We can’t get enough of Best Coast’s newest EP Fade Away, and it’s doing a decent job of holding us over until the next full-length...for now. Bethany’s uncanny ability to soothe our sorrows with her own brand of mellowed out surf-rock combined with brutally honest lyrics will never get old. Fade Away features more polished vocals, more womp-tastic songs about love and loss, and more hi-fi production value. We just couldn’t wait for the upcoming LP to be released, so we caught up with Bethany about all things Best Coast. As it turns out, she’s as down-to-earth as you’d think. Here she tells all about what inspired Fade Away, her friendship with BUST cover girl Hayley Williams, her obsession with Drake, and what to expect from the new album.
You’ve said before that The Only Place had kind of a quarter-life crisis focus. A lot of Fade Away seems like it came out of experiencing an identity crisis. Is it kind of a continuation of that quarter-life crisis you’ve referred to or was it inspired by a totally different experience?
I think all of my records stem from different experiences. Obviously I tend to sing a lot about the same type of emotions, but I guess that's because I'm pretty much always dealing with the same kind of bullshit, haha. I'm really open and honest in my songwriting about what I'm currently going through and that's really important to me. I want my fans to feel like they can relate to what I'm saying and feel like they're not the only ones out there with those kind of problems. I feel like The Only Place was more inspired by feeling crazy from touring so much and just feeling like I had lost touch with who I was and Fade Away is kind of more about drifting away from my own reality and feeling like I was losing touch with people I was close with and relationships that meant a lot to me kind of falling apart. So in a way I guess they are semi-related.
I know you’ve also said that many girls around the age of 25 are just really trying to figure themselves out. Having gone through that yourself, do you have any advice for women experiencing this now?
I turned 27 last year and I have to admit that I'm finally kind of starting to (somewhat!) figure it out. I think it's really a matter of being confident with who you are and knowing that it's okay to have flaws and to be conscious of them and to try and work on them. There are some things about yourself that you can't really change, but I think as long as you make an attempt to try and change them then that's a really positive thing. I think that being in this band and traveling the world and being on stage in front of huge audiences has really taught me how to have self-confidence. I used to really let what people said about me get to me, but it rolls right off my back now. Of course, I have my days where I'm like, "Ugh, this sucks," but for the most part, I'm learning to how to get through those days and overcome the negativity that sometimes drags me down. My biggest advice to any girl who is feeling unsure of herself is to just stay strong and try your best. There will always be people out there who try to drag you down, but you have to remain strong and true to yourself to try and keep your head above water.
I met Hayley about two years ago through her boyfriend Chad. He came to one of our shows and we talked a lot about how big of a Paramore fan I was. We made plans to hang out when Hayley moved to LA and when I met her, we just clicked. She's seriously one of the most inspiring females I know and I'm honored to be her friend. I think that what she has done with her career is really inspiring and it's amazing to see such a young woman with so much power. Not to mention she is one of the most amazing live performers I have ever seen. She has so much energy and just captures the audience in a way that is really rare to see. She's an incredible person with such a huge heart and I am so happy for her and all of her success.
Your clothing line for Urban Outfitters was so awesome. I loved the ‘90s inspired looks especially. What’s an item you find yourself wearing a lot lately?
Thank you! Doing that clothing line was really special for me. Obviously as a girl who loves fashion, it was a dream come true to get to make my own line of clothing. I love the 90s and I love 90s fashion, so I wear pretty much only 90s inspired things. Since we've been off tour for a while, I've been dressing pretty casual. I'm really into leggings and pairing them with crop tops. I'm also super into velvet right now. I joked on my Twitter that I was going to only wear velvet in 2014, and to be honest, I've been kind of sticking to it! I got all these really cute velvet bodycon dresses from American Apparel and a lot of velvet leggings and crop tops. I think once we get back out on tour I will start dressing up a bit more, but it's been nice to be home for a while and just stay super relaxed and cozy.
I saw a photo shoot of you wearing a Peggy Noland dress. Was she a big influence on you as a fashion designer? What about her style do you like?
Peggy is a friend, and she wrote me and asked me if she could send me a dress. I'm such a huge fan of her designs because I feel like she's doing something totally different than many designers out there. Plus, she blends pop culture with fashion which I really, really love. She's such a sweetheart and her own fashion sense is also something I really look up to. I just like that she stays true to who she is and she doesn't follow the norm and she just does whatever she wants.
You mentioned interest in possibly making a zine through your Jewel City label if you knew a good artist. Has there been any development there? Who are some cool artists you recommend checking out?
I haven't really had a chance to pursue doing anything with my label since the release of Fade Away but I definitely have plans to do something with it at some point. I really like this artist Michelle Guintu who does these really cool paintings of hip-hop artists and hip-hop related things. My friend introduced me to her art and I've been really into following her stuff since.
How did the Best Coast Snaps App come into being? I love the ones you’ve posted on your website. What’s the best one you’ve seen so far?
We have so many young fans that are really invested in Twitter and Instagram, so it made sense to do a photo app where people could insert photos of us, and of course Snacks, my cat! There have been some really good ones. My favorites are definitely the selfies people take where they add me into the photo and caption it like "chillin' with my main bitch Bethany!" It's funny, because a few weeks after our App dropped, this app called "Drake Shake" came out where you can add images of Drake to your photos so I feel like Drake and I are connected on an App level now, haha.
Favorite Blink 182 song?
"Dick Lips" off of Dude Ranch. My best friend and I were so obsessed with Blink 182 as teenagers, and this song reminds me of driving around the town I grew up in and singing it at the top of my lungs. We recently opened for Blink 182 in LA and it was like seriously one of the coolest moments ever. It's so awesome when something you cherished so much when you were young comes back and affects you like that as an adult.
Kill, fuck, or marry: Jerry, George, and Kramer?
Fuck Jerry, Marry George, Kill Kramer.
What’s a great current band we should be listening to right now?
I seriously listen to Drake like 24/7. It's kind of over-the-top obsessive, haha. I just love him. Lately I've been listening to Parallel Lines by Blondie. I feel like I'm getting really inspired by Blondie for our next record, and I'm hoping some of that inspiration will flow over into the writing and recording process. I'm also really into this band called Mood Rings from Atlanta. Their album VPI Harmony came out on our old label Mexican Summer. It's such a beautiful record. Really cool melodies and lots of awesome guitar tones. It's pretty shoegaze-y, and that's a genre that I really like that a lot of people probably wouldn't expect me to be into.