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The Beaches: raw punk synth-pop hailing from Toronto

Continuing Arthur’s coverage of The Beaches coming to Peterborough, I got into some email correspondence with the band to try and provide some extra insight into their sound, personalities, and their general musical aura.

Who are you? Can each of you describe yourself in a few words?

Kylie: Kylie Miller, lead guitarist / back up vocalist of The Beaches. I’m totally obsessed with music, and always have been. I am a super hardworking individual who seems to always be doing / working on something. I’m also super into fashion, my favourite designers being Acne and Saint Laurent, and I also love to cook! Food + music + fashion + friends = my life.

Jordan: Manic.

Eliza: Coffee enthusiast, barista, beat maker, Beach.

Leandra: Sometimes I feel as though I am a young plastic bag drifting through the wind.

If you had to pick one song, for fans, or an audience to listen to, what would that song be?

Kylie: I would say Something In The Way off Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged in New York record. Kurt’s vocal performance is absolutely haunting in that song – it is so moving.

Jordan: Loner was a pretty defining song for us, it’s one of the only songs I’ve ever written that’s about an actual experience we’ve gone through.

Eliza: P.Y.T. (By Michael Jackson) Just because.

Leandra: Overdone by Bombay Bicycle Club

Who are your influences?

Kylie: There’s so many!! Let’s see… Nirvana, The Cure, Annie Clark, Jack White., Robert Fripp (via the album Scary Monsters by David Bowie), Dinosaur Jr., Queens Of The Stone Age. See, I told you, so many!

Jordan: Bowie, Debbie Harry, St Vincent, Talking Heads, And The Cure.

Leandra: Emily Haines, Annie Clark, all 3 Haim sisters, both Miller sisters.

Favourite Alcoholic Drink?

Kylie: Ice-cold tequila, with lime and salt! Or a big ol’ glass of red wine.

Jordan: Old Fashioned.

Eliza: I really enjoy Beau’s at the moment. We played Beau’s Oktoberfest last weekend and drank an unsafe amount of their beer. It is now my drink of choice. Congrats Beau’s.

Leandra: Guinness.

Where did you guys get your start? Can you speak on the formation of the band?

Jordan: When we were kids Kylie, Eliza and I were in a Disney pop punk band called Done With Dolls. It was a fun project for a while but when we got to high school our music taste evolved and we figured it was time to make a change; that change was The Beaches. The following year Le joined and here we are.

What is Toronto’s music scene like?

Eliza: Toronto’s music scene varies quite a bit. There are so many bands out there and it’s interesting being exposed to them all. We’ve seen everything from emerging Alt act Alvvays, to Country (our gal pal Jessica Mitchell), to straight up pop. And there have been a lot of awesome acts coming from the Toronto scene that have found success. We’re lucky to live in a city that’s so welcoming to all kinds of music.

Have you guys played Peterborough before? If so, what are your experiences with Peterborough, If not, why here?

All: We played the Hootenanny on Hunter St. last year, it was a great time. There were so many people who came out to the festival. We’ve also played the Red Dog, which we will be visiting again with K.I.D. (also hailing from Toronto) on October 24th for our upcoming tour.

Thoughts on the upcoming election?

Leandra: I think everyone should go out and vote!

As an artist, is someone comparing you guys to other artists an insult, or a compliment?, How do you view this way of
describing a band?

Leandra: It’s hard to know how a band sounds if you’ve never actually heard them before. I think making comparisons is a great way to get someone interested in a new band. When people compare us to other artists we see it as a compliment because many of the comparisons are artists that we actually look up to/are inspired by.

How do Toronto, and its culture influence your sound?

All: It affects our sound in more ways than one might assume. Going to see concerts and going out to bars and listening to bands is such a prevalent part of Torontonian culture, and we’ve been very influenced by that. We try to go and see as many shows as we can, and these shows that we see often affect us. Whether it’s something we see a band do on stage, an outfit a lead singer wears, or within the band’s songs themselves – we try to emulate the things we like seeing others do and make them our own, thus affecting our overall sound.

I listen to you guys, and I hear Metric, mixed with grunge/punk, almost like a Bikini Kill sort of vibe. Do you think that that is an accurate description?

All: That is a totally accurate description of the old EP’s. Leandra (our keyboard player) is definitely influenced by Metric, specifically Emily Haines. She’s often inspired by their synth sounds / unique synth parts which make their songs so powerful.

The sound of the newer material we’ve been working on is a little more riffy, a little more glammy and a little more vibey. We like to call it glam/garage/synth-rock. PS: Kathleen Hanna is a BADASS.

The Beaches will be playing on October 24th at The Red Dog, with K.I.D. (Kids in Despair) Make sure to check them out!

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