We had a chance to chat with Wilmington, North Carolina folk-duo Beta Radio, who's new album Ancient Transition is coming out on Sept 14th, 2018. We have embedded the video to their single "Tongue Tied" below. Beta Radio's infectious folk sound sometimes borders on ambient and we would recommend it highly for fans of both genres. We also want to highlight the groups ability to harmonize. Check out our conversation with this great group below!
1. How did you come to pursue music and how long have you been at it?
Brent and I met at summer camp when we were kids. I thought he was really cool because he could play "Stairway to Heaven" on the guitar. We realized we lived in the same town so when we got back home we started meeting after school to play songs in my bedroom. We also discovered old Simon and Garfunkel records and my parents turntable, which was part of the catalyst for us getting into the music that we did. We've been playing music for over a decade together.
2. Could you walk us through your process of writing music?
Our writing process is always evolving, sometimes I'll have a melody in mind that I'll give to Brent and he will find a guitar part for it. Other times, I'll bring in a guitar part and finished song and Brent will arrange parts for it. Brent often will write parts for songs without me there and then I'll find a melody later... the process is always different, but I think that's a good thing because it forces us to give each song its own unique voice... hopefully (fingers crossed emoji).
3. What artists have inspired you in your career?
Big influences are the previously mentioned Paul Simon, older bands like Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Who, and also new folks like The National and Sufjan Stevens. Sufjan's Illinois record is my all time favorite.
4. Do you have any favorite music gear (guitars, amps, effects pedals, keyboards, etc.) that you love to use? If so, what’s the story on them?
We both love old woodsy acoustic guitars. In our studio, we've got a couple old Guilds, an archtop Gibson, a dreadnought Gibson, a bunch of electrics and banjos. We both love playing Taylor guitars live, they have the most balanced sound and are just workhorses. A newer piece of gear that made its way into our new record, Ancient Transition, was an old 1980's Juno-60 synthesizer. It colored a lot of the new songs and sounds soooo sick.
5. Can you describe the vibe at your live shows? Also, what do you enjoy most about a venue when you do a show?
On the best nights, the vibe of the shows are mellow and emotional, with hopefully a little transcendence sprinkled in. The best thing about a venue is one where the audience has come to listen. Our tunes are quiet...most of the time.
6. What is one thing that you want the public to know about your music?
That it took two years to write this record. So it's gotta be at least okay, right?
7. What do you want fans to know about your upcoming project?
Our new record, Ancient Transition, was a labor of love. We've got our own studio and we'd just go in everyday for two years and punch the clock and work. We found that if we'd put ourselves in the room together and follow the muse, good things would come.
FMI on Beta Radio visit their website here.
Special thanks to Nettwerk Music Group and Claire Julian for their assistance with this piece. FMI on Nettwerk Music Group, visit their website here.