers and bikram yoga. I poison myself very heavily with drugs and alcohol, and then detox very heavily the next day. It’s like the yin and the yang—you need the darkness and then the light.
Is Beach Party for a Yin band or a Yang band?
J: We’re heavy on the darkness.
R: We’re the whole symbol.
Silkscreened on a tie-dye t-shirt from Venice Beach?
R: Are you looking at a picture of me right now?
Your first show was almost a year ago—what did you do then that you’d never do now?
J: At our first show I bought a bunch of leis—it was an outdoor pool party thing, so it was pretty vibe-y already, and then I found a straw hat on the street and wore it and I got lice after that! So I might not pick up straw hats anymore. Or I dunno if it was lice, but I got something—some rash on my head.
R: It was a hat crushed in the gutter behind a truck tire and he just picked it up!
N: It disintegrated while we were playing.
Could you feel them burrowing into your scalp as you played?
J: No, it was a couple days later. Like a scab. To be honest, I might not have had lice. I might have fallen and hit my head and and forgot. But I related it back to the hat.
Miles from the Allah-Las had an eye parasite. You could be parasite pals.
R: The eyeball sounds way worse. At least it wasn’t on his dick.
N: Or in his dick.
Do you have more songs about things that have happened to you, or things you want to happen to you?
J: Mostly they’re coming from things that have happened or our intepretation of shit that we do, stuff that excites us or makes us who we are. Our lifestyle, what we believe in … that’s what the first few songs are about. They all kinda stem from the truth, I suppose, but they’re all kinda lighthearted. But from a literal historical place. If that’s the right way to say it.
How do you recharge your stock of songworthy experiences?
J: We’ve been meaning to do a band-only trip to the desert and take … whatever. Go out there and just experience the desert. Every now and then, we’ll just stop rehearsal and go hang out and come back refreshed. And lots of drinking.
R: And lots of hangovers.
A: We have to quench our thirst for life!
Have you been a band long enough to learn there are a few things you can always expect to happen?
R: The unexpected is always what happens. It always ends up being the perfect amount of chaos. It’s never boring! Like the mosh pit got too crazy once and Nico stood up and charged the crowd, and we got him back on and finished the set. Once there was a piñata. There are a couple shows where people brought blow-up dolls or like beach balls.
N: Adam takes those home with him after the show.
R: Inflatable dolphins.
A: Who wouldn’t wanna fuck an inflatable dolphin?
Plus they’re the smartest mammals, so you can connect intellectually in a way you couldn’t with an inflatable sheep.
A: And they’re the only other mammal that has sex for fun.
What was it like to turn your music over to the complete control of Ty Segall?
J: Ty and I have been buds for few years, so we didn’t know exactly how it was gonna go but we knew it’d be really relaxed. And we knew it wasn’t gonna be a normal studio where you like do drums, then guitars and so on. It was in his garage and he built a room inside the garage so it was even smaller, and it was already very small! Our amps were on top of other amps.
I assume it was a total sweat box.
N: Actually it’s called the Sweat Lodge! We were joking about it being a Sweat Lodge so that’s what we put on the record.
J: It wasn’t like we went in and he wanted to take control. He wanted us to just play the songs. They were songs we’d already been playing a lot anyway, and he was like, ‘Alright, that’s fuckin’ rad.’ He did the whole thing on his 8-track. Awesome. Straight to tape. He ran some of it through his reverb units—he collects so much awesome old vintage gear. So we ran straight through and it was done! Did it in like a day.
R: And he was in the room with us. We’re all jammed in and he’s in the corner just pushing buttons on a machine.
Is that the first time you’ve been in a studio?
J: The first time the full band has recorded together properly.
R: We went in with Sonny Diperi at a place called the Lair. Looks like a medieval castle. It’s modeled after Phil Spector’s old set-up. It even has a bathroom that’s a reverb chamber.
A: I didn’t know what that was! I went in and used it. I flushed the toilet—hope they recorded that.
What’s something you swear you’ll never write a song about? So we can bring this back up if you ever do.
R: Red Bull.
A: We’ll never write a song about doing taxes.
J: Funny, I have a song with taxes in it.
What did you rhyme with taxes?
R: Faxes! We send faxes! Hey, girl! Fax me! Fax me girl! I wonder if we could fax our flexis.
J: My dad asks me on a regular basis if I’d prefer him to fax me or email me.
R: My mom is a librarian, so she loves faxes! I can’t believe you had all these secret connections to fax technology.
R: We’re sticking to the fax, Chris!
J: Dad jokes for days.
Do you guys really like the beach, or are you just part of the new wave of bands that are claiming the beach?
J: I don’t like the beach!
R: I love the beach!
R: James really likes the party and I really like the beach. He meets me at the beach and parties til he forgets where he is.
J: I like the beach from a block away, where you can drink. Once you touch the sand you got sand in your shoes, you get sunburned, there’s so many death traps. You ever step on a bee at the beach? I stepped on bees. All the fucking time. They get stuck and you get stung and you’re pulling out the stingers while all your friends are surfing.
Now I hate the beach.
J: That was my plan! And there’s sharks, too.
BEACH PARTY WITH HINDU PIRATES, ADULT BOOKS AND VIM DICTA ON FRI., JAN. 31, AT THE SATELLITE, 1717 SILVER LAKE BLVD., SILVER LAKE. 8:30 PM / $8 / 21+. GET TICKETS HERE! VERY LIMITED NUMBERS OF THE BEACH PARTY FLEXI FROM LAST ISSUE OF L.A. RECORD ARE STILL AVAILABLE FROM FORTHERECORD@LARECORD.COM. FACEBOOK.COM/BEACHPARTYYY.