If a cartographer was charting a map of the United States of Indie, Beach House would have beachfront property. After 2010's universally acclaimed Teen Dream, the Baltimore duo have staked claim as an elite indie act. Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally have been touring extensively and doing limited press engagements since their latest release, Bloom, landed seventh on the Billboard list. Fortunately, RDW was able to speak with Scally about the band's work ethic, remaining in charge of creativity and our lovely city.
Are you ready to tour the world over until winter?
We just finished six weeks and it's pretty exhausting, but it's like getting your sea legs. We've done over 500 shows now. I think we're up to it. Part of the fun of a tour is thinking, "I don't know if I'm going to make it, I feel like I'm gonna throw up 24 hours a day!" But it's fun.
Would you have preferred to make music in a decade before bands had to worry about buzz and vibes and blogs?
Even though we complain about the Internet, it has helped us a lot. We don't make music that are "hits" or "radio-friendly" necessarily. We got to this point of being able to play for 500 people, 1000 people, because of the Internet.
You and Victoria have always been very protective of your band. Does that resoluteness aid in bonding you two even more?
A big thing about Beach House is that we've always been extremely controlling about making decisions on our own. The few times we've listened to other people, we've regretted it. It's our thing and we want to control how we present ourselves, what kind of things we do, what our artwork looks like, everything. We don't want it to be controlled by some PR person who wants to turn us into whatever the flavor of the day is. It's tried to happen with every album we put out. When we were doing our first record, people called it freak-folk. We were like, "nope, definitely not that." During Teen Dream, people were saying we were a chill-wave band. "Nope, not chill-wave either." People always try and put you into some sort of stupid zeitgeist kind of thing. It never really fits anybody.
You have been associated with some of the biggest indie bands around, like Grizzly Bear and Vampire Weekend. Is there a similar consciousness that runs through all of you that brought the bands together?
The three of us – Vampire Weekend, Grizzly Bear and us – have very different histories. One of the first things Vampire Weekend did was get a manager. They were on the cover of Spin before they even put a record out. So, that was a band that was controlled by a manager who told them what to do. They're a good band. They write pop songs and have done very well. Grizzly Bear was very much the same way. They were watching the music business the whole time. Beach House did 250 shows and two albums without any consultant or manager. We had tours where we played for no one. We came up in a very different direction from either of those bands. | RDW
Beach House with Wild Nothing • 7/18, 8 p.m. • Crofoot Ballroom • 1 South Saginaw, Pontiac • 248.858.9333 • thecrofoot.com • $18 advance, $20 day of