An Interview with Beats Antique: Behind the Music

Beats Antique in Gainesville

It’s been a while since we last caught up with Beats Antique back during Hangout Fest in 2010. Since then, they’re sound, fan base and stage production has evolved a lot.

They’re currently traveling the world on a headlining tour, with a bunch of stops in Florida, making this their largest tour to date! We caught up with them on the phone before their recent show in Gainesville to get the skinny on what they’ve been up to, what’s changed and what’s coming in the future.

Related: Beats Antique Hangout Interview, summer 2010.

Since last we spoke, your music has been blowing up with these kids, especially at festivals. It seems to me you really thrive in that environment. Your shows on tour are a bit more intimate. Do you prefer one over the other at all? How does the venue change your performance?

[box] Tommy Cappel: Well, when we’re playing a festival set it’s just like get up, bang it out. You’ve got a limited amount of time, and you’ve got to pack in the most rocking set you can, whereas in the more intimate setting, we’re able to play more of our material that shows a little bit more about our diversity. I think that it allows Zoe to do more costume changes and have more actual pieces that she performs in, which is obviously a highlight of our show. It pretty much allows people to see the different sides of us that come out and be fully immersed in us, as opposed to a bunch of other stuff going on. We can play quieter stuff and we can do stuff that maybe isn’t suitable for a festival set.[/box]

You guys incorporate so much into your sound, and it seems like you’re really genre-less and very free. Is there anything you wouldn’t feel comfortable experimenting with, or do you feel open to all things?

[box]David Satori: I’m personally open to all styles of music. It just depends on our take on it. We even, last New Year’s, made a silly techno track which was something really different than we’ve ever done for the show. That was us just dabbling in a genre we’d never really played with, this sort of fast techno music. But it did have to do with aliens and UFOs. It was sort of a funny, theatrical piece. But we’re always open to doing new stuff, and I think that’s the nature of what we do.[/box]

Is there any style you’re finding particularly fun to work with right now or listen to, or that you might try to play with in the future?

[box]Cappel: We’re really open ended. I feel like there’s a lot we haven’t touched on, and so we think of that. But, I would say it’s just an open-ended conversation. We don’t really go into it genre wise. We go into it more like, “okay, here’s a sketch, here’s an idea.” If we’re going to perform a song, how are we going to perform it, and how are we going to increase the audience’s excitement during it. That sort of dictates what we actually do with the track. And then there’s like, “Well, here’s a song that’s just for listening,” and how people are going to go with that. I feel like it’s sort of an open-ended thing.[/box] [box]Satori: But there are some genres, like some South American stuff, that I’d like to dabble into. Even some Asian stuff that I think would be really fun for us to work with, as far as cultural influences that we haven’t really done much of yet.[/box]

Some of your songs have a very narrative feel to them. I was wondering if you ever come up with little stories for your songs in your head. Do you feel that narrative inspiration as well?

[box]Satori: Yeah. I personally feel like the music is very cinematic a lot of the time, as far as telling a story. I think that has a lot to do with that it’s for dance. Dance is another way of telling a story through body language, and that definitely affects us. We try to have a lot of dynamics and a lot of emotion which naturally tells a story. When you write a song for dance, there’s an element of telling a story, so that’s where that comes from. And we really just like cinematic music. I listen to a lot of film composers and when I watch a movie, I pay a lot of attention to the music and the score. That’s something I’ve always wanted to do.[/box] [box]Cappel: Honestly, it becomes much easier to do those types of things (in electronic music) and bring those kind of elements to it, so it’s been really fun to be able to use that as an influence, too. As well as David, I love film scoring and different elements like that. It’s super fun to, even just for one section, just go into a different world and get really cinematic and open it up.[/box]

In what sort of sources do you find inspiration for your music. Other music? Ever just things that are happening around you? Books? Cinema? What inspires you to sit down and write a melody or put something together?

[box]Cappel: Anything, honestly. We’re all three totally different kinds of people and have different influences as well. So it’s sort of like David will come up with something and I’ll be inspired by that in a way that he wasn’t, and vice versa. And then Zoe will have an idea for a performance and that could be based on almost anything really. It just comes out, yknow? And by utilizing each other’s inspirations, we really have our diversity.[/box] [box]Satori: Personally, technology has a lot to do with how I’ve lately been so influenced; By making music through technology. I’ve been trying to make tracks on my phone and use weird applications. And all these things that are happening right now just with midi controllers and ways to create music. That has had a huge influence on how a song can be made. That’s my latest inspiration, just the technology that we have.[/box] [box]Cappel: Technology is definitely the cornerstone of what we do. I think as live musicians predominantly throughout our lives, we’ve been stuck to whatever technology was with that, which was basically sit down, play some stuff with some people. The world has just opened up big time, and we’ve been able to have live musicians accept technology and honor it. I feel like that in itself has a huge thing to do with our music and how we perform it, how we make it, how it’s heard and just the different things we can pull into it.[/box]

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