Beasthead, a band hailing from Minneapolis, Minnesota, blends hip-hop break beats, guitar driven indie and vocal transformations to create a compelling sound. On October 3rd they played a short set on Airplay and their song “Louder” was captured on tape by the WNUR Media Team.
We also got a chance to chat with band members, Harry Reynolds, Doug Deitchler, Nick Whebbe and Paul Novak, after the set:
WNUR: So let’s start off with an introduction, where are you guys from?
Doug: We are from Minneapolis, Minnesota, making our way out to New York for a quick little jawn and back. And yeah, super happy to be here, that was a lot of fun you guys hooked it up like crazy.
No problem man, we love to do it. So I was listening to a lot of your music prior to your set and you have Tallest Trees on bandcamp, is there anything else set to be released or in the works?
D: We are loosely working on EP, we tracked some stuff at the Old Sound Gallery in Minneapolis and Ryan Olcott form Twelve Rods is currently helping us produce it. So it’s in pieces, but there’s not really any timeframe for it. [Laughs] Hopefully sooner rather than later.
How is Minneapolis, how is the music scene to you guys out there? I know there’s a history with bands like The Replacements and Hüsker Dü…
Band: [Laugh] Is that all you got!
I mean…No but there is a history of Minneapolis music.
Nick: Well Prince of course. Right now a lot of what we’re doing is trying to connect with as many other bands in the area as possible. Connect, play shows, get to know people, and try to extend our reach as far as possible. We’ve been doing that in Minneapolis and now going out to New York, just really trying to expose ourselves more and as much as possible. Minneapolis is a great spot for that, but you have drive about five hours in any direction to really hit anywhere else. Regardless, Minneapolis is great, we love the music there.
Paul: It’s really eclectic, we kind of find ourselves , especially with the kind of stuff we do, playing and fitting in with almost any kind of bill. Big mixes of genres or bands or rappers or DJ’s or whatever.
Yeah, I think the intersections in your music are quite interesting. How did those come about, what kind of influences brought you to your current sound?
Paul: I guess a real basic answer is we were in a rock band before, and then our drummer quit. We couldn’t find anyone else so we replaced him with a drum machine and started making beats. So that brought the hip-hop element into our sound and we started working with some rappers, Dem Atlas and Globe Mechanics our buddies up in Minneapolis, and then once it progressed more we decided to bring a drummer back into the fold. Mighty Moe Blunt.
And then definitely the the most immediately unique thing that jumps out is the effects on the vocals. Can you speak a little on that?
Harry: I can’t talk, don’t have auto tune. [Laughs] A lot of the bands in Minneapolis are messing with vocals; I think we first heard Polica and Bon Iver do it, and we were like “that’s really cool.” So I bought an auto tune pedal and just wrote a couple songs with it. In the beginning, I was just using guitar effects which is not very good for the signal; it’s just kind of a weak way to do it. But, we just got the new hardware and it’s really beefy and has alot of different effects on it, so we’ve been playing with that. The goal for the effect is to turn the voice into more of an instrument and move away from the traditional vocal line structure.
Very cool. So you guys are on your way to New York, are there any other stops along the way?
Doug: We are sleeping at the airport tonight [Laughs]. Uh no, this was just kind of a last minute thing. This group, Communion Music, is essentially a group the Mumford and Sons dudes started to throw house shows in London when they were kind of nobodies. And now that they blew up, so did this and now it’s a label. We played one of their Minneapolis nights and they’ve invited us to come out for a show in Manhattan so we are kind of just in and out with that.
Awesome, well that’s all from me is there anything else you would like to add.
Moe: Yeah Doug told me a few days ago like “yeah we got booked at Northwestern University in Chicago,” and then when we met up he’s like “I think it’s a tiny school outside of Chicago?” I’m like “no dude, this is going to be a nice spot” and I was right, you guys killed it, thank you so much.
Thank you guys so much for coming in, this was a fun one.
Brock Stuessi // Leo Galbraith Paul //Danny Kelleher // Anna White // Marina Seyffert
Lauren Harris // Alex Furuya // Sienna Parker
Los Perros Cubanos stopped by in February to play an Airplay set, and—though the set isn’t on the Airplay website at present—we still wanted to share the results. LPC will be playing at Zocalo tomorrow night at 8 PM, so check them out if you like what you hear.
For more on Airplay, including archives and a list of upcoming acts, check out their newly resuscitated website.
On Monday, we posted an interview and in-studio session with hammered dulcimer player and Evanston native Max ZT, also of the group House of Waters. Now, check out two exclusive videos from the set, recorded during the session last month. Our thanks to Drift producer Svyat, who helped out with filming.
Comprising hammered dulcimer virtuoso (and Evanston native) Max ZT, 6-string electric bassist Moto Fukushima, and percussionist Luke Notary, House of Waters incorporates sounds as wide-ranging as Senegalese sabar music, formal structures of Indian santoor music, free jazz, and more. The day before the official release of their 3rd and latest album, Revolution, House of Waters’ Max ZT joined Continental Drift for a full 2-hour live in-studio performance, interview, and co-DJ session. After the jump, check out the full set on Mixcloud.
Back in May, Chandeliers came by the WNUR studios to record an Airplay session. You can hear the whole thing on Airplay’s website. Here’s what they’ve got to say about Chandeliers:
What happens when you put four guys from the Chicago art-rock scene into a band together? Chandeliers. What do they sound like? Well, using sound machines and synthesizers, Chandeliers describe their sound as “shimmering, beach-ready electronic jams” and listening to their tracks one can’t argue with that. Attempting to identify the origin of their sound one is forced to think of Krautrockers, post-disco dream teams, and funk kings, but one thing is certain, this Chicago quartet has a sound all unto their own. Garnering positive reviews for their past three albums from the likes of XLR8R, 20 Jazz Funk Greats, and The Wire, Chandeliers is a group to keep your eyes and ears on.
In case you didn’t notice, Sonic Celluloid is coming really, really soon (May 18! This Friday!). We’ve got a great line-up of local artists coming to play, including headliner Cleared and openers Wume and Good Willsmith. It’s happening at the Block Cinema, and you can find all the details at the Facebook event page. We think it’ll be a real eye-opening experience.
So with that in mind, we thought we’d share a video we put together when Wume came to the studio a few weeks back for an Airplay set. You can check out the whole set on Airplay’s website here.
We’ve got some more video coming from Airplay and the rest of station in the near future, so stay tuned!
Maps & Atlases stopped by the WNUR studios this past Tuesday, performing a stripped-down acoustic set in anticipation of their upcoming show. They’ll be headlining at Metro this Friday to kick off their US tour. Tickets are $16 and doors open at 8PM.
Be sure to download the exclusive mp3 from part of their performance below. As always, you can stream all of WNUR’s in-studio performances (including this one!) on the Airplay archive page here. Stay tuned for more exclusive in-studio mp3 releases in the future!
Fever (WNUR Live In-Studio) by Maps & Atlases — Right click to ‘save as…’ to download.