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INTERVIEW: Beaty Heart - 'We Like Ambiguity In Song Titles'

3 June 2014 | 12:00 am | Lauren Payne

The Beaty Heart boys are about to release their debut album and we had two of them tell us all about it.

Over in London there is a band that are doing something quite unique with their music and music videos. BEATY HEART are a three-piece that deliver an upbeat and fun collection of tracks that will get you out of any kind of funk you're feeling.

With the boys releasing a bunch of singles over the past few years, they're finally ready to release their debut album called Mixed Blessing. The album shows BEATY HEART in their element and if you don't start dancing along to 'Seafood', then you need to listen to it more.

We had the chance to chat to the drummer of the trio, Charlie Rotberg, about the album via Skype and to our surprise, we were also able to chat with the band's lead singer and guitarist Josh Mitchell. So with both boys hanging out in London, we asked them all about their musical ventures.

Whilst watching your music videos, I can't help but think about the visual aspect of The Mighty Boosh. Are there any links between that comedy show and your music clips?

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Josh Mitchell: Probably subconsciously. We watched a lot of that show when we were growing up and at school together so I think it's just kind of engrained in us. I wouldn't say it was an intended thing..

Charlie Rotberg: No probably not. I still find that show pretty funny, the first series..

Josh: yeah, first series..

Charlie: But it's not a direct reference, possibly it's just influenced us.

Your videos are very unique and I really liked the video for 'Seafood', how do you all come up with the ideas for your videos? 

Charlie: [laughs] I don't know really there are a few artists we reference I suppose. James and I did a lot of video college which is like an amalgamation of new techniques of filming. The ideas we played around with just kind of came together in this big visual mash I suppose [laughs]. We like to reference artists like Andre Russo, who's this kind of surrealist.. wait not surrealist.. what's the word?

Josh: Fauvist.

Charlie: yeah fauvist, really colourful, slightly over the top.

Josh: We just have all of these crazy ideas and narratives and stuff like that, and we usually get really excited about these crazy story lines in videos and we just realised that they would cost like, thousands and thousands of pounds. So from these elaborate ideas we'd kind of bend it down and pack as much of the initial ideas into the smaller packet as we can. I think that adds the craziness to it, we're just trying to get all of the ideas in.

After listening to a few of the singles, Mixed Blessings sounds like a very upbeat album, was that your intention for it?

Josh: I don't think it was something we kind of talked about, I think it's just kind of the way that our music's just kind of jamming sessions so we're here to just play music and use whatever comes out of that really.

Charlie: It's not really a decision to make, or really a choice because it's just how it all came out.

Josh: We talk about a lot, especially when we first started the band, about how the British music industry there seems to be a lot of liner, downbeat music which is great, but I think we just wanted to explore. I think we're really one of the only bands going down that route.

You guys recently played The Great Escape, one of Britain's most popular festivals, did you see any other bands similar to you there?

Josh: No it was so rainy. It was so rainy that we did barely any walking around and we had to do a photo shoot and it was so, so cold. no one was really on the streets which was a bit of a shame because those kind of festivals you need it to be bright for everyone to enjoy themselves.

Do you enjoy the bigger festival crowds, or do you guys prefer the more intimate club gigs?

Josh: We really like it, I think we kind of suit it. It's always kind of a stress when you play a festival because you don't really get a sound check and you just have to park all your gear on and I think it kind of works for us. I think we complain about it at times because we're stressed out, but by the time we get on stage there is a good buzz from the crowd and everyone's just there to listen to music. It's just a different atmosphere from a regular gig and I think we really feed off it.

From what I hear, releasing your debut album can be a very daunting experience, how are you guys feeling about Mixed Blessings' release?

Charlie: I'm absolutely excited to be honest. It's always something we've talked about doing, making a full album, and now it's actually arrived I think it's really exciting. Obviously also nerve-racking and you want it to be received well [laughs], but the excitement of being able to listen to it is just everything for me.

Josh: It's a moment of stepping into another chapter. It's something new and having that behind us, and we still have to promote it and everything, but it's essentially the creation of it that's behind us and to work on something new now I think that's really exciting for us.

You've been receiving a lot of positive attention overseas, like with the Pilerats guys here in Australia, are there plans for an international tour after the albums release?

Josh: We're going to the States next week for about three weeks with Jungle and that's going to be amazing.

Charlie: I don't think there's anything booked but I think the plan is to go to Australia as well, which would be awesome. Does it actually get cold over there like ever?

Sometimes, our weather is a bit weird...

Josh: i think if we do come out it will be between October, November, December, maybe. We've got quite a lot in Europe and the UK until then so it might work out that we get to be there in summer.

Going through the track list you guys have some very interesting names for your songs including 'Seafood', where do they all stem from? 

Josh: I don't know how we come up with them. I think there is some influence from our sense of humour and books and stuff, I think that's where it comes from. We like the ambiguity with song titles, the idea that people kind of look at them and it's mysterious in a way, but in a kind of fun way and your thinking what does that actually mean? Is it a name? Is it a word? I think that's the fun of it really.

Are there any other major plans aside from touring in 2014?

Charlie: We'll be playing some big festivals and things which is going to be really fun. We're really keen to get onto something else It's important for us to keep the momentum going rather than let it fade away.

Josh: We'll probably just keep working really hard and write new music.

Mixed Blessing is released on May 30. 

Words by Lauren Payne