Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino: Enemy of Bad Taste
Photo by David Black
It's been a busy year for Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino. Last week, the duo of Cosentino and Bobb Bruno released their sophomore album, The Only Place, for which they recruited production bigwig Jon Brion.
The very same week, Cosentino also launched a vintage-inspired line for hipster haven Urban Outfitters.
Best Coast has remained on the indie-pop radar since 2010 debut Crazy for You, a record chock-full of endearing themes like unrequited love, getting stoned and wishing your "cat could talk." The record launched Cosentino's cat, "Snacks," into stardom, too; the feline's likeness now boasts nearly 10K Twitter followers.
Busy though she may be, Cosentino managed to squeeze in a few e-mail questions for Rocks Off in anticipation of Best Coast's Summer Fest performance Saturday.
Rocks Off: What can fans expect of your new record, The Only Place? How does it differ from Crazy for You?
Bethany Cosentino: The production on The Only Place is the main difference. Sonically, this record sounds more "grown-up." We toned down a lot of the distortion and reverb and other effects, and we made a cleaner, more straightforward-sounding record.
RO: What's your favorite song on the album?
BC: My favorite track is "Up All Night," because it's a beautiful ballad that I got to sing really intensely.
RO: How was the experience of working with Jon Brion? How did he shape The Only Place?
BC: We're both huge fans of Jon's work, so it was an awesome feeling when we found out he was going to do the new record. He's a pleasure to work with -- a really nice guy, so smart, has so many ideas. He took us from "black and white" to "color."
RO: Speaking of "color," what was your inspiration for creating your new Urban Outfitters collection?
BC: My inspiration was definitely a mixture of things. One, Stevie Nicks -- who is my all-time favorite when it comes to style.
Two, '90s pop culture -- movies like Clueless, The Craft and the TV show My So-Called Life were important to me growing up; the way the girls in those films and that show dressed inspired me.
And three, I was inspired by the way girls who come to Best Coast shows dress. They're young and have really awesome style, so I took a cue from them as well when designing these pieces.
RO: Do fashion and music go hand in hand for you, or do you see them as separate expressive entities?
BC: I don't think fashion and music go hand in hand. I don't think you have to necessarily be fashionable to be a musician, but I do think fashion is fun, and it helps you express yourself while performing.
RO: What fashion faux pas make you cringe when you spot them at summer music festivals? For example, last year at Summer Fest, I saw several girls wearing lace-up suede moccasin boots, despite the 100-degree heat.
BC: I feel like people can be whoever they want to be and wear whatever they want to wear, but the one annoying thing that I see girls wearing at festivals like Coachella and stuff is like Native-American-inspired outfits -- or bikinis as an outfit. That's just bad taste!
RO: We look forward to seeing you here in Houston at Summer Fest next month. How do you like Texas?
BC: I love Texas! We have always had great shows there, and we definitely enjoy coming. The food is great, the people are really nice and the cities themselves have a lot to offer individually.
RO: And last but certainly not least, how is Snacks? Does he get mad at you when you're away on tour for a long time?
BC: Snacks is a chill guy. He doesn't care about much other than sleeping and eating.
Best Coast plays 2:40 p.m. Saturday on the Free Press Summer Fest Budweiser Stage (Stage 2).
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