NeW bEAt FUNd Interview

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(Left to right: BuRNiE, SNaPz, BuTToN, SiLkY)

We’d last seen New Beat Fund in Holmdel, New Jersey where their set on the Warped Tour was one of the day’s highlights. And while their set was entertaining the first time, it was refreshing to see that the second time around was no different. As consistent as ever NbF played a strong 8:30pm set on the Kevin Says Stage—a time when most merch tents have already packed and a majority of the tour’s attendees have either left or were headed for the main stages. Acknowledging their late set time, the band with their easy-going ability to talk to fans still managed to garner a large crowd as they ended the day with their slick tunes, with other members of the Warped Tour there along to experience the good times as well. We spoke to the band and explored their c0gNiTiV3 Abi1Iti3z in our interview below.

Can you describe how the band name came to be?

BuRNiE: One lovely afternoon, we were in the studio making music and there happens to be a little piggy bank that sits amongst the speakers on the station there and it was called the “New Boat Fund” and what happened was that the O was turned into an E and it was called the New Beat Fund. It was sort of a tip jar, a collection of pennies and such to make music for us. What we did with that was we were fucking around with water balloons and launchers one day and we launched that piggy bank into a corporate building and thus coined our band the NeW bEAt FUNd‬.

Did you go to Warped Tour growing up? If so, who’d you see?

BuTToN: Yes we did.
SNaPz: AFI was one. *points to AFI shirt*
BuRNiE: I saw The Used in like ’04 when they were just coming up. We were on stage with them on a couple of their early shows. They bring out people with the ski masks. It was pretty sweet.

I asked this question to all the Warped bands last year about how the tour was rooted in punk and how the tour has morphed into what it is now. Your band is actually rooted in punk and it’s like you’re bringing the tour back to its roots. Do you have any thoughts on that?

SNaPz: Speaking honestly, I’m kinda tired of the screamo shit.
Nancy: Really? You don’t like it.
SiLkY: Well no, we’re not big fans of it.
SNaPz: We’re not haters.
BuTToN: We don’t want to hate on it. It started, when we were going to Warped Tour when we were younger, like really young, screamo was the same then. I just feel like it hasn’t moved much from where it was ten years ago.
BuRNiE: It hasn’t necessarily evolved. When it was happening ten years ago, it was actually new then. We’re here to bring new light and we’re proud to be here. We wear our colors proudly and we know we’re different here but I think that’s why we like it.
SiLkY: We’re different here but we’re actually more similar to the early years.
BuRNiE: When we were going to Warped Tour, we saw the Used when they were first starting. But I was there to see bands like Less Than Jake, NOFX, and bands like that that were punk bands, shit we grew up with. It was definitely different and that music was fresh and just coming out then.
SNaPz: There’s a little more diversity too, I feel the scale of where the music lies. There are some newer bands that are bringing some newer sounds.
BuRNiE: We also appreciate the classic bands who were doing it at the time such as The Used; even Chiodos-we’re good friends with them.
SNaPz:Bands that started the movement and then bands that sort of regurgitated the same thing at times. I still appreciate the music that people make and expressing yourself is a beautiful thing. We just choose to do it a little differently.

Has your perspective changed since becoming a part of Warped Tour?

BuTToN: It’s definitely weird being on this side of it. Having grown up with Warped Tour going and being a fan, and then one day you’re on Warped Tour hanging out side stage, listening to bands you grew up with and they’re literally doing the same thing that you are. It’s definitely a weird parallel. We just never thought that it would come to that but it has come to that. We’ve just followed what we love to do and and what we love.
BuRNiE: The coolest part is us meeting some of the other bands around here and getting to build a camaraderie with them. Then actually like bigger bands like Never Shout Never, Chiodos, and Bill Beckett coming to see us play. Those guys were around a while ago and they’re digging what NeW bEAt FUNd‬’s doing. It’s cool to be friends with those guys. They appreciate us and we appreciate them and you know, getting into that aspect of things. That’s kind of surprised us probably the most and that’s been my favorite part of Warped Tour.
SiLkY: The friends.
BuRNiE: The booties.

You’re relatively new, a year and a half so let me bullet point this. You’ve gotten signed, recently…

NbF: Yes.
Nancy: SXSW, you played a showcase.
BuRNiE: You’ve done your research.
BuTToN: I just want to say thank you in advanced for coming prepared.
BuRNiE: Give me a high five.
SiLkY: Do you remember the dates when all this happened?
Nancy: Red Bull was a few weeks before Warped Tour started.
BuRNiE: Damn.
Nancy: Blink-182 was rather recent, you’re playing with them in Vegas. Riot Fest is in Denver.
NbF: And Chicago.
SiLkY: We’re playing with Blink in September.
BuRNiE: Epicenter. It’s an L.A. festival. We’re playing with The Wonder Years, FIDLAR. We like FIDLAR and Vampire Weekend too.

It’s also your first tour as a band but also your first Warped Tour. What do you think about all these momentous things happening so soon after forming?

