We are excited to have had the chance to meet and talk with Beat Connection. After a bit of confusion—and a lot of waiting— things paid off in meeting these four talented guys.
For those of you first hearing of Beat Connection it is important to mention how difficult it can be to categorize their sound. The closest would be to set them under electronic indie-pop, however, this does them little justice in defining their dynamic style. From the release of their 2011 EP Surf Noir the band has grown and fortified to a four member band. With the recent release of their first full length album, The Palace Garden, Beat Connection sets itself apart and shows how much they continue to grow.
Jordan Koplowitz: Bass/Instrumentation
Reed Juenger: Beats
Tom Eddy: Vocals
Jarred Katz: Drums
Indie Current: Did you guys always envision yourselves as musicians?
Tom: I wanted to be a fisherman for the grocery store, to catch fish and feed people when I was a child. I still have that dream, but it has gone to the way side with this whole music thing.
Jordan: I very distinctly remember when I was like in elementary school really wanting to be a waiter as my profession when I was older. I hadn’t like totally realized the whole profession thing. I was just like, ‘I really just want to be a waiter!’ You know? Which is kind of funny.
Jarred: I wanted to be in the NBA, but I realized as a 5’7” Jewish boy that wasn’t going to happen. It was probably till college when I was like ‘ok this is what I really want to do.’
Reed: Yeah I don’t have any distinct memories of what I wanted to be except for distinctly knowing that I have no idea what to do, and being like kind of concerned about it when I was like 13, which is not when you should be concerned about that stuff, but I was anyway…Except I’m here now.
IC: How were you introduced to music?
Reed: I mean I started playing like clarinet and saxophone in pretty basic middle school bands, and that’s kind of how I started. But I guess for this, getting introduced to what we are doing now is just discovering GarageBand and messing around with that for a long time. Getting into electronic music through that route.
IC: You guys were DJs before this, right?
Jordan: Yeah Reed and I were.
IC: How did that influence your music?
Reed: Probably the biggest influence was trying to like fuse genres within a single song and also to kind of create coherent, implicit narrative arches on albums even in like a microcosmic level within songs.
Jordan: Yeah I mean I think it just made it… Because like so much of DJing is getting people to dance. It was really important for us to make music that made people dance, but wasn’t necessarily considered like DJ music, and so that’s kind of how it affected how I made music.
IC: Did you grow up listening to any artists that now influences your music?
Jordan: My dad use to listen to The Last of the Mohicans sound track, every day pretty much, so whenever I was in the car with my dad. So I’m sure somehow The Last of The Mohicans sound track has influenced my music now.
Tom: I don’t know. I couldn’t say that the music I listened to as a child has necessarily influenced it. My first record I ever bought was a Blur album when I was like in second grade.
Reed: You are so much cooler than us. [laughs]
Tom: Yeah I am almost amazed by myself, but my neighbor had it and I was like ‘I got to get this!’ It was a great record. Kind of weird, though, for a second grader.
IC: Is there a meaning behind “Beat Connection”?
Reed: It’s kind of like…
Jarred: A bad name! [laughs]
Tom: A lame name. [laughs]
Jordan: It’s not a lame name it’s just generic. We’ve realized since then that it’s pretty generic.
Reed: We chose it actually because of a, there is an LCD Soundsystem song with the same name and it’s the B side of their first single, which is basically about young kids like us doing what we are doing. Which is serendipitous because it’s not really what we meant at the time, but it was more kind of like referencing a band that kind of like wears their influences on their sleeves and doing that kind of metal of a thing. It was maybe a little trite, but it happened and now we are here living with it on a daily basis. [laughs]
IC: How have you evolved musically since Surf Noir?
Jarred: Not only did we add more members, which happened, there is actually a lot of live instrumentation on the album, and I think everyone was just listening to a lot more different music, getting different ideas, so the production level is better. I think everyone just got stronger in not only playing and composing, we all kind of thought about composing pop songs more as opposed to , I don’t know, electronic, ambient more… I don’t know what you would call those back in the day, but I mean there are more layers and a lot more for the listener to pick up on— which is cool.
IC: What is your music creating process?
Jordan: It has definitely evolved since the beginning. It’s pretty different for every track, but I would say a lot of the time that, or at least for The Palace Garden, the album that just came out, it was mostly like I would create a lot of the bass of the song, and then I would come to the band and especially a lot of the tracks Reed and I basically made together. Then we would get Jarred to track the drums on it and he would add his druminess to it. Then Tom would come in and then sing—when we would produce tracks we wouldn’t totally think of how vocals would fit in— so Tom would come in and sing on top of it and be like, ‘this part shouldn’t be here,’ and he would just kind of do a lot of that like he would basically help make it more for vocals kind of.
Tom: When you think about vocals it sort of has these sections that are more defined. I’m not saying that I created the form of the songs, but sort of just started the dialogue of how the song was going to work for each section.
Jordan: These guys were also really good ears for like we would produce a song and they would come and be like you know this needs more of this. Like it sounds too empty in this section or it sounds too full in this section, and that happened a lot of the times it would be too full.
Reed: Yeah a lot of it was stripping it down when we get to the final stage. Like Jordan in most cases would come up with, like I wouldn’t say demo, but a kind of a somewhat amorphous thing. The melody would almost always be there, and then we would work on kind of arranging it together. Then we would add drums and get kind of all the parts we wanted, and then do like a second level of arrangement as all 4 of us, so there’s just like endless layers of demos that are all just forgotten because they were all for one project.
Jordan: And I think going forward because we are totally like a full band now we play live shows and go on tour and stuff like that. I think next time we do will likely be way more… like four people are pretty good together every part of it, and there is going to be more to the sound than instead of us two doing the back track and then adding stuff to it.
IC: Beat Connection’s Philosophy in Life:
Tom: Be on the Scene. Know Tunes. TRUCKY! [laughs]
Although the band didn’t disclose the meaning behind “Trucky” it was clear to us that it was some hilarious inside joke. Maybe they all identify with each other through the love of trucks? Who knows. One thing is certain, their music will inspire a state of excitement and happiness when tuning in. Their sound achieves to detach your mind from everything external and direct it to the present. The very moment where nothing else matters except your sudden urge to dance along to the beats.
IC: Advice from the guys:
Jordan: Drink a lot of orange juice and water.
Jarred: Try not to get sick.
Jordan: Wash your socks.
Reed: Party with homeless people.
Tom: If they ask you to go in the bush—don’t go in the bush.
Jordan: If cops tell you to run and find cover. RUN AND FIND COVER. (From a crazy night in Dallas!)
Upcoming Tour Dates:
07-08 – Toronto, Canada – Drake Hotel Underground
07-10 – Pittsburgh, PA – Brillobox
07-11 – Cleveland Heights, OH – Grog Shop
07-12 – Chicago, IL – Schuba’s Tavern
07-13 – Detroit, MI – Magic Stick
07-15 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue- 7th Street Entry
07-17 – Denver, CO – Hi-Dive
07-18 – Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court
07-22 – Vancouver, Canada – The Media Club