In the best moments of Beach Fossils’ 2010 debut, frontman and chief songwriter Dustin Payseur skillfully melded lyrical guitars, post-punk bass lines and deadpan vocals. The stripped-down songs were often uncomplicated, always catchy, and just plain pretty. A few 7-inch singles and an EP later, Payseur is prepping Clash the Truth, a new full-length out February 19th via Captured Tracks. Payseur shared “Generational Synthetic,” the album’s bouncy second single, and chatted about bonding with his new bandmates in Asia, surviving Hurricane Sandy and that rad new Iceage song.
Stream: Beach Fossils, "Generational Synthetic"
Civil Defense, the studio you were working Clash The Truth in, flooded during Sandy. How did that affect recording? It could have been a lot worse. We had finished tracking and were already in the mixing process. I had just taken my gear out of the studio a day or two before it happened. We had a couple days off, and then Sandy came through and destroyed the studio. It’s really sad. They had all this vintage stuff. We’re lucky—the guy who runs the studio backed up our sessions, like, two hours before the storm came. If he didn’t do that we would have lost everything.
The album's track titles (“Caustic Cross,” “Burn You Down”) are pretty agressive. Would you say this is a darker record? The whole point of this album was to make something that had the energy and the feel of the live show. We always do things a lot harder live than we do on record. I love playing this new stuff, it feels really natural. I wouldn’t say it’s darker, it’s just more honest, more real. It’s how I feel right now. Everyone has different sides to them. I feel like I got a lot out on the first few records. There’s only so much you can say about feeling a certain way. I’ve been writing these songs for a while. It was probably almost two years of writing. I wrote enough songs to put out a few albums. It was a nice process, but I don’t ever want to take that long again.
Other than writing, how have you been spending your time? Mainly just bonding with my bandmates. I have a new band now, cause Cole is touring with DIIV and our bass player John quit. We hang out every day. We just went to Asia and played Bangkok and Singapore. It was one of the best times of my life, all these new experiences in one. The crowd was amazing. Every country you go to, crowds respond in a different way that’s kind of unique to their culture. The way that these people took it felt really special.
What are you looking forward this year? I’ve been writing for three different projects that are kind of surprises. It feels really nice to be working on music that’s not Beach Fossils, too. I have all this energy in me, it’s good to just get out of my own headspace and see what other people can do. I don’t want to define it as any genre or anything, but I feel like if people know me, they might expect it.
Is there any new music coming out that you’re psyched to hear? You're Nothing, the Iceage record, comes out the same day as Clash The Truth. I’m really excited about that one. They’re the best band around these days. They’re doing something completely original with sounds that are older, more established. That new song is awesome, it sounds like GBH or something.