Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino may be a masterful tweeter — she scored an O Music Award nomination for Most Outrageous Tweet — but she’s also a skillful songstress, providing everyone who has ever had their heart broken with kickass jams to, well, kick ass to. IE, she’s not really the mopey sort.
As the O Music Awards creep ever closer, we talked with Cosentino about her nom-worthy tweet, as well as her upcoming sophomore album.
So what’s the story behind your O Music Awards-nominated tweet?
I was having sushi with my publicist Jess Rotter in New York, and we suddenly realized that there was the most insane disaster date happening at the table next to us. The girl was so drunk she could barely hold her chopsticks, and the guy was just being really vulgar. They kept fighting and telling each other they hated each other and then five seconds later they’d be making out.
It was so insane I knew I had to tell everyone on the Internet about it. We ended up drinking like five bottles of sake just so we could stay and watch what happened with the couple. Eventually we left, but to this day I still wonder what those two weirdos are doing, and I always laugh that they have no idea people all over the world read about their date — and now they are nominated for an award!
Seeing as how you’re a nominee for Most Outrageous Tweet (and have a generally awesome Twitter feed), we know you’re into the realm of social media/tech. What’s your favorite music app?
I love Shazam. There are so many times where I’m out, or watching TV, or something — and I hear a song that I love, but I have no idea who it’s by, and then the all-knowing Shazam tells me! I literally use it all the time. Since I’m in airports and stuff so often, I hear so much music that I’m unfamiliar with, and with Shazam I can learn about new bands and stuff.
Speaking of music, I’m interested to hear what your new album will sound like. I hear it will be inspired by old-school country and produced by Jon Brion?
I think people really took the ‘old-school country’ thing a bit too literally. I want to make a record that incorporates a lot of influences from Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, and women like that — but I don’t want to make a full blown country record. I want to focus mostly on singing on this record, because that’s what I do best — I’m a singer, I always have been. Women of that country era have these insane, powerful voices, and I want to emulate that on this album.
I’d also like to try and do some slide guitar or pedal steel on some songs. I think the most amazing part of working with Jon is just how talented of a musician he is. I write really simple songs, simple melodies, simple lyrics — but I think the complexity of what Jon does will take my songs to another level.
Will waylaid romance be as much of a theme in this album as the last one? Or have your inspirations changed?
I mean, romance is something that inspires me to write music. It always has been. I think songs about love are songs that will always exist, they will always be relatable to people of all ages. I didn’t write any songs on this record that are like ‘I miss you so much, I love you so much’ but I definitely wrote a lot of songs that talk about a guy, or a feeling, or love — but they’re done in a completely different way.
When I was writing Crazy For You I was going through a hard time; I was writing about what was happening in my life. This record is all about what is going on in my life now, and that’s change. So most of the songs are about my life and how I’ve changed within the last two years. This record is much more personal than the last one.
Along those lines, your new song ‘In Your Sleep’ (from the Ray-Bans Raw Sounds project) sounds completely you, despite being influenced by a photo and tune from The Smiths’ Johnny Marr. What was it like finding inspiration in the ethos of such an iconic musician? How did this songwriting process differ from your usual process?
When I was first asked to do this project, I was really nervous. I don’t ever, ever, ever write based off of one thing or one object that inspires me. I just go into my room, and I write a song. So this project for me was a challenge — but I wanted to take that challenge. Not to mention, Johnny Marr was in the fucking Smiths, so I was honored to even be considered to be part of his project.
Your video for ‘Our Deal’ included a lot of teen stars –- and so does your Twitter feed –- what is it about such personas that you find interesting?
Haha, I don’t really know. I just think teenagers are cool. Being a teenager is always awkward and not that much fun, but when I look back on my teen years I realize they were actually not as bad as I thought they were then, and they were actually really fun. I am still really close with two of my best friends from junior high and one of our favorite things to do is just sit around and talk about being dumb teenagers.
Along those lines, how important is it for you to temper your music/image with lightness of the pop culture variety? I loved that you debuted ‘Crazy For You’ on the Cheezburger Network (I’m sure Snacks did, too).
I just like to do things that I think are cool. I don’t do anything for anyone else. I wanted to make that music video fun, and something people would remember. I didn’t want to make a video that was just me looking lovelorn in some bedroom fawning after a guy. It’s too easy.
By Brenna Ehrlich