New Beat Fund is out of this world – literally. After an alien abduction placed the band back on earth with some inspiration and a new found paranoia for an extraterrestrial encounter, New Beat Fund has a much greater understanding of life than most bands coming out of LA. It’s obvious they stay true to themselves by creating music that’s filled with honesty, creativity, and weirdness…in the best way.
The tracks on New Beat Fund’s first EP ($) Coinz, released last year, helped set the band apart on the music scene both euphoniously and visually. The recent debut of their single “It’s Cool”followed accordingly in funky fashion. Their unique combination of such elements as typeface, graphics, hair color, and word choice only strengthens New Beat Fund’s belief to be different, stay different, and love different.
New Beat Fund is currently on a nationwide tour with Pepper and The Movement, and took some time out before their show at Irving Plaza on Thanksgiving Eve to sit with Joonbug.com. Referring to themselves as Snapz, BB (Burnie Baker), Silky and Button, this is what they had to say about their music, touring, and good vibes all around.
In the past, you’ve created some very creative and content driven music videos. However, your recent single “It’s Cool,” is a lyric video – why the change?
BB: Well it’s definitely possible that we could be doing a full music video, coming out in the beginning of the year. This could be a spoiler. But we liked the lyrics of the song and it kind of has a different content than some of our other stuff in our EP, so we wanted to focus on that. We also type really weird and do weird shit so we wanted to show that.
Are there certain lines or specific words you wanted to really resonate with the audience?
Button: “Pretty girls on cocaine.”
Snapz: And then “fuck.”
Button: It was a easy way to transition and paint the picture of where were headed musically and visually, because sometimes in a video I feel like it’s a little harder to paint the aesthetic and imagery as much as it is if we’re telling a story we’re in. So this was like visual, aesthetics, words, typeface and that kind of vibe. And there’s still kind of a story with Wu, who’s just a lonely man at a karaoke bar.
Snapz: Wu for president!
Button: We just wanted to paint that picture subtlety.
Snapz: Not to mention that every video we’ve done is really different, and this one just remains different.
BB: And we just wanted to make a better lyric video than Kendrick’s.
Do you guys like going to karaoke?
Silky: Yeah, whenever we can we do.
What are your go-to songs?
Silky: Crossroads, Bone Thugs N Harmony.
Snapz: K-Ci & JoJo.
Button: It depends how drunk everyone is too. Eventually the boy band stuff comes out.
Snapz: Yeah, Backstreet Boys. Or west coast hip-hop classics.
Silky: Ice Ice Baby always goes off too.
So let’s talk about the alien thing – how did that come about?
BB: Vanilla Ice told us to.
He also invented rap.
Silky: Didn’t he?
Snapz: And the eyebrow shave. But it started out as a fun thing, like we made a graphic for it and, I don’t know, I feel like our music’s always been about individuality and being yourself and expressing yourself in any way you feel is right. We consider ourselves to be aliens as well, and we’ve also been abducted one time.
Wanna tell us about it?
Snapz: Yeah, we were sitting on a mountain top, and we were just talking about life and all that fun stuff and then three flashes of light, like crazy flashes of light, just surrounded us and within an instant we felt like we were gone and came back after what seemed to be an eternity, even though it had only been seconds on Earth.
Did you feel changed?
Snapz: Yeah, afterwards we all just started scattering through this mountain freaking out.
BB: We stood up just looking at each other like really confused, and then we started screaming and running down the hill, and we all ate shit.
Button: It threw us into a fit of paranoia, and it wasn’t due to anything else, just pure confusion. It was like a little hysteria, but mostly paranoia.
Do you think it helped your music at all, or inspired you?
BB: I think all of our songs were written up there in the UFO. So we basically plagiarized the aliens.
Silky: We’re actually just covering the alien tunes that we heard up there.
So is that meaning behind the alien – that you feel like outsiders and out of place in the world?
Silky: Well I think anytime you follow your own path there’s a sense of feeling like an alien.
And the lyric, “Everywhere I go, what the fuck am I doing here?”…
Snapz: You just said fuck!
Snapz: Is this supposed to be a PG interview?
Do you ever question where you stand as a band?
Snapz: I don’t think we ever really question ourselves. The lyrics is more of just being in that moment when everyone feels that they’re in a place where they don’t wanna be, and you’re kind of just obligated to be there for whatever reason.
