She lived a scene from David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive. She played with Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Avan Lava, and Frankie Rose. She (almost) imbibed a specialty brew made for her band’s album release. But Drew Citron’s most surreal experience to-date? Carrying around some songs she wrote “on a beautiful vinyl pressing.”
Beverly began as a side project of Rose and Citron before morphing into a full-fledged foursome with a penchant for guitar fuzz and cooing vocals. While it’s in-keeping with garage rock archetypes, Beverly’s debut album Careers (out last July) stands out in a hauntingly fun way. Earlier this summer I discussed the album, beer, and Robyn with Citron, and found out that the Brooklynite can’t wait to play at 930 Club with The Drums this Wednesday.
From a coffee shop in New York to my parents’ kitchen in Maryland, our interview played out something like this:
Brightest Young Things: What’s something really cool that you’ve gotten to do as a result of being in Beverly?
Drew Citron: Hmm, well one of the guys from Kanine, Leo, got one of his friends to make us a “Beverly Home Brew” for the record release. It was a beer with our album artwork on it. It was awesome. It went really fast and I didn’t even get to drink any.
BYT: On the album you make mention to “all the things you are.” Could you list what those things are for me?
DC: Wait. Sorry?
BYT: Sorry. I’m trying to be funny.
DC: Oh! I guess, all the things you are…well you are a friendly person, and you have a really articulate, clear speaking voice, and I think you’re doing a really great job.
BYT: Thank you! That means a lot. I’m not even out of college yet.
DC: How old are you?
DC: Congrats! I know that’s a big deal in D.C. since you can’t get away with anything there.
BYT: No, you really can’t. What’s the band been up to lately? Are you touring or recording new stuff? How’s that been?
DC: Yeah we just came home from a show last night in New Haven. We’re doing like a bunch of little one-offs this summer, and we’re doing a bunch in New York, obviously, and we just actually played at The Black Cat a week or two ago. I had never played there before. I’d played DC9 and Rock and Roll Hotel, and I’d played 930 which is literally the best venue in America and I can’t wait to come back.
BYT: Why is 930 so awesome? Besides the obvious reasons…
DC: D.C. is just my favorite place to visit and to play.
BYT: What makes it your favorite place to play?
DC: I always really enjoy the people. There’s kind of a demographically interesting mix. You’re either there to work in politics or do something academic, or maybe to pursue something creative, and I always meet interesting people there. It’s diverse and everyone is down to have a great time. It’s a close-knit community, and everyone’s really nice.
BYT: It’s a good mix of dudes in Tevas and then dudes in suits who work on the hill.
DC: Yeah. I’m less inclined to hang out with the people who are kissing ass on Capitol Hill, but it’s cool. That’s where they have to go.
BYT: How did Beverly come to be?
DC: It was originally a recording project, a side project for me and Frankie, and we ended up goofing around and playing some shows, and Kanine records showed interest in putting out a full length. And we were like, “Hell yeah, let’s do it.” And so we made the record, and pretty much as the record was coming out, it became clear that I wanted to add more people to the band. Then Frankie relocated to L.A., so it’s sort of evolved as the record was released into this four-piece. We’re definitely recording and writing new songs right now, and it’s just been a real growing experience for me, I guess.
BYT: Who all is in the band right now? On your Facebook it says it’s just three people including you or something like that.
DC: It’s me and Scott Rosenthal on bass and Jamie Ingalls on drums, and we’re adding a fourth person, a woman named Caitlin Frame, for the upcoming tour with The Drums, and hopefully she’ll want to keep touring because she’s awesome. She’s playing synth and guitar and singing.
BYT: Tell me about Careers. How was the evolution from you and Frankie goofing around to creating a full full-length?
DC: It was kind of rushed because we were on tour a lot last year for Frankie’s record, and we definitely had the song ideas put together and we just tried to get in as much studio time as possible when we were home. We tracked some drums like a year and a half ago, and just had the files sitting around while we were on tour. It was almost like a paint-by-numbers thing. We just tried to fill it in as much as we could. Then we went in and did a long stretch of studio time last January.
BYT: How is it to be playing your own stuff instead of playing in someone else’s band? With Beverly you’re the main songwriter, right?
DC: You know, it’s great. I’ve always written my own music, and there’s sort of no difference when you’re performing it. I’m not thinking about how personally meaningful the song is when I’m performing it. I just have to sell it for the show and have a good time. But it really feels great to have some songs I wrote on a beautiful, vinyl pressing, and carry them around with me to my shows.
BYT: What inspires you to write then? Do you have certain things that inspire you or certain musical influences? What goes into your writing process?
DC: I usually have the moment of inspiration to write if I hear a song and it’s doing something interesting, and I’m like, “How did they do that?” Then I want to go in and figure out how they did it. I’ll get into a zone and be like, “Okay. This is my Blonde Redhead zone today.” It’s a balancing act between…you know what I’m saying..making it less like I’m copying…you know what I’m saying. I have to figure out the sound I’m going for, and then I have to fill the actual content that’s personal to me.
BYT: Right, you don’t want to just regurgitate.
DC: That’s what gets me going, honestly. When I’m listening to the radio, and it’s like, “Oh shit. I love this record. I want to do something like this.”
BYT: And that’s awesome to be galvanized by other musicians.
DC: I think that’s kind of how it works. You just go with what moves you, and then you want to make something that will equally affect other people, hopefully.
BYT: What music have you been listening to the most lately?
DC: When we wrote the record, I was listening to a lot of Stereolab and Broadcast and The Amps, but right now I’m listening to a lot of Robyn. I listen to a lot of post-punk, like, big pop music. I’ll listen to a lot of Replacements and R.E.M.
BYT: The classics! So you’re playing with The Drums soon. You know those guys pretty well?
DC: I’ve met them once, vaguely. It’s a lucky coincidence that they really liked the record and that’s why we’re going. I think Jonny is one of the best live performers I’ve seen down the line for sure. He’s got a lot of stage swag.
BYT: On the record you guys in the band are pretty adamant that “you can’t get it right.” Tell me, can anyone ever get it right ever?
DC: You know, I think maybe David Lynch did.
BYT: I just watched Mulholland Drive and it blew my fucking mind.
DC: It’s so beautiful. You know that Silencio part when she’s in the old opera house and she’s singing? So that’s what that nightclub in Paris is named after, and I got to play there a couple of times with Frankie and it’s the coolest place ever.