Interview with Beast Make Bomb

I know the band had quite an adventure at SXSW this year. Tell us a little about what went down.

Ceci Gomez: Yeah, we got onto two Rolling Stone showcases, which was beyond awesome. It was our first time down there, so we didn’t really know what to expect. We had such a ball! We opened for Queens of the Stone Age, which was insanely awesome. They’re a band that we really look up to. Being backstage at the show was crazy. Jack White was there and a whole bunch of other random people that we weren’t expecting to be there. We got an opportunity to talk to some amazing people, and not know what to say to them. [laughs]

Glenn Van Dyke: We ate a lot candy that we had in our dressing room. We were downing Sour Patch Kids and just hanging out with our jaws open.

Ceci: We felt like babies.

Hartley Lewis: Yeah, we definitely felt young.

Did you get a chance to speak with everyone or did you just stand in a corner all night?

Glenn: [laughs] No, we talked. I couldn’t handle it. I went up to Jack White and said, “Hey, you’re an awesome guitar player.” He was like, “Thanks.” We eventually chased him down the street and gave him our EP. Maybe he’ll listen to it, maybe he won’t. He was a really nice guy.

Ceci: After Queens of the Stone Age went on, we talked to Josh Homme for a hot second. We told him that their set was great and that it was such an honor to open for them. He was like, “Yeah, I noticed you around earlier today being filmed.” I told him, “Yeah, it’s weird, I’m not used to people following me around and filming me.” He said, “You know, honey, you better get used to it.” [laughs]

What songs did you guys bring out on stage?

Hartley: We have two EPs, ‘Skinny Legs’ and ‘Sourpuss,’ and we played every song off of both of those. One has five songs and the other has three songs. So we played all those, plus some new songs that we’ve written for whatever’s next.

Glenn: Yeah. We’re releasing one of the new songs at the beginning of summer. The song is called “Party Monster” and we have a video coming up for it that we’re shooting this weekend.

Ceci: We’re going to be re-releasing ‘Sourpuss’ in late May because we don’t really think that we did a ton of press for it when we released in January. We’ll be adding “Party Monster” to the EP and we’re all looking forward to the video for the song. It’s going to be funny and heart-wrenching. [laughs]

What’s “Party Monster” about?

Ceci: “Party Monster” is a song about this character who kind of ruins every single party situation. At some point, every single one of us can be a party monster. Releasing the video for it will be a fun thing to end the tour that we’re on.

Nice. Sounds like a good plan.

Glenn: We got really hooked up, in terms of the Get Out of the Garage Tour. And we’ll be kicking off our own DIY tour with the addition of the new song to our EP.

How did you get involved with the Get Out of the Garage Tour?

Sam Golfine: Converse and Rolling Stone sponsored this competition where we had to get all our friends to vote for us every day. We won two days in a recording studio, $10,000 worth of stuff at Guitar Center, and we’ll be playing with The Whigs, Tokyo Police Club, and others on this upcoming tour.

Which studio do you get to record in?

Ceci: Well, Converse is opening a recording studio in Williamsburg. It’s not even open yet, but part of the prize is that we get two free days of recording at the new studio.

That should be fun.

Ceci: Yeah, we’re really looking forward to it.

You guys recorded your EP at Headgear Recording Studios with Avery [Medjuck], right?

Ceci: Yeah, Avery is a really good friend of ours. It was through Avery that we were able to record there. Basically, he got us free recording time, and so we had to work really quickly and record everything in one day. We just tracked the basics first and added the extra vocal harmonies and guitar parts later.

Wow. Luckily you only had to record three songs — or was that the reason the EP is three songs?

Ceci: [laughs] That was actually one of the main reasons.

Hartley: We had those three songs written already. We’ve played them live, we knew we wanted to record them, and we knew that we could get them out in one day.

Ceci: Also, “Coney Island” is that perfect song for the middle. “1, 2, 3, 4” and “Rough It Out” are really upbeat songs, so “Coney Island” is the breather in between.

Was there a main songwriter who wrote the tracks on ‘Sourpuss’?

Ceci: I write a lot of the songs, but Glenn and I get together — we actually live together — and we’ll end up writing songs together. Glenn is a master at making sweet guitar riffs, and then I tend to put the melody and the lyrics on.

Glenn: After that, it becomes a collaborative effort. We’ll come with the guitar part and some harmonies and then Hartley and Sam will have something that they want to add or change. At the end of the day, it ends up being really collaborative. The ideas tend to come from one or two of us, but then we all hash it out together.

Is the song “Coney Island” inspired by Coney Island?

Ceci: Yeah, it was inspired by Coney Island. I made my first trip there during the summer and I had one of the best days ever. We rode on the Cyclone rollercoaster and I hurt my head. At the time, I was in a relationship, but I knew that nothing good could last forever. [laughs] I don’t really mean it that way.

Ceci: “Rough It Out” and “1, 2, 3, 4” are a lot more based around the environment that we live in.

Hartley: [laughs] I thought you were going to say, “the environment.”

Ceci: No!

Glenn: I actually wrote “1, 2, 3, 4” in high school — the guitar riff. It was me, Ceci, and Sam — Hartley hadn’t joined the band yet. We were sitting in Sam’s dorm room trying to figure out what to do with the song. It ended up being about a party — it was our freshman year of college and everything was about partying.

Ceci: “Rough It Out” is a song about living in New York, with the different anxiety and pressure you get from being here all the time. It can drive you insane.

A question you probably get asked all the time: Where did you get the name Beast Make Bomb from?

Hartley: We’ve been trying to answer that question ourselves for the whole time we’ve been a band.

Sam: We’re not sure yet.

Ceci: Initially, I liked the idea of having a name that’s really visceral. I wanted the name to be Beast initially, but I realized there’s another band with that name. I got really disappointed because I was into the idea of having it be just that one word. Glenn liked the word “bomb.” So we thought, “What a perfect combination!”

Glenn: We don’t condone bombs or bombing.

Ceci: It makes sense: only beasts make bombs! That’s how that came about.

Lastly, any plans for a full-length soon?

Ceci: We’ll be finishing this tour in May. Then, we have some new songs that we haven’t recorded. We’ll be spending the whole summer and fall getting a full-length together that we can hopefully release early next year.

Pick up Beast Make Bomb’s latest EP Sourpuss.

For the band’s upcoming tour dates, check out their Myspace page.