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Beach Fossils

Beach Fossils

Friday 20th September, 2013 9:21AM

Beach Fossils was born in 2009 as one of many solo projects by Brooklyn-based musician Dustin Payseur. Payseur still steers the Beach Fossils ship but since releasing his debut, self-titled album in 2010 he has recorded and toured alongside Tommy Gardner, Jack Doyle Smith and Tommy Davidson. Beach Fossils are heading to New Zealand at the beginning of next week to support the release of their sophomore album Clash the Truth, on which Payseur discusses a very Gen-X condition: feelings of alienation and despair coupled with unabashed optimism toward the future. UnderTheRadar caught up with Payseur to discuss his latest record - and myriad other projects - below.

You started Beach Fossils in 2009 to extend your solo work into a band. Why did you want to write and perform with a full band, and how has this transition has affected the Beach Fossils sound?

The music I was making was very experimental and there was no instrumental consistency on a song by song basis. I was craving a live setting because since moving to NY I hadn't played around much yet. So I decided to strip it down and make pop songs.

Are you still working on other solo projects and if so, tell us a little bit about these. Do you set up different projects with the specific intention of creating a different sound?

Yeah I'm always messing with different styles and sounds and textures and emotions. It doesn't always fit under the Beach Fossils umbrella, and a lot of it I enjoy keeping private, just writing songs for my own personal enjoyment. There's a lot of music I do that I love, and I know if I started mixing it up with money and with live shows I would start to lose my love for it.

You released your sophomore full length album Clash the Truth on Captured Tracks earlier this year. How did the writing and recording process occur for this one? From reading interviews, it sounds like you wrote a lot of material, and it was a pretty drawn-out process deciding what worked for the album?

It's the same process all the time. I record songs almost every day over the course of a few months or years and in the end divide them up into which projects they can fit into. I worked on a lot of other song that I love more than some songs that ended up on the record, but it's the same thing, I like to keep some private.

How did you choose the material that you included on the album? Was there a particular sound or theme you were going for that those songs that made the album fitted into? Explain your decision-making process a little.

It doesn't take much thought really, you just know it when you pile them together. Every album is a concept album, so it's easy to shed the songs that feel like they don't fit the concept.

How is Clash the Truth different to your debut album? Was there anything in particular you were trying to do to differentiate the two? Anything you wanted to improve on from album one to album two?

I was feeling a lot of heavy emotions at the time and that album is basically a journal of me trying to sort out everything that was swirling around in my head.

You release this latest album on Captured Tracks and we (New Zealand) have a connection to that label in the sense that they're re-releasing a lot of Flying Nun material and have signed a few NZ bands who we really respect. What's it like working with those guys?

They're great. We're all so close. It's my New York family.

You're heading to New Zealand next week; are you looking forward to it? Any particular reference points for NZ as a place (aside from Lord of the Rings)?


What are you future plans for the Beach Fossils project?

I'm not sure right now. Once I get back from tour and settle in early 2014, I'll be writing a lot.


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