Best Coast Eyes 'Ridiculous' Producer for New Album - Rolling Stone
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Best Coast Eyes ‘Ridiculous’ Producer for New Album

‘Hopefully I’ll come up with at least one or two happy songs. I have a tendency to write a lot of bummer songs’

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Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast performs at Outside Lands


Best Coast frontwoman Bethany Cosentino can’t wait to get off the road and into a recording studio. The Los Angeles surf-pop band has been playing shows nearly non-stop since their debut album Crazy For You became one of the most acclaimed records of 2010, and they are exhausted. “I’ve played all of these songs a hundred million times,” Cosentino tells Rolling Stone. “I feel like I’m a better singer, songwriter and guitar player than when we cut the first album. We just have one more week to go on this tour.”

Cosentino says that she already has 14 songs written for the band’s next LP, which they plan on recording in October. “All of the songs are sitting in a file on my computer,” she says. “I just have to go through them and see which ones I like. I really think it’s going to be a different record than Crazy For You.  I want to keep a lot of the same simplicity and kind of pop elements, but I want to do a slower record. I want to sing my ass off. I really want to make songs where my voice is kind of the focal point of the song, so I’m trying to write a lot of ballads and things like that.”

Best Coast were completely unknown when they cut their first record, and Cosentino says she feels significantly more pressure with this next one. “It’s something that’s in the pit of my stomach all the time,” she says. “But I try to not think about it. Every artist and musician I talk to says, ‘Your second record is always the hardest. It doesn’t matter if your first record is terrible or great.’ I’ve found that my comfort zone is writing in my bedroom. I haven’t spent a lot of time there this year, but when we get off the road this week I’m going to spend a month there trying to pick through the songs I’ve written and see if I can come up with some others.”

Adding to the pressure was some news Cosentino got a few months ago. “We were on the road and this guy who used to work for our label said, ‘Bruce Springsteen just talked about Best Coast on E Street Radio on Sirius XM,'” says Cosentino. “I was like, ‘What the fuck!’ That’s kind of one of the most epic moments of your life when you find out that Bruce Springsteen even knows who your band is.'” The first track on Crazy For You, “Boyfriend,” has the same exact drum into as “Badlands.” “That’s an accidental homage to Springsteen,” says Cosentino. “People think we ripped it off, but Bobb claims he had no idea. Now, every time I hear that song I can only think about myself, which pisses me off. I’d rather not think about myself when I’m listening to Bruce Springsteen.”

One song almost certain to make the new album is “How They Want Me To Be.” “I released it a little while ago, but I want to re-record it,” Cosentino says. “It’s a song about the Internet just driving me crazy with people being like, ‘Why do you write such stupid lyrics? Why don’t you write longer songs?’ I was like, ‘I don’t want to be that way.’ Hopefully I’ll come up with at least one or two happy songs. I am a very happy person, but I have a tendency to write a lot of bummer songs. When I’m inspired to write I tend to be sad and bummed out.”

The band hasn’t picked a producer yet for the project, but Cosentino says that they have “some ridiculous people in mind that we want to work with.” All that she knows for sure is that they’re going to record in Los Angeles, and she plans on devoting no more than two months to it. “We’ll probably start touring again in January,” she says. “[Drummer] Bobb [Brunno] and I like to get things done quick. By this time next year, there will be a new Best Coast album. I’m sure it will have been out for a while.”

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