Behind The Scenes: Beasts – Tanz der Teufel

We love Beasts here at Soundscape so we thought it was only fair we share them with you. The band, from South Wales, are something of a supergroup, made up of former members of Accident Music, Hey! Tonight and Midasuno and have been playing some tearing shows recently, supporting the likes of Blowgoat, Exit_International and The Guns, and are set to release an EP Tanz der Teufel (10 Beasts cool points for telling us what it means) which is planned for February next year.

We spoke to Drummer  Matt Riste and Guitarist/Vocalist Jordan Beecham (the band are completed by Andrew Black on Guitar and Tom Keywood on Bass) and asked them to tell us all about it.

How did you record the EP?
Matt – The whole EP was recorded in 2 days with Fudge Wilson (Exit International) at Soundspace Studios in Cardiff. We recorded the entire EP live, except for a couple of guitar overdubs, as we wanted it to sound as close to our live sound as possible. We also wanted it to sound raw and almost claustrophobic.

Tell us a bit about the tracks?
Rock n Rolled Over in its Grave  –  
Matt-  This is just a really fun opener for the EP. It takes all the different elements of BEASTS and crams them all together in one song. It’s about bands who take themselves too seriously, and we’ve always said we never wanted to be like that. We don’t want to change the world, we just want to make it party!

Jordan  –  As far as the lyrics go, I wrote a song aimed at a lot of ‘rock’ bands that are dominating the circuit. Some bands seem to worry too much about irrelevant things and take things too seriously, rather than writing good music and having fun. Being in a popular band seems to have become a fashion statement, rather than an ambition, and even the bands who have views which are possibly similar to mine still write what people want to hear rather than what they want to write. I believe we write songs that we like, and if other people like it then thats a bonus. Basically this song is trying to make a point of rock music not being quite what is used to be, and bands claiming to be ‘rock’ but just dragging the genre through dirt.

Cooking in Prison  –  
Matt – This song was written 3 days before we went into the studio to start recording. Right up until that point, we’d decided to have another song entirely on the EP, but we started messing about with the ‘got what, get what’ parts and the whole song just fell into place. We thought it was too good to keep from the EP! After we recorded a guitar overdub on the verses we noticed that Beecham’s guitar had been out of tune the whole time, but on playback it sounded filthy so we decided to keep it! So you’re actually listening to us playing out of tune!

Jordan  –  This is just fun. The title is taken from an episode of Alan Partridge – we were just sitting around in practice, quoting Alan Partridge scenes and having a laugh, and we thought shall we just name this song that we’re writing after a funny line from that show? So we did! There are 4 words in the verses ‘Got What, Get What’, and the chorus is about getting a blow job. It makes no sense, but it’s my favourite BEASTS song. It’s so fun to play live, it’s really ballsy!

Only Rats Leave a Sinking Ship  –
Matt – I remember having this idea for a kind of almost metal sounding guitar part which I brought to practice. It worked really well with some of the riffs we already had knocking about and it ended up becoming the verse to ‘Rats’. The only problem with me bringing riffs to the table is that I can’t play guitar, so we literally have to sit there whilst I hum the parts to the boys whilst they try and figure it out with me shouting ‘No that’s not right!’ or ‘Try the next chord up!’ Nightmare.

Jordan  –  I’d say this is the darkest song musically. It just feels darker than the others, no idea why! I don’t think there’s anything interesting behind it, but it’s generally about betrayal. I’m not sure sure what was going through my head when writing the lyrics, I’d assume someone had recently betrayed me maybe? But it couldn’t have been that bad because I can’t remember now! Oh, and there’s a really ‘poppy’ bit in the middle of the song, completely opposite to the feel of the whole song, but it just throws a spanner in the works for a mix up!

Black Prussian  –
Matt –
This is my personal favourite on the EP. It’s one of the first songs we ever wrote as a band and has a real cool, straight forward punk rock feel to it. It’s also probably got the biggest riff I’ve ever heard!

I came up with an idea for a lead guitar part over the choruses. In the studio at the time there were Tom, Beecham and I, Len, who had just joined, Fudge and his engineer Joe and Chris Morgan (Accident Music) who’d come down to lend us some gear. Whilst humming the part to Beecham there was a note that he couldn’t quite get. It took the 7 of us a good 45 minutes to figure it out! We dubbed it ‘7 men, 1 riff’.

Jordan –  The majority of the music for this song was from the first song we ever wrote. It had a really shit intro so we dropped it for a while, then brought it back, chopped and changed it and it became this. We originally had different lyrics, but they sucked, so when I was recording vocals I stole a bunch of lyrics from Matt’s lyric book on the spot apart from the chorus! There’s an absolutely killer riff at the end too. We end all our shows with this riff because we can span it out for however long we’ve got left to play!

Now, I for one cant wait to hear this EP but until then check out the ace video for ‘Cooking In Prison’ below and the band are playing live with Exit_International at Undertone Cardiff on December 11th. See you there.

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