“He won’t stop writing about balloons! For goodness sake Ollie, not another one!”
We talk debut album – No Mind No Money, wrap around shades, hot air balloons and karaoke with Beach Baby.
Stood on a coast somewhere, sand between your toes, sipping a long island – a scene that should be sound-tracked by the relaxing waves of Beach Baby.
The London four piece spice their admittedly subtle rock tunes with golden edges and soft vocals. Recently released, the big debut album puts them in broad daylight, exposed with nothing to hide. An open book, their lyrics paint them as genuine, honest individuals – something we came to find out as we sat down with Ollie, Lawrence, Josh (Shep) and Kit in Glasgow.
VN: So you guys are in Glasgow, about to play Stereo, how are you feeling about the show?
Lawrence: Like it here, we played here in April, played a headline show here and we really like Glasgow. It’s a cool place!
VN: So how has the UK headline shows been so far for you guys?
Lawrence: It’s been good! It’s been the first UK tour since our album came out so it’s nice to play to people who know the whole record and it’s been more busy in general. After doing the USA tour, it feels a lot less empty and a lot less driving as well
VN: What does a day on the road with Beach Baby look like?
Kit: We enjoy podcasts!
Ollie: Yeah we went through Tom Hanks’ Desert Island discs the other day
Lawrence: Generally music tends to come and off, our AUX cable is a bit fucked now so we need to find another one before that carries on!
Shep: Easily solvable though, not a problem!
VN: If you were to put on an album or a track, what would the go-to be?
Kit: We’re so varied
Lawrence: I don’t think there’s one that we all go to
Shep: I think it’s quite collective – it’s just kind of up to the whoever has the phone and what they’re feeling really
VN: So obviously, you mentioned the debut album, No Mind No Money, has been released. How was the whole recording process of it?
Ollie: It was a lot of work, the big bulk was about five weeks! We were pretty much there Monday to Friday and we built the tracks together, you know, we didn’t just do bass and drums in one week, we really took our time and spent a few days on one song.
Lawrence: We worked on them in groups of three and four, which we preferred because it was a way to make sure you didn’t run out of time when working on say five songs. You gave each other a week in each group.
Shep: I think what we noticed is that it was relaxed at the start – we had lots of time, you were stepping into an open room with a clear mind – and then towards the end, you’ve probably got less done than hoped and it suddenly becomes anything, you just think “shit we need to finish this!”
There were a lot of long weekends and late nights at the end of it but it was still great.
VN: What about the reception to it? Did you ever anticipate that kind of reaction?
Ollie: Yeah, I think when you put out an album, you’ve got to think that people will like it. If you release it whilst thinking “people are going to hate this” – unless you’re wanting to make a bold statement which is going to create that reaction. I had hoped that people would like it and I think most people do, I do anyways.
VN: So what was the idea behind the artwork?
Ollie: That was all Lily Thomas, who did all our videos – the first four we did – including Limousine which had that boy in it. We were kind of desperately searching for ideas and not having any luck between us so Lily came up with to us with that and we just thought it looked great.
VN: Out of the album, do you guys have a favourite track to play live?
Lawrence: We’ll go round, Shep?
Lawrence: Shep’s saying ‘Powderbaby’ at the moment, what’s yours Kit?
Kit: ‘Smoke Won’t Get Me High,’ I enjoy that one!
Lawrence: Kit is saying ‘Smoke Won’t Get Me High,’ what are you saying Ollie?
Ollie: Yeah I’m going to go ‘Smoke Won’t Get Me High,’ I think.
Lawrence: I think I’m going to go with ‘Bug Eyed and Blonde,’ I’ve really enjoyed that over the past few days!
VN: Have you seen a difference in crowds now that fans kind of have more to latch onto and more lyrics to learn?
Lawrence: Yeah you occasionally get a ‘whoop’ for a song which four months ago, you would have never got a ‘whoop,’ so you get the unexpected ‘whoop’ and people seem to know the words to songs; we even get tweets saying “hope you play this one,” which we probably will because we’re playing the whole album!
Ollie: Slightly better attended and people are more expressive. Releasing an album has had a positive effect on the live show for sure!
VN: What would you say is the weirdest thing you’ve ever had shouted at you on stage?
Ollie: Hm shouted at, I’m not sure but someone brought a swivel stand and loads of wrap around shades to our gig in Southampton, which is weird but also wonderful.
Lawrence: There’s photo’s of us that I just saw from Southampton where we all got thrown a pair of wrap arounds so there’s loads of photo’s of us playing with them on!
Ollie: But it was such a genuine gift
Lawrence: And we were talking to the guys afterwards and they really want us to write a song called ‘Wrap Around.”
