Sasquatch The Gorge Amphitheatre in beautiful George, Wash. will once again…
- Posted on Jul 2nd 2012 1:37PM by Eric R. Danton
Yet even though the band broke up, Beachwood Sparks was never really finished -- just worn out from the road after releasing two LPs and an EP in the early '00s.
"We always still stayed close and talked to each other, because we started the band out of just being really good friends," singer and guitarist Chris Gunst tells Spinner. "When we would talk together on the phone, we'd always be like, it would be really fun to play again, but we didn't have the impetus to do it."
Sub Pop provided that when the Seattle record label invited Beachwood Sparks to perform as part of its 20th-anniversary celebration in 2008.
"Since we got together to practice, we thought, well, we might as well play some more shows," Gunst says. "None of the energy that we had together had dissipated or was gone when we put the instruments on and played together."
All that energy persuaded Gunst, bassist Brent Rademaker and guitarist "Farmer" Dave Scher to try working on new material together. They wrote about half the songs on The Tarnished Gold during a week-long stint at Gunst's house near Santa Cruz, Calif.
"We all had songs over the years that were in the back of our minds that we were like, 'That's a Beachwood-style song,'" Gunst says. "When they came up and we jammed and were recording them, we were like, 'Wow, it sounds really good.' It sounded like us, but new us, so it felt good. It felt like it would be a forward movement and not a rehash."
With its hazy, mellow sound, The Tarnished Gold sounds like classic Beachwood Sparks, updated with new touches including a song in Spanish and maybe a tilt toward a California-folk influence that will sound familiar to fans of, say, Fleet Foxes.
Although that sound has become popular over the past couple years, Gunst said it had little bearing on The Tarnished Gold.
"We were listening to a lot of music like that back when we were recording the initial albums, a lot of old country and '60s and '70s California music," he says. "It was more like, 'Wow, that's cool, people are into that music now, that's great.' Back when we were doing it before, popular music had a lot of rap, metal and stuff like that."
The Tarnished Gold is out now on Sub Pop.