Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Feb 28th 2010 11:22AM by Donald Gibson
The Beauvilles are gearing up for a busy year in 2010, with an album on tap as well as an upcoming tour. In March, the Florida-based rockers will make their second appearance at SXSW. Frontman Shawn Kyle checked in with Spinner to shed a little light on the band's past, present and future.
Describe your sound.
I believe that I am making American rock 'n' roll music. And I am sure that at this point it means different things to everyone.
How did your band form?
After performing in garage bands for a couple years, I realized that there was not music out there being made that sounded how I felt at the time. Too many people I was around were too concerned about what was going on in a small town. I knew that my perspective had to change. America is a big country, lots of roads. I was originally a painter, and also a glass-blower in a furnace glass studio at the time. And a close friend had recently died and I was out of my wits, drinking heavily. I wound up quitting everything I had been working on and traveling across the country, trying to escape with a pretty Puerto Rican girl I had met in a coffee shop in St. Petersburg, [Fla.] When I got to Tucson, I hit the wall. I climbed Lemon Mountain and asked God a bunch of questions and waited. At some point, I came across a few truths. When I got back to sweaty, swampy Florida, I dropped out of the church and started playing rock 'n' roll music. But I am still afraid of God.
How did you come up with your band name?
I was in a thrift store and I bought a suit for $2.93 that had matching pants. It was dark brown and just my size. I wore the living hell out of it, and on the inside pocket it read: "This quality suit was made with exceptional care and old world craftsmanship. Property of Beauvilles."
What are your musical influences?
Lately I listen to Harry Nilsson, Gram Parsons, T. Rex, Thin Lizzy, George Jones, the Warlocks, the Byrds, the Brian Jonestown Massacre, and some of the great bands coming out of the Swedish psych-folk and rock scenes -- mainly Dungen, who would be the next Led Zeppelin if they sang in English.
What's your musical guilty pleasure?
George Jones. His voice is amazing, and his drunken rampages are legendary. He came up singing in a gospel situation, and then hit the road and all hell broke loose. Those old country guys were tougher and more out of control than any so-called rock star as of late. Check out 'The Race Is On.'
Who was your first celebrity crush?
I don't find celebrities attractive, because their image is fake, and the few that I have met are barely real people anymore. There are too many hands sculpting them, literally.
Beatles or Stones?
What's the craziest thing you've seen or experienced while on tour?
We could write a book. Issues with law enforcement, brawls onstage, a pile of smashed instruments, seeing ghosts in cemeteries in New Orleans, a cymbal stand mysteriously falling and knocking out a member of the band while we were opening for the Drive-By Truckers. Wild parties on the side of a ravine in Texas with the Black Angels, walking in the rain for hours and crashing private parties in New York for CMJ. Performing in an airplane hanger with old airplanes hanging from the ceiling was a recent highlight. Flying to Minneapolis for a solo show and winding up hanging out with Jessica Simpson's producer was weird, because he apparently hated her music. On that trip I also sang on a country song recorded by Joey Molland from Badfinger. That was definitely one of the more weird things that has ever happened to me.
The Beauvilles are known for putting on one hell of a live show. What elements make a great Beauvilles concert?
It really is all about the people there to see us. Someone at a show will remember the show afterward differently than we will. And that is our point, our gift to them. We will put every ounce of sweat and blood into a show. That is the point of walking up on stage -- to give everything you have to anyone who will have it.
How will your new album stack up against your previous LP, 'Whispering Sin'?
I will never be able to make another record like 'Whispering Sin,' because it literally almost killed all the members of the band at that time to finish that recording. And it means a lot to me because of how unflinching and confessional it is -- and [that] we are all still alive. The new music, some of which we've been performing live, is different, less verbose. We are tearing back to the basics of the music. What is America? What are the beats, the rhythm, the melody, the sound, the words? It is a soundtrack for a black-and-white movie that doesn't exist.
Donald Gibson is a contributor from Seed.com. Learn how you can contribute here.