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Interview: Victoria Legrand of Beach House

"We’re not a big band, or a band of big egos."

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Beach House

Beach House

Jason Nocito

What does the album’s title mean to you? Why those two words together?
“The logic was that there was no logic. In the beginning of writing it, we just blurted it out, Teen Dream, and liked it immediately. It felt very classic. I think it very much described the feeling that we had: youthful and obsessed, completely inspired by everything in this overwhelming, irrational, passionate way. That’s very much the way we were feeling when we were making the record.”

So, what were your teenage dreams?
“When I was a teenager, I pretty much dreamt about having a boy fall in love with me, wanting that really bad. Or just making out. I just laid around, listened to music a ton, and had my fantasies about what I wanted to be doing. I also worked really hard in school, for some reason, when I was a teenager. I had a lot of creative energy, and, just, hormones. But music has always been there. I’ve always loved it.”

Do you still have that intense love of other people’s music?
“Oh yeah! I firmly believe in not being close-minded to what’s going on in music, in not being cynical and dismissive of what's happening here and now. Because it’s amazing how many crazy different genres there are at the moment. It’s this crazy, miraculous thing that new forms of music are just popping up everywhere. I really love a lot of music that’s going on right now. I really love Washed Out, really intensely. When something good comes along you just know it. I think his music is really genuinely, and deceptively simple, and it reminds me of being a teenager.”

It seems a lot like Teen Dream is going to be your ‘breakout’ record. Are you feeling those good vibes?
“I am feeling those good vibes, and I'm glad that there's a sense of excitement that's palpable. But I don't know how I feel about it. People are sort of saying that [the album will be a 'breakout' record], but, personally, I see it as flattering that there’s any interest in us at all. I see this as just another step in a direction. I would not want to say that 2010 will be our year, necessarily, I hope it’s just another year in which we do good work. I don’t want to be defined by this year, I want it to just be a beginning. We’re in a certain stride now, creatively, and I don’t want to lose that, so whatever I have to do that maintain that energy, I’m going to do it. I don’t want to be caught up in... calling things what they are. At this point, I’m just excited that the record is finally going to be released. It’s time for it to be properly in people’s hands.”

Was it inspiring to you to see 2009 be the year of Grizzly Bear?
“Well, they definitely had a great year, and, yeah, you can say that it was their year, but, knowing those guys really well, I don’t see them settling, or backing down at all. When they make their next record, it’ll be like 2012 is the year of Grizzly Bear again. I very confidently believe that they’ll always be a very great band. I hope the same for us as well; that we are just able to continue our work, and keep making records, and not get caught up in silly things.”

What constitutes 'silly things'?
“Like reading your own press! You know: not wasting your time where you don’t need to spend your time. Being appreciative, but keeping your eyes wholly on the creative prize. I’m not worried about us losing focus; we’re not a big band, or a band of big egos. We’re just two people who feel eternally grateful that we’re able to do this. This is our lives, we take this very seriously.”

Do you see Beach House as a band without end, so to speak?
“I feel that Beach House is a life thing. I feel that I’ll be doing this forever. I’ll be making music for as long as I possibly can. And it’s the only thing I do; I don’t have another job or anything. It’s my life.”

How fortunate do you feel that you have found another human-being in which you can continually collaborate without fearing things souring?
“I feel really, really lucky that Alex is the person that I work with. I met him through a musical friend, and we’ve always been playing music together. In the beginning, that was our connection, and, now, it’s still our connection: music. I feel very, very fortunate that I have a creative partner with whom I have very intense musical chemistry, and who understands exactly what it is I’m looking for when I’m making music.”

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