Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino: ‘Being a Self-Conscious Person Sucks’
Over the last few years, Best Coast have excelled at making summer-friendly stoner rock. On their new EP, Fade Away, the band have continued that tradition. Over seven songs clocking in at a brisk 25 minutes and 49 seconds, this latest offering finds Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno exploring uncertainty, prog-rock influences and an unrelenting sense of honesty. Rolling Stone recently spoke with Cosentino about Fade Away, finding confidence and her love for Drake.
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The first song you released from Fade Away was “I Don’t Know How.” Why did you choose that one?
I wanted to release that because the rest of the songs are more straightforward and what you would expect a Best Coast song to sound like. “I Don’t Know How” has this vibe. It was something different we wanted to try.
You started your own independent label for this EP called Jewel City. How did you come up with that name?
I grew up in Glendale [California] and there’s a bowling alley, Jewel City Bowl, where I used to have my birthday parties. I wanted to have the name of the label be reminiscent of something that was L.A.-related. I thought that was just some cool thing, that one out of five people that see the label title could be like, oh, that’s Glendale.
Where are you these days as a performer?
When we first started, I just had no confidence. I was awkward onstage. I feel like now I have this total confidence that allows me to get onstage and be myself. I was always self-conscious. Being in this profession, it gets hard, because you get scrutinized by a bunch of people. In 2009, when people were like “Oh, that song sucks,” “that girl’s ugly,” “Bethany’s a bitch,” etc., I took it so to heart. I was so sad by what people would say. Now? It just falls right off my back. I don’t care. That stems from the fact that my confidence grew. Being a self-conscious person sucks, so it’s nice to no longer feel that way.
What music are you enjoying these days?
I’ve been listening to the new Drake. I just have to admit that I illegally downloaded it when it leaked, so that’s my confession. I love Drake, I’ve always been a huge Drake fan, since I first heard him. I love this new record, I think it’s so awesome. I really relate to him sometimes, which I know sounds really cheesy, but I feel like the stuff he talks about, especially when he talks about feeling lonely from fame – even though I’m 10,000 scales below his fame, I can relate to knowing what it’s like to feel this distance. He’s so emo and blatantly honest about his feelings and what’s going on.
What’s your favorite song off Nothing Was the Same?
I think my favorite one is “Connect.” It’s about him trying to connect with people on this normal level even though he’s like “Oh, I’m this famous rapper, but I’m just trying to get on a normal level with people.” My life is nowhere near that, but I sometimes feel like my friends I’ve known for years treat me differently. It’s just bizarre. Once you gain success, there are some people in this world who instantly treat you differently.
Would you say you’ve matured over the years?
Oh, man. I mean, when I was 18 . . . I was a party animal when I was 18. I was one of those people who partied super hard before I was 21 and after I turned 21, I slowed down and turned into a 60-year-old lady. I go to sleep at 9 p.m. now. At this point in time, so many things that I do – so many bands we play with, so many festivals we play, so many people we meet – I think about if I was 18 still, I would have cried and freaked out at all the things that have happened to me. There’s really nothing I could have said, because I had absolutely no idea that this was ever going to happen to me. I would probably just be like, “Yo, get ready for some craziness.”
Stream Fade Away here:
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