Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ The Beans

The Beans
Photo by Daniel Jackson

The Beans are “on a mission to melt your face” with their raw and energetic rock and roll. The Houston-based quartet released their self-titled debut LP back in January of last year, and we recently caught up with the band to find out what’s next. Asking them about their debut music video, psychedelic track Wanting You, and hanging out with influences, here’s what they had to say:

AMBY: Hi The Beans, welcome to AMBY! Please introduce yourselves to our readers.

The Beans: Hey AMBY, we’re 4 guys from Houston, Texas that play bluesy psychedelic rock and roll music and we are on a mission to melt your face off.  We have Sam Griffin on vocals, Christian Galatoire on guitar, Daniel Taylor on bass, and Brendan Hall on drums.   We released our self-titled debut album in January of 2013, are currently rehearsing material for our follow up, and we would love to share ourselves with you.

AMBY: What was the best moment of the recording process of your debut video?

The Beans: Recording the video was brutal.  We had this grand scheme of recording three songs live, doing multiple takes, and shooting videos for all of them in one day in an effort to save money and time.  We had all kinds of little ideas of how we were going to market them and we were really excited about it.  However, Sam had just gotten back from Mexico the night before we were shooting and was sick to the point of needing heavy heavy medication, like butt stuff.  He tried his best, but he could barely do one take of one song and that is what is out there for the world to see.  I guess the best moment of the experience was seeing Sam lying down on a couch in the back, looking close to death, covered with anything that we could scrounge up to put over him, while Christian tried to concoct some all-natural herbal potions to try and save him.

AMBY: Which songs off your self-titled debut LP are your favourite?

The Beans: Everyone in the band has different favorites and they change and evolve with time or depending on mood.  Right now my favorite song is ‘Wanting You’ or maybe ‘What You’ve Always Wanted.’  I like them both because they are so honest and because they have a good mixture of blues and pop –  which are two qualities I am really trying to focus on while writing material for our next album.  At times I have heard other band members say that ‘Life’s Luxuries,’ ‘Wabasha,’ ‘Highway 71,’ or ‘Devil Woman’ were their favorite.  Sam has always loved ‘Carnal Constant’ and it is a perineal crowd favorite.  I think that one of our greatest strengths is that there are not any bad songs on our album and I have heard every one of our songs listed off as somebody’s favorite.

AMBY: What’s the story behind The Beans‘ opening track Wanting You?

The Beans: I think if you listen to the song it is pretty straightforward.  Basically I had been dating this girl for about 3 years and things were nice – we rarely fought and we could tolerate and entertain each other endlessly.  Since we had been together for a few years we started having increasingly serious talks about our future and then one day I met this other girl and it changed everything.  I lusted after her deeply and felt an emotional kindredship with her almost immediately and I recognized that if I was having these feelings about somebody else that I wasn’t completely satisfied by my current relationship.  So that what the song is about, acknowledgement of sexual interest and confusion about what to do about it.

AMBY: Some of your influences are Led Zeppelin, Townes Van Zandt, and Junior Kimbrough. But if you could hang out with any of your influences for a day, who would you choose?

The Beans: I think we would choose the Who.  Christian and Keith Moon would disappear and have some random insane adventure together – and possibly never be seen again.  Daniel and John Entwistle would probably sneak off to some dark and quiet dive bar together and drink together in near silence.  Sam and Pete Townshend could iconically break a bunch of shit together and Rodger Daltrey and Brendan would try to have a nice meaningful conversation together, but be interrupted by a swarm of middle-aged women trying to rip their clothes off.

AMBY: Where did the name The Beans come from, and what other names had you considered for the band?

The Beans: Basically we had our first show coming up and we didn’t have a name yet, so we tentatively agreed on the one that sucked the least – which unofficially turned into one of our band mottos, “Do whatever sucks the least.”  It actually came from a dinner conversation Brendan had with his family before the band even started, but we liked it because it is simple, relatable, and for some reason a little dirty feeling.  We didn’t really have any other serious contenders for our moniker, but I remember Christian suggested “Zombiewolf” and Brendan liked “The Wails” or “The Orange Rooftops Of Your Mind.”  It is hard to remember many of the seemingly endless number of bad band names we thought of, but they were all truly horrid.

AMBY: What would a movie based on the band be called?

The Beans: “Black Vanilla Coffee Refried: Stolid Rock Mediocrity”

AMBY: Who would you like to be most and least stuck in an elevator with?

The Beans: We would most like to be stuck in an elevator with Nick Offerman, and the bacon Dan found in Ohio. We would least like to be stuck in an elevator with ourselves. It is not a good idea to leave the four of us together unattended to for any amount of time.

AMBY: What was the best release of 2013?

The Beans: The best release of 2013 was probably Southeastern by Jason Isbell.  It is just a wonderful collection of honest and powerful songs with a few standouts.  We also loved Nile Rodgers’ work on Random Access Memories, Electric Lady by the incomparable Janelle Monae, Shulamith by Polica, and it feels like I am missing something else.

AMBY: And lastly, what’s something about The Beans that nobody knows yet?

The Beans: We have long and serious conversations with our mothers about our lyrics and the image that we are portraying.  We talk to them about the importance of respecting women, the consequences of taking our clothes off in the middle of street and using that photograph for a band Xmas card, and basically everything.  Through it all they are extremely supportive and come to almost every show we have in Houston.

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Thank you The Beans, for giving us your answers!

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Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout

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