“We may not be Asian but we’re smart dudes.”BuTToN: We work our asses off and we’re so stoked to have the opportunity, the people around us, and the people who recognize our merits. It’s just continuous hard work driven by love and we will just continue to press on.
BuRNiE: We’re more than grateful. We’re just equally excited to keep showing people our music.
Nancy: I think it’s crazy how much you’ve gotten done in such a short amount of time that takes other bands years to do.
SiLkY: We may not be Asian but we’re smart dudes.
SNaPz: We record everything on our own so we’re not really waiting around. We do it in our bedrooms, in our garages, houses.
SiLkY: We’ve all been in the music industry for a bit and we know to never rely on anybody else. It’s all up to us. So we don’t wait around for anybody. We just go do it.
SNaPz: Even having a record label, we press forward as if nothing had ever happened.
BuRNiE: Our record label, the reason why we’re on it is because they allow us to do what we do and open up the paths for us. As far as letting us do what we do, we wanna go out on Warped Tour, we wanna release an EP for free and give it out to children of the Warped Tour, pass it along, spread the NeW bEAt FUNd‬ word and what happens was that they said “yes.” It’s something we can dig on and that’s why we’re here.
SNaPz: They’ve been extremely supportive and they know where we come from and why we do the things we do.
BuTToN: It’s not always money. It’s encouragement and support.
SiLkY: It’s a vision.
BuRNiE: It’s supporting our vision because we are truly a full vision; we’re not only musicians, we’re artists. We do our own graphics, we do our own recording, we do our own production, we do our own online, we produce our own videos as well as create ideas for these videos, as well as collaborate with others. We have a video dude. We’re a team. We’re not just a band.

Can you talk about your EP, making it and the inspiration behind it?

SiLkY: As soon as the band formed, we just started recording music. It wasn’t like we gotta release an EP, we have to do this, we have to do that. We started writing and recording, did a video for “Scare Me” which was our first release online. Then it became this little collective of music that we released as an EP. Right now we’re just in the space of getting our music out to anybody that wants to listen and just getting the word out. We released it for free and it’s six songs. We’re super, super happy with it. We have a few videos online for some of the songs on the EP. After Warped Tour, we’ll probably go into the studio to record more music for the full record. But right now we’re just pushing the EP and loving the response that we’re getting from everybody that hears it.

Is there an expected date for the full length?

SNaPz: No, not yet.
BuRNiE: We’re gonna go into the studio Warped Tour and begin recording.
BuTToN: Right now it’s just spreading the good word. Showing people we do have six amazing songs on the EP already that is a good chunk of brand new material for people that haven’t heard it yet. We feel very strongly about those songs and they will continue to turn heads long after we continue to release more music.
BuTToN: We also feel like our EP is not just a six song EP. It represents our entire lifestyle, coming from where we come from, Southern California, and just everything going on around us. That’s what it represents.

I find it interesting that you’re from LA which like New York is where people migrate to, to make it. And yet you guys have gone away from it. Is this something you’ve noticed about yourselves?

SNaPz: Absolutely. It’s weird being from California, especially L.A. Most of the people you meet at a bar or on the street aren’t really from California. I actually like the change of pace, being out in some place that I’m not from, meeting people from other areas of the world, seeing different lifestyles. It’s eye opening.
BuTToN: Not to mention, L.A. is just saturated with people who migrate to it to try to make it. I think there’s a big problem with that, this misconception of going there to make it. And for us the music scene, it is great, we love the west coast classics. People who have along and changed the way music is. For us, we’re excited to share with people who are excited to experience new things and really lose themselves in our music.
BuRNiE: Plus for us, we also feel that we actually embody California because we’re actually from there. We grew up there, born and raised in a suburb half an hour away from L.A. our whole life so we know what it is.
SNaPz: Everyone’s going there to get in and we’re bringing it to everyone.
SiLkY: What’s also cool is when you go outside of L.A. and into different cities, sharing our California culture with their Philadelphia, New Jersey, or New York culture, it’s like everyone’s learning something from each other which is pretty cool.

Oh shit! I forgot my last question!… Your grammar when you write…

BuRNiE: Yes!
SNaPz: Yes, it is about fundamentals!
Nancy: I don’t understand how long it takes to write one sentence because all of your social media accounts, it’s not a publicist writing it because no publicist would spend that much time capitalizing every other letter.
SNaPz: All that shit was us.
Nancy: How long does it take to write one sentence because I tried it and I gave up.
SiLkY: It’s quick.
BuRNiE: We’ve been doing it for so long that our iPhones start to do it. If I say “GhO$tY”, it remembers and it’ll do it for us now.
Nancy: It sounds like a lot of work!
BuRNiE: It’s a lot of fun is what it is.
BuTToN: It’s not too much work.
Nancy: I feel like it takes too much cognitive ability because I can’t fathom.
BuTToN: We like exercise our cognitive ability.
SiLkY: We kind of think all fucked up anyways.
SNaPz: It’s called Fundamentals. It’s our lingo. It’s the way we talk.
BuRNiE: You have to spell it “FUNduhmentalz” with a ™ at the end. Hashtag FUNduhmentalz. It’s our language.
Nancy: I actually went through your Twitter to find one tweet where you wrote in at least all lowercase and I couldn’t find one so I was like “fuck this” and x’d out of the tab. It was too much work for me to even think how much work it takes for you guys.
SiLkY: Can’t find it can you?
BuTToN: I’m just stoked that we boggled the mind of an Asian.
SNaPz: The weirdest part is going into a personal text message and we start typing in FUNduhmentalz and I’m like “Wait a second. This is like my mom. You can’t do that.”
Burnie: Thank you for that. That was a beautiful question. I wish people would ask it more because we’re trying to spread FUNduhmentalz.
Nancy: I don’t think people realize how twisted you guys are in the head when you write like that.
SiLkY: It’s fucked up. When you really dig in, it’s fucked.

New Beat Fund is Jeff Laliberte, Shelby Archer, Michael Johnson, Paul Laliberte.


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Nancy Hoang created Hopeless Thunder in 2007. She conducts the interviews, writes the articles, photographs the concerts, and handles the site's coding & design. (She's basically a control freak.) Her work can also be seen on music publication, CMJ. Contact Nancy for image licensing, assignments, or just to say hi.

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