Interview – BE

BE are an interesting and diverse act from Essex, incorporating elements of rock, electronica, indie and pop into their music, to make music that sounds like nothing else on this planet at the moment! I decided to have a chat to find out more, see how I got on below!

By Jane Howkins

You released a track at the end of last year titled If You. What can you tell us about the track and where can it be purchased? What does the title refer to?

If You is our 3rd release since our launch in 2020. The song is about the heartache of loss, the emotions and confusion that linger after something has ended, the defiance of not wanting to let go and finally, the honesty of true reflection & acceptance to move through it all with two fingers in the air… It’s a whole journey of emotions. You can support us by getting hold of the track on Bandcamp: https://bemusicuk.bandcamp.com/releases

Or by streaming on Spotify and Apple Music: https://open.spotify.com/artist/5ULWlgX2kuVVRCmzaAJAVP?si=xWOukaDKQEau_B1IUUethQ https://music.apple.com/us/album/if-you/1592888825?i=1592889366

Has the pandemic hindered your work much?

BE are yet to gig, so the pandemic didn’t impact our situation too much. We began releasing music during the first wave of lockdowns and have managed to keep this creativity flowing. We’ve recently been heading to a local studio and crafting the singles and a ton of new tracks into a live set.

What is the writing and recording process like for you?

Marc will usually start by crafting ideas on his laptop, experimenting with synth sounds and beat production, or by simply sitting with his guitar or at a piano. These early formations are then sent to Shel for her to experiment with vocal arrangements. After a few back and forths and some time sitting together and making final tweaks, we end up with a finished article that we’re both incredibly proud of. The writing process is a huge enjoyment for us, and even though we’re a two piece, there’s always plenty of ideas to work with. Now we’ve entered a studio, we’re able to write on the spot and in the room. Having a live drummer with us adds a whole other dimension and is inspiring a different route for our creations to take.

Do you plan to release any more singles in the near future?

Definitely! We have a track we’re really excited about sitting and ready to go. We just need to finish a video. And then there are a few more lined up that need some finishing touches.

Do you have plans to release an EP or album anytime soon?

We collated our first 3 singles and added a new track to a self-titled EP in 2021 (you can find it here: https://bemusicuk.bandcamp.com/album/be) – but a new one is definitely a plan for the near future! We keep talking about a live piano EP, as we have a large collection of songs that have been written in that way. So hopefully we can get that out before the end of the year.

What/who influences you most as artists? What have you been listening to recently?

Big collective influences are Radiohead, Caribou, Moby & Arcade Fire. Recently, we’ve been delving in to Viagra Boys, Wet Leg, Coach Party and Yard Act. We’re loving the new Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood project, The Smile, too!

Where are you based? What is the music scene like in your part of the world? Are you influenced by your surroundings?

We’re both from Basildon, Essex – and very proud of our roots. We believe that a reflection of your surroundings is inevitable within your creative outlet. It’s what has moulded you and formed a lot about how you perceive and handle the world. Basildon has a musical place on the map with artists like Depeche Mode and Alison Moyet, but the actual artistic support within our hometown has been severely limited during our lifetime. Very little funding for venues, art clubs and music opportunities existed. We watched many of our local haunts disappear as we grew up. However, there are a couple of really important characters who have kept the scene alive and independently provided support and opportunity for artists like ourselves. There’s a strong sense of community within the creative circles and in recent years there has been a big upturn in artistic opportunity – hopefully things continue to go that way.

Do you have any tour dates lined up?

Nothing yet. Once the songs take full form in the studio, then we will be getting out and about!

What can people expect from one of your shows and why should people come and see you perform live?

Within our previous bands, we always brought energy, passion and enthusiasm to everywhere we played. We want our shows to be an immersive experience. And a party! There are tracks to lose yourself in – hopefully both from an emotional perspective and in a way that makes you wanna dance!

Any last words for the fans?

For only two members, there exists a vastly diverse mix of influences between us. And we believe this is reflected in the music we create. So hopefully, there is something for you in there. As is the case for all independent artists – every listen, like and share means a hell of a lot! So thank you for giving us your time.