Beta State Pushed Boundaries and Landed in LA

Photo Credit: Beau Roulette

Blogging doesn’t give you, well me, a lot of room to meet people. I sit in solitude during the day and just write – averaging 90-110 pieces a month. Words have always meant more to me written down than said, and that sentiment has grown immensely over the past few years thanks to this freelance lifestyle. Anyways, when Matt of Beta State sent back his answers and I read through them on a less than hot day in LA, I was touched. No really. His insight on pushing yourself and not being stuck in one place too long really took a hold on me. So much so, that for the rest of the day I was in my own little haze thinking about those two factoids of the following interview and more.

So before you get to what else Matt had to say, I’m going to warn you that the following may overwhelm you if you’re like me and the written word goes further than the surface.

Kendra: I think when we first crossed paths NorCal was still your home. Now I’ve noticed you’re living down in LA. Other than the weather and lack of holistic medicine, how’s the move been?

Matt: It was a lot harder than I expected. We had been living together and had the entire operation under one roof – writing, printing t-shirts, recording, building stage lights, web-design…so picking up and relocating everything was a challenge. I think moving is great for me though. If I stay in one spot too long, I feel like I am not growing. I like getting out of my comfort zone, and a lot of my best song ideas come from that. Settling into LA was really exciting. Our management and friends in the area really made us feel at home.

Kendra: When you make music away from the place you’d originally called home, does the change of scenery ultimately play a part in the sound?

Matt: Absolutely. I’m a fan of so many different styles of music, and what I’m listening to at a certain time is a reflection of what I’m emotionally experiencing, and that naturally influences what I write. We’re all that way. The beaches are beautiful down here, there’s an electric buzz surrounding the culture, and it’s a place where risks are taken. Can’t help but be affected by it!

Kendra: Where was your mindset making Glass?

Matt: We only set out to do one thing – push the envelope. Adrian pinned a big envelope to the wall and wrote “PUSH ME” on it to remind us to push boundaries with every song we wrote. We wanted to create something different, something we hadn’t heard before, and use sounds and textures we had never explored before. We wanted ideas and options to be limitless. The Glass EP is just a small taste of what’s to come…

Kendra: You’ve studied psychology at UC Irvine. Does that brainy side come out when making music?

Matt: It does…It’s something I can only really turn off after a few drinks or when I’m watching a comedy. I like to examine every piece to a puzzle before piecing it together. It’s a blessing and a curse. Sometimes it’s really helpful and sometimes it’s not. I have a tendency to think too deeply about, well…everything. I’ll sit down to write lyrics and end up spending all night thinking instead of writing and before I know it, it’s sunrise and I have half a verse done. I think that’s why I’ve developed a really goofy sense of humor – it’s my escape from overthinking.

Kendra: Also, does having that in your back pocket make you diagnose the guys more?

Matt: Hahaha…well…It only comes out when we fight. I’ll think of everything that would have influenced their perspective, and before I know it, I’m analyzing their childhood or personal relationships. I just don’t say anything – I’ve learned from past girlfriends to keep my mouth shut! Fortunately, we keep most of our arguments pretty mild and get over them quickly.

Kendra: Back to the music, “Left with the Pain” makes me think that you walk the line between a band that’d win over an All Time Low crowd just as fast as if you were playing with Walk The Moon. Do you feel that way, like you could go either way at this point in terms of scene?

Matt: We love diversity. We love it in our music. We want to be able to play on any stage and appeal to any audience. We each have very different looking iTunes libraries…and that’s what makes our sound unique. On this record, we wanted to achieve a crossover effect. We don’t want people to hear our music and say “Oh, they sound exactly like (insert band here)”. We want to be the first, not the next.

Kendra: Going off another track off Glass, what’s something you’d never be afraid to let go of?

Matt: Comfort. At least in regards to writing and performing music. Once you are too comfortable, you plateau. You stop growing. My goal every month is to be better than I was last month. Or at least different. We all take that mentality. We all have envelopes to push, and we never stop trying and learning.

Kendra: You just put out an EP, now when can fans expect shows?

Matt: Very soon, actually. We have some LA and San Francisco dates being booked as we speak.

Kendra: With fall just starting up – what are five songs that are perfect for an Autumn mixtape?

Only You and Me” – Beta State
Tompkins Square Park” – Mumford and Sons
We Never Change” – Coldplay
Headlights” – Eminem
Hanging On” – Active Child


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