BY KATHERINE TWOMEY//
Before their November 5th show at DC9, radio host Kate Twomey sat down with the four members of Daddy’s Beemer to talk about being musicians in college and becoming a “real band”. Wesley, Brady, Dan, and Payton had just departed from South Carolina on their first East Coast tour in two years, and riffed about the band’s creation while getting their nails painted.
K8: So Daddy’s Beemer, first I wanted to start off with your musical origins; how did you decide music is what you wanted to do? Who were the first influences?
Brady: I really liked listening to bands like REM and Counting Crows, music that my dad liked and put me onto. Classic folk music, too, and then I got into the modern day version of that…the Libertines, Arctic Monkeys, Tokyo Police Club, all that indie stuff. That’s how I got into this kind of music, I guess…but we all grew up playing.
Payton: I’ve been playing drums since I was five.
Wesley: I saw School of Rock in fifth grade, and I just wanted to play the bass. My mom said, “Alright, let’s get you a bass guitar,” and I’ve been playing bass since then. Then, in high school, I was really into that British wave of indie– Two Door Cinema Club, stuff like that.
Payton: Jack Black’s antics really came at the perfect time. My older brother had a guitar, and I didn’t want to copy him, so I asked my mom for drums. She said no, but my grandma bought me a set when I was five. I played along with The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, and Nirvana. Dave Grohl was a big inspiration as a drummer, he completely taught himself.
K8: Coming out of the beginnings then, and afterwards making music in college at Clemson, what compelled you guys to make a DIY scene there?
Wesley: Uhm, we had been to a few house shows before in Charleston, and there had been one or two at Clemson beforehand. We just thought we should do this, so Dan and I moved into a house with a third roommate and started a venue there called Pablo. We just met people and bands in the area, and asked everyone if they wanted to come play. If people showed up, they told us about their bands, and we kinda started making friends with everybody. We started Daddy’s Beemer as the first band that would actually play, and so later we were the local opener or the house band…we kinda made a venue and then made a band to play the venue.
K8: Aside from performing and Pablo, what was it like making your music while still in school? I heard the early stuff was made to fulfill an assignment?
Brady: We recorded the first albums as a part of our graduation requirements. Wesley did one for his senior project as an audio student, so he was in charge of releasing our first EP. By the time of our second EP, it was my turn to do my senior project, so Pucker was my senior project. And then we graduated and got a real person to record our album!
Dan: It all happened simultaneously, it all just sorta worked out.
Brady: It just worked out that we had access to a studio and could do it ourselves and have the know-how. No one really used our school’s studio either, so we would be in there for twelve hours at a time.
K8: And then you all sort of graduated into the pandemic, so how did you make the call to be a band beyond school while the world’s kind of falling apart?
Dan: I wouldn’t say we graduated into the pandemic, there was a gap there. We were the previous spring, and we were already fully committed.
Brady: We graduated, and then said “Let’s be touring musicians, let’s all move to the same town and tour around.” We wanted to record a new album and become a real band, not just a college band, and put the plan in motion, and then the pandemic hit. So we had to work around that, and we ended up putting out our album during it. This is the first time we’ve toured– we were touring a lot in 2019– and this is the first full tour in two years.
K8: How does it feel to play live again?
D and W: So good!
K8: Payton, as the newest member of the group, how is it touring with them?
Payton: It’s crazy! I’ve only been here for three months,
Wesley: He’s fresh!
Payton: And before meeting these guys, I only ever played two shows in my life. I ran into Wesley at a bar and I sort of gassed him up, and I was gushing about their set or something like that.
Wesley: And then I brought up that we need a drummer
Payton: So we made the plan to jam sometime, and it just kinda happened, and it’s really fun, and now I’m here.
K8: Recording the album Denmark seems like such a unique experience, with all of you living in the same cabin in rural South Carolina. How do you feel like that changed the sound of the album?
Dan: The songwriting process was happening in between tours, when we were moving around a lot. Then in our spare time, we would go all the way to Denmark and figure it out. It was a lot of us sitting around and experimenting with our sound.
Brady: We ate all our meals together, we got drunk together, we did everything together.
Wesley: We shared scary stories…
K8: What are your favorite songs off Denmark?
Dan: “Poisonous Mind.”
Wesley: “Amethyst” is my favorite
Brady: My favorite song?
Wesley: Yeah, off Denmark by Daddy’s Beemer.
Brady: I like, uhmm, I like, uhm, come back in a second.
Payton: I love “Flowers” and maybe “California.”
Brady: I like “Amethyst” too.
Wesley: Now I have to change mine!
K8: I feel like that says a lot about personality, so what’s everyone’s astrology sign?
Payton: I’m a Leo.
Wesley: Mine matches up with my favorite song! Amethyst is the birthstone for February, Aquarius.
(Brady is an Aries but he declined to comment)
K8: One thing I was curious about is the three versions of “Seigh” on the album, can you talk about that?
Wesley: Well the first line of the song is “Say what you feel”, so we just took “say” and stylized it in a bit more of a memorable way. But the song was originally, like, 10 minutes long, but we knew we wanted “Poisonous Mind” last as the grand finale, since the end ties back into the beginning of “California.” We had to figure out where to put it, and we actually thought we just weren’t gonna put it in at all. But, what we ended up doing was splitting it into three sections and putting it throughout the album. Our producer, Chucky D, put different soundscapes and intros into it. Now it breaks up the album and makes it cohesive at the same time.
K8: Do you ever think you’ll release the full version?
Wesley: Well, if you get the vinyl, it’s the last track! The full uncut version.
K8: Who are you listening to right now? What are you playing on your Spotify?
Wesley: I’ve been listening to the new Future Crib record and I’ve been going back and listening to the first Gorillaz album. There’s some really cool bass lines on that.
Dan: I started listening to Bloc Party again, and the Parquet Courts album Wide Awake. Their new album came out and I didn’t like it as much so I went back to the earlier stuff.
Payton: I’ve been listening to a lot of Hot Flash Heat Wave, Hippocampus, and The Districts.
Brady: I’ve been going back to my roots and listening to REM, the new Big Thief, Future Crib, and I’ve started listening to Joni Mitchell’s records.