Who Are They?
Beasthead, a band hailing from Minneapolis, Minnesota, blends hip-hop break beats, guitar driven indie and vocal transformations to create a compelling sound. On October 3rd they played a short set on Airplay and their song “Louder” was captured on tape by the WNUR Media Team.
We also got a chance to chat with band members, Harry Reynolds, Doug Deitchler, Nick Whebbe and Paul Novak, after the set:
WNUR: So let’s start off with an introduction, where are you guys from?
Doug: We are from Minneapolis, Minnesota, making our way out to New York for a quick little jawn and back. And yeah, super happy to be here, that was a lot of fun you guys hooked it up like crazy.
No problem man, we love to do it. So I was listening to a lot of your music prior to your set and you have Tallest Trees on bandcamp, is there anything else set to be released or in the works?
D: We are loosely working on EP, we tracked some stuff at the Old Sound Gallery in Minneapolis and Ryan Olcott form Twelve Rods is currently helping us produce it. So it’s in pieces, but there’s not really any timeframe for it. [Laughs] Hopefully sooner rather than later.
How is Minneapolis, how is the music scene to you guys out there? I know there’s a history with bands like The Replacements and Hüsker Dü…
Band: [Laugh] Is that all you got!
I mean…No but there is a history of Minneapolis music.
Nick: Well Prince of course. Right now a lot of what we’re doing is trying to connect with as many other bands in the area as possible. Connect, play shows, get to know people, and try to extend our reach as far as possible. We’ve been doing that in Minneapolis and now going out to New York, just really trying to expose ourselves more and as much as possible. Minneapolis is a great spot for that, but you have drive about five hours in any direction to really hit anywhere else. Regardless, Minneapolis is great, we love the music there.
Paul: It’s really eclectic, we kind of find ourselves , especially with the kind of stuff we do, playing and fitting in with almost any kind of bill. Big mixes of genres or bands or rappers or DJ’s or whatever.
Yeah, I think the intersections in your music are quite interesting. How did those come about, what kind of influences brought you to your current sound?
Paul: I guess a real basic answer is we were in a rock band before, and then our drummer quit. We couldn’t find anyone else so we replaced him with a drum machine and started making beats. So that brought the hip-hop element into our sound and we started working with some rappers, Dem Atlas and Globe Mechanics our buddies up in Minneapolis, and then once it progressed more we decided to bring a drummer back into the fold. Mighty Moe Blunt.
And then definitely the the most immediately unique thing that jumps out is the effects on the vocals. Can you speak a little on that?
Harry: I can’t talk, don’t have auto tune. [Laughs] A lot of the bands in Minneapolis are messing with vocals; I think we first heard Polica and Bon Iver do it, and we were like “that’s really cool.” So I bought an auto tune pedal and just wrote a couple songs with it. In the beginning, I was just using guitar effects which is not very good for the signal; it’s just kind of a weak way to do it. But, we just got the new hardware and it’s really beefy and has alot of different effects on it, so we’ve been playing with that. The goal for the effect is to turn the voice into more of an instrument and move away from the traditional vocal line structure.
Very cool. So you guys are on your way to New York, are there any other stops along the way?
Doug: We are sleeping at the airport tonight [Laughs]. Uh no, this was just kind of a last minute thing. This group, Communion Music, is essentially a group the Mumford and Sons dudes started to throw house shows in London when they were kind of nobodies. And now that they blew up, so did this and now it’s a label. We played one of their Minneapolis nights and they’ve invited us to come out for a show in Manhattan so we are kind of just in and out with that.
Awesome, well that’s all from me is there anything else you would like to add.
Moe: Yeah Doug told me a few days ago like “yeah we got booked at Northwestern University in Chicago,” and then when we met up he’s like “I think it’s a tiny school outside of Chicago?” I’m like “no dude, this is going to be a nice spot” and I was right, you guys killed it, thank you so much.
Thank you guys so much for coming in, this was a fun one.
Listen to the rest of the set:
Brock Stuessi // Leo Galbraith Paul //Danny Kelleher // Anna White // Marina Seyffert
Lauren Harris // Alex Furuya // Sienna Parker