Before I spoke to Alex and Victoria, the only thing that I knew about Baltimore was that it is dangerous. It’s consistently ranked amongst the top ten most dangerous cities in America, and The Wire takes place there and that show is crazy. With that in mind, I was surprised to hear an album like theirs could come from such a place. The new album is dreamy, mellow and peaceful — all the things Baltimore isn’t. But talking to them it seemed like Vancouver and B-More had lots in common. Lots, but not everything.
ONLY: How did you guys meet?
Victoria: We met a couple years ago through a friend of ours we played music with.
ONLY: Did you both grow up in Baltimore?
Alex: I grew up here. I’ve lived here my whole life.
ONLY: Vancouver is pretty much the furthest away from Baltimore you could get, geographically speaking, and most of the music I’ve heard from there has been the Baltimore Club stuff about hos taking off their clothes. It was weird to hear the complete opposite music coming from the same place. What kind of scene is there is for the kind of music you guys are making?
A: It’s actually a really active scene right now. There have been a bunch of bands out of here in the last five to ten years, like the Celebration. Cass McCombs was here for a few years. There’s tons going on right now, and a bunch of bands are starting to get big. There’s this guy, Dan Deacon.
V: He does a lot of electronica. The art school here has produced a lot of young musicians as well, doing punk freak-out stuff. There’s a lot of everything. There’s a huge stoner metal thing, too. Everyone likes everything here, and everyone goes to all the shows.
ONLY: So you’re excited to be in Baltimore right now.
A: Definitely. It’s really cheap, and it feels like a big huge family.
V: Almost everybody we know is involved in music, either in a group or playing music. It’s very supportive. You can do your own thing here, and you’re not distracted by whatever else is going on outside — all the glam carnival stuff like Panic! At the Disco or whatever.
A: You know, music that all sounds painfully unique and trying so hard to be different.
ONLY: Man, I hadn’t heard those guys up until about two days ago, and painfully unique is the on point way to describe them. It’s not new, it’s not good.
V: All you need to know about that band is that I read an article about them, and the headline of the article was “We Have Finally Transcended Emo.”
V: And I’m not saying anything about emo, I’m not judging anyone.
ONLY: Say all you want about emo. Fuck emo.
V: I know, fuck emo.
ONLY: Have you ever called Baltimore ‘Bodymore, Murderland’?
V: Yes. Baltimore may be a puffy cloud of music, but it is also a very violent city… with terrible transportation.
A: Yeah, you have to just bike here.
ONLY: A bike seems to be the preferable mode of transportation these days.
V: Yeah, but be safe and make sure no one throws a brick at you, because that happens too. A friend of ours had a brick thrown at her when she was on her bike.
ONLY: Wow. Well I guess that’s the big difference between Baltimore and Vancouver.
Beach House plays at Pat’s Pub on Nov 11, 2006