Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino On Opening for Green Day

Best Coast is back in Philly this week, this time opening for Green Day at Temple’s Liacouras Center
Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino: On Her Sound and Drew Barrymore

Last year, we spoke with Bobb Bruno, just prior to their set at Metallica’s first annual Orion Festival, staged at Atlantic City’s Bader Field, and a couple months before they played a full house at Union Transfer. Now we talk to Best Coast’s lyricist and voice, Bethany Cosentino, about her sound, directing a video with Drew Barrymore, and why her indie rock band loves to open for rock’s commercial megastars.

Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino: On Her Sound and Drew Barrymore magazine: Last year, you played with Metallica. This year, you’re back in our area with Green Day. I understand that sometimes it can be a management-level decision to open for or play festivals headlined by bands from different genres, to get your name out there and maybe some face time with a fan base who may not be familiar with your music. Or it may be your own decision — I’m sure that you guys are fans of various other genres as well! However, when you think “Metallica” or “Green Day,” the kind music that you and Bobb create is probably the last type of music that comes to mind and, as it is, opening for a popular arena show can be a daunting proposition. You guys also played your own Best-Coast-headlined, very well attended show in Philly last year at Union Transfer — given that you can rock a full house all by yourselves, do you still get a lot out of opening for heavy, more commercial bands like Green Day and Metallica, and do you find your fans respond well to these types of shows and venues?

Bethany Cosentino: I think that being asked to play things like Metallica’s festival and tour with Green Day are incredible. Three years ago, I was sitting on my bedroom floor writing songs and emailing them to Bobb, and now we are about to embark on a stadium tour with one of the bands who basically got me into music as a kid! Obviously, headlining your own shows and doing your own tour is super awesome and important, but I think it is a really huge deal when you get asked to do stuff that is way bigger than you are. It means that someone really believes in you enough to have you be part of something they’re doing, and to me that means the world. If you had told me when I was 15 that I would be touring with Green Day in the future, I probably would have started crying from excitement. This is a totally crazy thing for us to be doing, and I think it’s going to be really fun and a great learning experience. Even if we don’t gain any fans or anything, I still think the experience is what is most important. We were at the Orion Festival last summer, and we caught your set there. Can you tell us a story from your experience at the festival? Did you get to meet Hetfield and co, and are they fans? How were you approached to play it?

BC: Oddly enough, we played [Green Day lead singer] Billie Joe Armstrong’s 40th birthday party last year in San Francisco, and we met [Metallica’s] Lars and Kirk at the party. They both watched our set and Bobb and I were kind of freaking out inside because we are both huge Metallica fans. I remember one night I was in Belgium or something, and I emailed our booking agent and I said “one day I want to open for Metallica.” Obviously no one thought that would ever end up happening, but as soon as we got the email asking that we be part of the Orion festival, we were like “YES.” We didn’t get to see any of the guys at the festival, but we had a lot of fun. Getting to watch Metallica side stage was really awesome and something I’ll never forget. Last year, we asked Bobb a bit about what influences his contributions to Best Coast’s sound. What sounds or bands influenced your own creativity most, when it comes to songwriting, and especially as it pertains to 60’s beach music or Phil Spector/Wall-Of-Sound-esque style of “girl-group” pop that your records invoke? Who are your personal top-five all-time favorite artists?

BC: I’m really influenced by music that is real. simple, honest, raw, and real. I don’t like when shit is sugar coated and super complicated – I just want to hear a good song and I want to understand it and relate to it. All the bands that have influenced me as a songwriter or a singer, have all been bands that write totally honest songs. The Beach Boys were kind of like the band that influenced me the most to start this band, and I think they’ve written some of the most classic pop songs in the world. A song like “Don’t Worry Baby” is so perfect, and says so much, but it does it in a way where it’s just so straight forward and simple. I would say that my top five favorite artists are: Fleetwood Mac, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen. You guys have had a lot of success in renovating a sort of older sound for a younger audience. How do you see your music and sound evolving, if at all?

BC: I think that each time we do something, it changes a bit, but we stay true to our format and we don’t like to change stuff all that much, because we have found a way of doing this that is so comfortable for us, and it works super well. Being in a band is like being in a really intense relationship, so you have to be really careful what you do and how you do it. Because of the fact that I am the only songwriter in the band, we have a kind of openness that allows us to both be ourselves and do our own thing. I trust Bobb with my songs enough so that I just hand them over to him and allow him to do whatever he wants. We have never really butted heads in the studio or anything, so I feel super lucky. We just recorded an EP about a month ago, and it’s got more of our old sound in it, but the songs are maybe a bit more grown up than Crazy For You or any of the songs pre The Only Place. How did you guys get involved with Drew Barrymore for the direction of your “Our Deal” video?

BC: We randomly met her at one of our shows in LA and she was a huge fan and dropped this idea on me of doing this video, and I was like, “oh yeah sure that sounds awesome!” like assuming it would never happen. I was in London when I got the draft of her vision for the video, and I knew immediately that it was perfect for the song. A few weeks later we were back in LA and I was on set watching them create this amazing short story inspired by my song, and it was like the craziest most surreal feeling ever. Drew is one of the kindest, most passionate people I’ve ever worked with. It was such an honor. What, if anything, do you look forward to when you’re in the Philly area? I know touring can get repetitive, but is there anything you guys like or dislike about playing here?

BC: I think after our last Philly show, it’s definitely a city that’s on the top of my list to play. That show was so crazy! So many people, and everyone was so stoked, and I remember I was really sick that night, but I was just so excited to be there playing to all these fans who were truly, truly excited. To be honest, I’ve never really explored Philly since we’ve only been there for such short periods of time- but I feel like it’s definitely a cool city. The last time we were in town we went bowling and drank a lot of beer- that was cool!

30 June 2021, 09:18 | Views: 694

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