Q&A: Beach House's Victoria Legrand on Touring, Teen Dream, and Turning It Up

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beach-house1.jpg
Beach House will play Neumos on Monday, and it is very much sold out.
Baltimore's Beach House will play a long-awaited show at Neumos on

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Q&A: Beach House's Victoria Legrand on Touring, Teen Dream, and Turning It Up

  • Q&A: Beach House's Victoria Legrand on Touring, Teen Dream, and Turning It Up

  • ">

    beach-house1.jpg
    Beach House will play Neumos on Monday, and it is very much sold out.
    Baltimore's Beach House will play a long-awaited show at Neumos on Monday - it's going to be a packed house; tickets have been sold out for weeks. I recently talked to Victoria Legrand from her hometown of Baltimore about their recent 6-week stint in Europe and the painstaking process of writing and performing the intimate songs of their most recent record, Teen Dream.

    How's it feel to be back in Baltimore?

    When you're gone for large chunks of time, certain things fall apart, like your house, your apartment, your life. There was a leak from the radiator above me that's been rotting the ceiling in my bedroom, and the landlord doesn't want to fix it. So I didn't pay my last month's rent. These are fun activities.

    Are you ready to be back on the road for your U.S. tour?

    Touring the U.S. is my favorite because of the drives and the changing landscapes and thrift stores and things like that. And the coffees are bigger.

    Teen Dream feels to me like a very sexual, intimate record. Would you describe it as such?

    We don't go out of our way to make it sexy. You have good intentions, and you have real emotions and raw feelings, but you can't predict where it's gonna go... The songs inspire each other. We're a very song-oriented band. When we write a song, it's because we have a melody we believe in. We're never like, 'oh, we love this sonic texture.' It's not an aesthetic.

    Can you give me some examples the inspirations behind the record?

    The things that inspire us are our practice space, our organs, the junk we collect, the changes in our lives, the same things that affect everybody. When I'm at home, I don't listen to a lot of music, because I'm pretty much always preparing for the next departure, so a lot of the things that catch our eye are things are that happening in different countries, wherever we are. The inspirations behind Teen Dream are far more abstract than anything that would be easy to just be like, 'it was this.'

    I read that you think Teen Dream is a record that should be played very loudly, whether it's someone listening to it at home or your own performances.

    I know a lot of people listen to our music intimately, on headphones, and I think that's a great way to experience music too. You can close your eyes and shut the world out. But in my own apartment, I tend to listen to my records pretty loudly. I let the sounds fill the room. I've heard our record played outside in a valley, someone was playing it from their car, I think it was in Big Sur. I hadn't ever experience someone else listening to our record. It was really interesting, and our music sounded pretty good outdoors.

    Why did you decide to make a music video for each song on the album?

    We thought of it as a really expansive and imaginative way to kind of relinquish control. We thought it would be really interesting to have other people's interpretations of our music, to keep things alive and exciting. We think of them as a curation - ten artists respond to our music. It could have been a disaster, but it's not. I'm very happy with the way things turn out.

    The video for "A Walk In The Park" is really shocking. I used to think of that song as pretty and relaxing in a sort of pastoral way, but now I won't ever be able to see it that way again.

    It's art. It's up to you to decide whether it ruins your experience or not. We didn't know what he [director Allen Cordell] was going to do. I'm sorry that it ruined the song for you.

    No, it didn't ruin the song. I've been listening to this record for months, and the videos just radically shifted my perception of the songs.

    That's good. I think that's really important. We can't just stay the same way that we've been since the beginning. That's not the way that things go in the universe. Things don't just repeat. We're not going to be a floral boy-girl duo. I'm a 28-year-old woman, and Alex is a man, and we're growing everyday.

    Click here or pick up this week's issue to read more of my conversation with Legrand.

     
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