London’s Beaty Heart are an eclectic, neo-psych-infused four-piece with a heavy world music and electronic pop vibe. They juxtapose their musical and cultural influences into their work, weaving an array of samples, instrumentation, and percussion to create a sound that is otherworldly and distinctive, yet familiar at the same time.
Both their live and recorded music is accompanied by original artwork and video created by the band members. Beaty Heart strive to create pop music that cannot be sonically associated to any particular time or place, constructing their music by using the aspects of many forms of popular music that they feel are ‘timeless’, rather than trying to reproduce any specific aesthetic from their influences.
Interview with Josh Mitchell
Hey, How are you? What are you up to today?
I’m waiting for a flight at Stansted, off to visit my girlfriend in Stockholm.
What are the 5 albums & artists that have inspired you the most?
The Congos- Heart of the Congos
Panda Bear- Person Pitch
Arthur Russell- Calling Out of Context
Robbie Basho- Visions Of The Country
What other artists do you like at the moment and why?
Been listening to a lot of Timber Timbre with the boyz on tour lately. We’re all big Roy Orbison fans, and there’s some cool similarities in the vocals. We get moist for anything with a horn section in.
I’ve read that you spent some time on the ‘squat party’ scene. What was the experience like? How have things moved on from then?
The parties we played were pretty wild, and we definitely had a great time doing them. But the technical setup at these places can be pretty limited, and the stuff we play live now just wouldn’t work very well on such rustic sound systems. We also don’t get invited to parties anymore, we sold out all our friends to get to the top.
You guys create all your own artwork and visuals. How did that all come about? What inspires you?
We all went to art colleges in London, and we originally formed the band as an outlet for all our creative endeavours. The aesthetic side is still something we like to have control of however, and it’s an aspect of it that is just as rewarding to us as writing the songs and playing live.
The video for ‘Seafood’ is…. interesting. What was the thought process behind it?
I don’t want to talk about it. I still get nightmares from that shoot. I wouldn’t wish it upon anybody to consume as much raw fish and gelatin as we did that day. Not a strong combo.
What was it like supporting Jungle?
Excellent! They are all very very lovely people, and we always have a lot of fun together. They deserve every bit of their success because they work so hard at it, and just experiencing that kind of professional attitude and watching it pay off has affected the way we approach our own work.
You recently finished a US tour. What was the experience like? What are your fondest memories?
It was the best. Getting drunk on moonshine in San Diego and having a seaweed fight on the beach was a standout memory. Shout out to our driver Joey, from LA, who was the most badass tour guide anybody could wish for.
You’ve also played major festivals like Great Escape. Which do you prefer, big live shows or small intimate performances?
Both have their merits- we are certainly more accustomed to the smaller shows, and we love it. Ultimately we feed off the energy of the crowd, and in that respect the size doesn’t matter, but playing a big show in front of an packed, energetic crowd wins hands down!
What’s the best gig you have done and why?
Glastonbury. We opened up the BBC introducing stage this year on the Friday. We weren’t expecting it to be particularly busy, but it was pretty packed and the crowd were really up for it! It’s a dream for any UK band to play glastonbury, and we felt very lucky to be able to experience it.
What’s the worst gig you have done and why?
We’ve had a few shockers. We played a show in Manchester last year, and the promoter went completely AWOL. The show wasn’t promoted at all, and the only people in the crowd was the support band.
Do you have any information regarding upcoming releases, projects, DJ mixes or collaborations in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?
We’re currently writing our second album, hoping to be able to release that later next year. Charlie’s just done a juicy remix of a track called 40 Watt by Elel. Just stay tuned!
Finally, if you weren’t a musician what would you be?
A paintball safety martial, for the daily adrenaline and power rush. Or a herring fisherman in Scandinavia.
See Beaty Heart perform live this Friday, 14th November @ Autumn Street Studios alongside Crystal Fighters (DJ set), Groundislava + more!
Written by Alex Lewis