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Catch Up: Best Coast

Catch Up: Best Coast

Tuesday 15th May, 2012 2:45PM

We interviewed Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino not that long ago when she was over for the Big Day Out but jumped at the chance to have another chat now that her new album The Only Place is out.   Instead of talking about the album again though, we asked her a bunch of questions about how it feels to have achieved the level of success she has and gauge her opinion on various aspects of the music industry.

We did an interview with you recently where we talked about the album, so rather than talk about that, we wanted to ask: how has your life changed over the past couple of years?

Well you know before Best Coast I’d dropped out of college and was working in a soap shop, so it feels pretty surreal to be where I am now. At the end of the day I would so much rather be doing this than anything else I’ve ever done in life. So I do feel very privileged to have become as successful as I have and I would hope that it lasts for quite a while. As much as I complain that I’m exhausted and stressed at the end of the day this is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.

You mentioned in our last interview that The Only Place is about figuring out life in your mid-twenties. Do you think communication technology has affected this transitional phase? Is it harder to figure out what to do and how to do it today?

I feel badly for teenagers that grow up this era because I feel with how much bullying there is on the internet and how easy it is to contact people via Twitter and the internet - it's pretty bad to be a teen. When I was growing up the internet had just become popular and I remember when AOL came around and I used a chat room for the first time and I thought it was the greatest thing ever. Now people can’t function without technology and I think it’s a lot more difficult for kids to grow up today than say ten years ago. For people to come into their own it is a little bit more difficult - especially with being a successful person, there’s so much pressure that comes from blogs and commentators of blogs and people wanting to conform to the way they want you to be. I think that’s what this record is about; not necessarily wanting to confirm to the way people want me and my band to be.

You use Twitter to promote Best Coast. Is Twitter an important tool for you to connect to your fans?

In person I’m a little bit shy and Bob is more the guy that goes out after a gig and signs autographs and takes photographs whereas I kind of go straight to the backstage area and try to relax. For me to speak to my fans through Twitter I feel like they think they have a personal relationship with me and we are able to keep in touch that way, rather than me going out and physically speaking to them, because I have a bit of social anxiety. It’s also the best way to get information out about your band. If yo have an announcement to make the easiest way to tell people - to Tweet it. Sometimes I hate it and sometimes I love it, but you’ve just got to keep it in perspective.

You’ve had the opportunity to do some pretty cool collaborations. Tell us a little bit about the clothing line you've just launched with Urban Outfitters.

I’ve always had an interest in fashion and I’ve always had an interest in clothing and I love getting dressed. Obviously I love getting dressed, everyone has to wear clothing right? I mean love getting dressed for shows and picking out clothes so it was fun to do a clothing line. Hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to do something down the line with Urban Outfitters again or with other clothing companies but I think that as far as collaborations go I really do enjoy doing them. I think that it’s important to keep yourself busy and creative outside of one specific creative field. I think it’s important to dip your toe in a bunch of different creative things and keep yourself busy because you can get a little stir crazy if you do the same thing over and over again. So I’m looking forward to the year and seeing what kind of collaborations come my way.

Speaking of 2012, are you touring for the rest of the year?

Yeah the rest of the year is a lot of touring. Hopefully I'll do a couple more creative things outside of Best Coast but for the most part it’s going to be months and months of travelling. I’m really excited for it this time round. When we first started touring I was so excited because it was lke ‘oh cool I get to play songs in front of people’ but after two years of playing those same songs in front of people you sort of get burnt out. I’m very excited to get out there and play new songs in front of new audiences. Hopefully there are people who have bought the record and have heard of the band so I’m excited to get back out there and start working again.

Do you find different countries have different levels of appreciation for Best Coast?

I think the biggest audience is definitely in Los Angeles and that’s for obvious reasons because we are such a definitive Los Angeles band and we try to represent for California - so in Los Angeles we have the most epic shows. Spain and Australia are two of our favourite countries to go to. Australia especially, people are really excited and I think it’s because you guys are so far away and you get really excited when people from America come down and travel around. We love Australia – it’s one of our favourite places to visit. It’s beautiful, has great weather and the geography and nature is really beautiful. The shopping is good and the food is good. So I would say that Los Angeles, Spain and Australia are the three craziest places we’ve played with the biggest audience.