Been meaning to write about this one for a while, just been so tied up in stuff. Last year, Sohrab from the Obits contacted about me about Beaters playing a show in SD. Having been a fan of Edsel, his earlier band, in high school, and having been an all-things-Rick-Froberg (Pitchfork, Drive Like Jehu, Hot Snakes) obsessive for half my life, I couldn't help but profess my love for everything he was involved in. At the time, I was still in the process (along with I Hate Rock n Roll) of putting together a tribute contribution to one of the greatest bands ever, the Nerves, and asked Sohrab if the Obits would be interested. They talked it over, decided it wouldn't be a good idea, but Sohrab went ahead and recorded his own version of "You Won't Be Happy" with his side project, the Forgery Series, which you can hear below:
B8--The Forgery Series--You Won't by Volar Records
To go back to my high school, in Japan on a military base, I discovered Drive Like Jehu through my local library, which had a copy of Yank Crime, for me one of the all-time best albums EVER. My other FAVORITE band at the time was Girls Against Boys; I spent years obsessed with everything they'd ever done, and the band was a perfect combination of dynamics and swagger and the expulsion of the troubled heart. Recently, GVSB's drummer, Alexis Fleisig, joined Obits, which is yet another reason why I couldn't be more excited about this tour coming together for Beaters. (As a note, I'll be around for some of the shows, if not all.) Listen below to "Bulletproof Cupid," my favorite of theirs. (And as another note, when I was in high school and first making videos, I dreamed of one day making a video for this, which never happened. I also mapped out an elaborate film for the entire House of GVSB record, set inside a house in which every room would be a video for each song. This also, of course, never happened.)
I'd also like to talk about the great Disappears, who are touring the entire West Coast with the Obits. I was fortunate enough to play two shows (in Christmas Island) with them back-to-back last year, in LA and SD, along with the Ponys (who share members with Disappears). Of special note, which again brings me back to my high school days, is that STEVE FUCKING SHELLEY OF SONIC YOUTH is now their drummer. Sonic Youth was the other band I was most obsessed with for years (and still listen to plenty), and there's a weird/awesome full-circle in all of this, a direct connection to the bands that inspired me early on, playing these four shows with Beaters, who are great friends of mine and one of my favorite bands, partly included on this because of the fact that I'm now running this here label, which clearly draws inspiration from those early high school days listening to DLJ/SY/GVSB on repeat FOR YEARS. Below you can watch Disappears play "Superstition."
And now to get to Beaters. It should be noted that these are their first shows in well over a year, after touring the US with the Soft Pack in spring of last year. I've known Jeremy and Andrew since their days in the Sess (who were my absolute favorite band while they were around), and was pretty heartbroken when they disbanded. However, in time, Jeremy and Andrew began recording two different projects--Beaters, led by Jeremy, with Andrew on drums, and Ale Mania, with Andrew handling a better chunk of the duties alongside Jeremy. Their first songs popped up online right as I decided to start this label, and they were the first people I talked to about releasing records. Beaters' amazing "Fishage" 7" became Volar's first release, a split with Single Screen Records, with Ale Mania's "Lustful Fistful" 7" soon to follow. And now, finally, we'll soon be seeing the release of Beaters Fishage LP in the fall (they'll have limited CD-Rs of the record for sale on this tour), eight perfect, dark, haunting tracks. Listen below to "Dark Haunter," their cover of the Damned's "New Rose," and "They Don't Really Care About Us," and watch the videos for "Fishage" and "White Hate." Tour dates and info are included below, and be sure to read Seth Combs's SD Citybeat piece about the band.
BEATERS--New Rose (the Damned cover) by Volar Records
BEATERS--Dark Haunter by Volar Records
B-2 Beaters--They Don't Really Care About Us (Michael Jackson) by Volar Records
AUGUST 20 SAN DIEGO, CA @ SODA BAR W/BLEACHED, HEAVY HAWAII, PLATEAUS
AUGUST 22 SAN FRANCISCO, CA AT BOTTOM OF THE HILL W/DISAPPEARS & OBITS
AUGUST 23 VISALIA, CA AT THE CELLAR DOOR W/DISAPPEARS & OBITS
AUGUST 24 LOS ANGELES, CA AT THE SATELLITE W/DISAPPEARS & OBITS
AUGUST 25 SAN DIEGO, CA AT THE CASBAH W/DISAPPEARS & OBITS
See you all soon!
Beaters in SD Citybeat
Beaters back in action
Local mutant-punks return after year and a half hiatus
By Seth Combs
Back when I first reported on Beaters in early 2009, I had a good feeling that their skuzzy, drug-punk anthems would soon make every indie hipster from here to Williamsburg cream in his jeggings. Sure enough, once pubs like Vice and Stereogum caught wind of the single, “Fishage,” next-big-thing fever took hold and a lot of black-frame glasses were fogged up in the process.
But then frontman Jeremy Rojas did something unexpected. Instead of striking while the lo-fi iron was hot, he stopped making Beaters music.
“It wasn’t really a conscious decision to focus on other things. It was more circumstantial,” Rojas says. “Beaters lost our bass player because he moved to New York, so that put a little hold on things.”
This might not necessarily be a bad thing. A lot of bands tend to rush out a follow-up single once that initial song garners attention. But fickle music geeks tend to write the new single off and just move on to the next hot, shiny band of the moment. And if bands like Salem, Cults and The Weeknd have proven anything, it’s that taking your time helps lend an air of mystery to a group and build up anticipation for the next release.
Lately, Rojas has been focusing on the band Ale Mania with his musical soulmate Andrew Montoya (who plays bass in Beaters). But Rojas says he’s ready to get back to Beaters. They’ll play their first show in nearly a year-and-a-half at Soda Bar on Saturday, Aug. 20 (along with Bleached, Heavy Hawaii and Plateaus), and Rojas plans to debut new songs on the group’s Bandcamp page (beaters.bandcamp.com) during the next few months, with a full-length to follow.
“I’ve been working on new Beaters material this whole time,” says Rojas, who plans to unleash at least one new song on Saturday. “I definitely want to pick up where we left off.”
So, wash your pants and clean your glasses. They’re back.