Kit: Think it means something else though, doesn’t it?
Lawrence: What do you think it means something a bit sexual? I’ve not heard of a wrap around as a sexual thing
Kit: Yeah it’s a sexual move, that’s what I thought!
Lawrence: If it is, I have never heard of it! Do you mean a reach around?
Lawrence: I think you’re getting confused between a reach around and a wrap around! A reach around is something else.
VN: I read in an interview that, Ollie, the first song you wrote about was when you were seventeen and it was about a hot air balloon?
Kit: Go on soldier, tell the story!
Ollie: That’s pretty much it!
Lawrence: “Come on balloon, fly me away…”
VN: Do you think your song writing has stayed the same in that you can write about pretty much anything?
Lawrence: He won’t stop writing about balloons! For goodness sake Ollie, not another one!
Ollie: It’s changed, definitely changed! There’s some things you can get rid of because it’s in your personality so it’s apart of your style. But there’s been a few changes and a few things where you’ve gone “yeah I can see that’s the same person,” so the answer to that is yes and no.
VN: So no songs on the album about hot air balloons?
Ollie: There’s no songs about hot air balloons sadly
Lawrence: The style of that song is different to what we do now
Kit: I’d love to hear that song!
Ollie: Do you know what? I can’t find it anywhere!
Lawrence: I think I probably have it on my iTunes…
Kit: Lawrence, what was your first one about?
Lawrence: My one is a lot more bleak sounding, it was called ‘Liars.’ When I was fifteen? So Ollie wrote ‘Hot Air Balloon’ and I wrote ‘Liars.’
Kit: We’ll release a double A-side – ‘Liars’ and ‘Hot Air Balloon.’
VN: You guys were over playing some shows in America, how did shows over there compare to UK shows?
Ollie: They were very poorly attended, so not as good! The experience of playing in America was good but the crowds not so much
VN: What was your favourite show or area?
Shep: Baby’s All Right, that was my favourite one.
Lawrence: It was a good show but the venue in Portland was really memorable I thought.
Shep: If I do say so myself, we play some really good shows so it was a shame!
Lawrence: Basically, we knew going out there that we were going to play to rooms full of not many people because we weren’t touring with a huge American band, it was another UK band about the same size as us. But it’s what you do, and it was a really good experience and the people who were there seemed to like it.
Ollie: In every town, maybe two or three people would say “I’ve been following you guys on the internet or Spotify” so that was quite weird.
VN: I suppose it’ll be nice for when you do back and sell out shows, to look back and think “you know the first time we were here, not many people came, and now we’re here.”
Shep: Yeah, to be fair though, that’s exactly how we started in the UK.
Lawrence: Gotta start somewhere!
Shep: You know we’d play to about five people in a room but that’s part of the process.
Ollie: And the fact that no one was there didn’t mean the show wasn’t fun! We did have a really great time and I never came off stage thinking “oh that was crap, what are we doing?”
VN: So after tour is wrapped up, what is next for Beach Baby?
Lawrence: We’re doing four dates with Palace and after that, I don’t really know, we’ve got a huge show in London that’s just about to be announced. But I suppose we’ll be touring or writing,
Shep: Maybe a support tour.
VN: For that last part of the interview, we thought we’d play a game of who’s most likely to. So, who’s most likely to lose all their money at a casino?
Ollie: Oh Kit
Kit: Yeah could be me actually…
Ollie: Kit has a dark side that he won’t expose to us
Kit: When we were in America, to get there we said we would just put everything down and see what happens, luckily we didn’t go to Las Vegas though…
VN: Who’s most likely to ask ‘when are you due’ to someone that isn’t pregnant?
Ollie: For someone just to put their foot in it? Probably me.
Lawrence: I was going to say you as well!
Who’s most likely to fall off stage?
Lawrence: Me, I haven’t done it before
Shep: You’ve dropped a lot, like a microphone stand.
Lawrence: Yeah I’m pretty clumsy so it would be me!
Who’s most likely to end up in a karaoke bar on a night out?
Shep: Or maybe Ollie
Ollie: Yeah it’s a tie, I’ve done a lot of karaoke! I usually sing ‘Stand By Me’ by Ben E. King, actually, there’s a karaoke machine right by my house that I go to quite a lot.
Lawrence: So we’ll go with Ollie then!
And finally, who’s most likely to survive a zombie apocalypse?
Ollie: I mean, no one! We’re all fucked
Shep: I’d say Kit, with his tactical thinking
Lawrence: You’re like a video game! You’d be thinking it out and planning!
Ollie: So definitely Kit.
Well thanks for the chat guys!