But you do seem to have a lot of fun on stage, and even with your own personal style, so do you think that’s a reflection on your perspective of it all?
Snapz: We’re just flowing down the river of life.
Silky: It’s kind of how it has to be.
Button: You have to make every moment count.
A lot of bands don’t see it that way though.
Silky: If I were in a room with people like that, I would say, “What the fuck am I doing here?”
Snapz: It’s a little bit of both though. We have goals and such, but for the most part we like to go with the flow and have a good time.
Button: I would say collectively we all live in the present.
And would you say that’s what sets you apart, or is it something else?
Snapz: It’s probably a bit of everything. One of the most common things people say to us after a show is like, “You guys sound different.” People love our videos and think they’re really unique, so I think that’s something we’ve always tried to do.
Button: I always get, “I like your energy.”
Silky: “You guys are like so fun!”
Button: “You guys look like you’re having fun out there!” Uhh, yeah! What do you think we’re doing up there!
Speaking of, you guys did a performance of “It’s Cool” as a part of Jam in the Van – was that the most out of the ordinary place you’ve played?
Silky: I would say maybe that was the most unique way we’ve played “It’s Cool” so far, but we’ve played other songs in some weird places.
Snapz: Well, Mars.
BB: The moon.
Button: We played in a kitchen not too long ago.
Silky: We played a full show in a frat house kitchen. I made out with a mermaid, it was my birthday.
Button: No, it was Halloween. There have been venues that are strange. There was a haunted one in Wisconsin that we got terrified at…some weird stuff happened that night.
Silky: We played like weird acoustic bathroom things.
BB: Yeah, we’ve played in a shower.
All of you in one shower?
BB: Yeah, naked. And then spaghetti came out of the spout.
Speaking of close quarters, have you been touring around in a van?
Silky: Yeah, this tour we’re in a van.
Silky: I do.
The entire time?
Silky: Most of the time.
Snapz: The two of us (Snapz and BB) aren’t allowed to drive.
Silky: Because they can barely walk.
What CDs do you have playing in the van?
Silky: We don’t have a cd player, but we do have spotify.
Snapz: There’s a lot of shuffling going on. All kinds of stuff.
Silky: Lots of Riff Raff.
Snapz: Well today’s been a journey. Everday is a journey honestly.
Everyday is a winding road?
Button: Yeah, we had a Sheryl Crow day!
BB: I love Sheryl Crow.
Snapz: We had a Tom Petty day. We have a lot of 90s days. The new Spoon stuff is really cool. We like Flume too. And all this crazy new wave stuff that’s coming out right now.
Nice! And how has the tour experience been?
Silky: This tour has been amazing. Everyone on this tour has been super nice, with good vibes all around. They’re just super inspiring bands.
What’s been your favorite city so far?
Button: Well we had an amazing show at The Norva in Virginia. Pensacola, Florida was really awesome too.
Silky: Philly was cool too. The crowds were insane those nights.
Any memorable moments so far?
Silky: Well the last time we played Irving Plaza actually, Snapz and I got into a little argument.
Snapz: It consisted of two words.
Is there going to be a repeat?
Snapz: Well he (BB) poured a soda on my head last night.
BB: Well he hit me in the face with a water bottle.
Snapz: Yeah but he poured it on my head first. It was a Diet Coke. And then after I hit him in the face with a water bottle, he had a whole other Diet Coke and chucked it in the dressing room and it exploded everywhere. And then he (Silky) broke it up.
Button: So obviously we need a Diet Coke sponsor.
And what can we expect from New Beat Fund this upcoming year?
Silky: Well we have this record we finished over the summer. It’s a full-length album that’s probably going to come out in the spring, maybe early summer. We’re also doing Warped Tour this summer.
Snapz: And we did a cover of Lana Del Ray’s “West Coast,” which we’re probably going to be dropping in the next couple of weeks.
Are there any other covers you’ve done?
Snapz: We have another cover that we’ve done, it’s like a Sublime/Misfits mash-up. It’s from“Caress Me Down” to “One Last Caress.” And we did a Pepper track that we co-wrote and co-produced with them – it’s called “Every Little Thing.”
Button: And we’re playing that live every night on stage with them.
Snapz: Yeah, hopefully we’ll have some more collab tracks coming up too.