Best Coast: Don't Worry About Me, I'm Fine.
Bethany Constentino is growing out of her stoner image (but, of course, keeping Snacks the Cat).
Frankly, after several listens to Best Coast’s new record, The Only Place (out this today on Wichita Records and Mexican Summer), I was a little concerned about Bethany Cosentino. Repeating the formula of their debut, Crazy For You, Bethany wrote all of the songs on this record before bandmate and multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno got involved to fill out the tracks. Noting various mentions of angst, loneliness, and early morning drinking, I was almost expecting to be greeted by the half-cut, medication-addled, ennui-ridden shell of the girl that appeared back in 2010 with a record positively sparkling with her native California sunshine. Turns out, Bethany’s mental malaise was fully expunged during the writing process for this sophomore effort.
Noisey: Having listened to the record I am a little concerned about you. Are you really okay?
Bethany: Don’t worry about me, I’m fine.
Did you set out to write such a deeply personal, quite dark record?
I just write personal music; I always have. I think it’s because writing for me is a kind of therapy. I get my emotions off my chest. That record was written in a time when I was so completely stressed out just by how much time I was spending away from home. When you have a job and travel like I do, you experience so much chaos. So yes, it is autobiographical, but a lot of it isn’t just me thinking about myself, it’s me thinking about other people my age too. I just had to get this out, you know, and once I wrote that record and I’d recorded it, I was like "Okay, I feel great."
Sounds like the traveling really affected you. Are you dreading going back on tour?
You definitely feel isolated and lonely, even though you’re around people. You wake up in a different place everyday and you don’t have your own bed to sleep in and some of the feelings you pick up on tour are not the greatest, but I think that writing this record helped me release a lot of those feelings. I’m going into the next touring process with a much more positive outlook. I needed to write this record and get all that off my chest so that I could start over and feel more relaxed.
So weed and cats obviously aren’t nearly as influential on this record. Is Snacks still around?
I created this image for myself because I was 22 and I was like "This is who I am" and it’s fun, but it’s hard to be taken seriously if all you talk about is cats and smoking pot. Snacks is still around, he hasn’t gone anywhere, I just wanted to be taken more seriously as a musician and as an artist. Most of the questions people asked about Crazy For You were like “You’re very inspired by your cat.” I sang about the cat once on that record and he’s not mentioned on this record at all.
Yet I still brought it up. Sorry, Bethany... Anyway, what shows are you really excited about?
We’re doing this awesome Metallica festival in the States called Orion Music and More Festival. It’s curated by Metallica and they chose us to be one of the bands, which doesn’t make sense but we’re huge fans of the band.
I saw on your facebook wall that you posted about Planned Parenthood using an almost apologetic tone. Do you feel pressure to not shout too loudly about that cause in case you stir up opposing sentiments in your fanbase?
I’m a big advocate Planned Parenthood; I’m an endorser of them, I do lots of things with them. We did a benefit for them. People don’t realize that it does so much more than what they think it does. My mom had breast cancer, so I’m a huge advocate for getting yourself tested and getting mammograms. Maybe my tone was a bit apologetic, but only because it’s the internet and people can say whatever they want to say and hide behind their computers, but I definitely don’t feel apologetic at all. It’s something I really believe in, so it’s something that I want to make sure that people know what’s going on.
Is it heavily affected by the seemingly crazy laws being passed in Virginia and other parts of the US right now?
It’s ridiculous. The laws in America are becoming so strange. Some states are trying to ban Planned Parenthood all together, but it’s a health clinic, you know? And it’s free. In America, our health care system is the absolute worst, so why would not want to give people somewhere to go to get themselves tested for STDs or cancers? Just let them go and get a physical for free, as there are a lot of people that can’t afford it.
The Only Place is out now on Wichita Recordings (UK) and Mexican Summer (US).
You can stream clips of the tracks and buy the LP here.
Best Coast Tour Dates:
05-18 Los Angeles, CA - Wiltern *
05-19 Oakland, CA - Fox *
05-21 Portland, OR - Aladdin *
05-22 Seattle, WA - Neptune *
05-23 Vancouver, British Columbia - Commodore *
05-25 Aspen, CO - Belly Up *
05-26 Boulder, CO - Fox Theater *
05-27 Lawrence, KS - Granada *
05-29 Omaha, NE - Slowdown *
05-30 St. Louis, MO - Firebird *
06-01 Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater *
06-02 Houston, TX @ Free Press Fest *
06-03 Austin, TX @ Chaos in Tejas *
06-16 Glasgow, Scotland - Garage
06-17 Manchester, England - HMV Ritz
06-18 Birmingham, England - Academy
06-20 London, England - SBE
06-21 Brighton, England - Coalition
06-22 Isle of Wight, England - Isle of Wight Festival
06-24 Atlantic City, NJ - Metallica's Orion Festival ^
07-09 Orlando, FL - The Social ^
07-10 Miami, FL - Grand Central ^
07-12 Atlanta, GA - Variety ^
07-13 Chapel Hill, NC - Cat’s Cradle ^
07-14 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club ^
07-16 Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer ^
07-17 New York, NY - Terminal 5 ^
07-18 Boston, MA - Royale ^
07-20 Montreal, Quebec - Le National ^
07-21 Toronto, Ontario - Pheonix ^
07-23 Columbus, OH - Newport Theater ^
07-24 Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom ^
07-25 Madison, WI - Majestic ^
07-27 Chicago, IL - Vic ^
* with JEFF the Brotherhood
^ with Those Darlins
- Noisey Blog