Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast on The Morning Mix
Cindy Howes had an opportunity to interview Bethany Cosantino of Best Coast recently about the band’s latest release, Fade Away.
Bethany has said that the song “I Don’t Know How” is inspired by Country music singers. “I’ve always been a fan of 60s country music and female country singers. I’m also really into Taylor Swift and that whole Country Pop sound. I wanted to blend that idea of 60s female country singing with a typical Best Coast song. That’s why the song is kind of two parts.” Some classic country musicians that Bethany is inspired by are Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, and Bobbie Gentry. She even has a Bobby Gentry album hanging up in her home office.
Bethany also explained her writing process on the song “Who Have I Become”: “When I write lyrics it’s very casual. I sit down and I start writing on guitar, and as I’m writing the melody I just start mumbling lyrics to myself,” Bethany said. “I remember writing this and thinking, ‘oh, there’s too many lyrics. This is like a rap song.” She says that if they speed up the song even a little bit, she’s “literally rapping”, so they have to be careful. She also mentioned that the song was inspired by the theme song to the "Clueless" TV Show.
Generally, when writing for Best Coast, Cosentino and bandmate Bobb Bruno don’t write together. Bethany writes songs at home in her room, then she records it on the computer and sends it to Bobb via email. She tells him what sort of vibes she wants the song to have, he finishes it, and then they go into the studio. “We tried to write something together and it was just so awkward. It just did not work. We said ‘let’s just keep doing it the way do it’, and we’ve been doing it that way for four and a half years and it’s worked really successfully, so we don’t really plan on changing it.”
The lyrics Bethany writes for her songs are pretty revealing of her personal life, and showcase her emotions as clear as day. She did admit that sometimes it can become a problem, being too literal. “I will admit that sometimes it is a little frustrating because people are constantly like, ‘who is that song about’ and ‘why did they do that to you?’ And sometimes I’m just like, ‘that’s not something I want to talk about’. So sometimes I think maybe I should hold back next time I’m writing, but that’s probably not going to happen.” She also writes a lot about her home state, California. “When people listen to our music they think of California, and it’s obviously because I’ve shoved the aesthetic in everyone’s face very heavily,” Bethany laughed. “We like to bring our music to places where there is no beach, or it’s 50 degrees and it’s snowing and it’s freezing. I know 50 degrees isn’t freezing, but to me that’s freezing.” While the songs tell of Cosentino’s love of the state, she does like to get away. “It’s really nice to go on tour and leave California for a little bit, and then when you come home you’re always so jazzed to be back.”
Bethany has an impressive social media presence, and she has acquired quite a following. She even had a clothing line at Urban Outfitters. Cindy asked where she found the most surprising example of her influence, and Bethany explained about seeing it at some shows they did recently. “I’ve been really into Bart Simpson lately, and all these young girls showed up to the show in Bart Simpson shirts. It’s just bizarre to me that things I do are just becoming cool for all these young girls that look up to me to do.” As far as how she feels about it, she definitely likes it. “It’s really humbling and kind of awesome to just know that you’re making a difference in somebody’s life whether its your music that’s helping them through a breakup or helping them get through something tragic that happened to them, or your style that’s influencing them, or your haircut that’s influencing them. It’s just awesome feeling to know that what you’re doing is inspiring people in whatever way.”
Best Coast's new mini album, Fade Away, is out now.