Beat Antenna

Things are going well for Beat Antenna with a new album out and gigs aplenty. We caught them for a chat

Interview, Music feature

So you’re launching your EP, Half Now, Half Later – weren’t you going to do that about three weeks ago?
Yeah, but we wanted to make sure we did it right. We originally planned to release the EP in December, then January, and so on. But we wanted to make sure it was as good as it could possibly be – there’s no point rushing these things when you want to do yourself justice. And this way we also launch the single [‘Rickety Rick’] too, so we can do it step by step, and do a full hour of music at the launch – some upbeat songs, some slow songs – and just kind of pace it.

What’s the EP like?
We’re trying to get a lot of variety on there – we didn’t want the songs to all sound the same, which is why we’ve got guitar tracks and piano tracks, ballads and rockier tunes at different tempos. I think it’s a good start for us in terms of showing what we want to put out there.

You’ve had a bit of a line-up change of late – why’s that?
It wasn’t any choice of ours. Grant, who was our bass player – and a great musician, by the way – he just decided he couldn’t really commit to the band full-on. It was good of him to be so honest, but we’ll miss him. You can hear some great basslines on the EP. But you’ve got to make that decision and move on.

Who’s the replacement?
A guy called Alan Short.

Any good, then?
Yeah: he’s Irish and that’s as good as it gets! His first gig was with us at Chi a couple of weeks back and he did a great job, even though we only had a week to prepare.

Tell us about the single.
It’s a fictional story about an alcoholic, someone who just likes to party 24/7 and doesn’t care about anybody else. It’s a pretty full-on track: rocky and upbeat. We wanted to start off on the right foot and I think the track does that.

Is the Middle East going to be receptive to a song about alcoholism?
Well I thought that, but what can you do? You need to just write what you write and put it out there – you can’t restrain yourself artistically. There would be no art galleries if you couldn’t do nudes, for example. And it’s not like we’re intending to cause offence or anything. It’s just a fictional story, same as a book.

Did you always know that it would be the single?
I don’t think you can sit down and think: Now let’s do a single. Well, unless you’re Kylie Minogue or Pete Waterman or something. You just write a song and whatever comes out comes out.

Beat Antenna launch Half Now, Half Later at Wafi Rooftop, April 10, free

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