Amanda Roscoe Mayo: Have you ever been to San Francisco?
Ian Bevis: I was there with some friends 4 years ago for fun.
AM: Ever played here?
IB: Not yet, this is our first time playing in San Francisco and we are so excited.
AM: Do you have any favorite spots in SF? (bars, restaurants, parks, coffee shops)
IB: As cheesy and touristy as it is Alcatraz is just so cool. I remember as a kid always wanting to go there. We ate some dim sum last time we were there and went to Lombard st., which I only know because I had seen it in the Tony Hawk game.
AM: Let’s get into Noise Pop 2013….what do you like (if anything) about playing festivals?
IB: We’ve never played a big festival…been to a lot of them. We’re playing a lot and practicing a lot, visuals are a big part of our live show. We look forward to and enjoy playing to people who aren’t our fans, they don’t know anything about us.
AM: I noticed the word honesty comes up frequently in your bio and the way you talk about making music. I’m wondering what exactly you mean when you say you’re trying to be honest and provide that experience to the listener?
IB: It means we’re not trying to be anything, it’s the worst when an artist tries to copy someone. It’s cool to be influenced by stuff but we’re just really looking at our self and trying to figure out what we want to say and make the music we want to make.
Just being real, it comes across when you get in front of a crowd…this is what I spent hours in my bedroom toiling over.
AM: Electronic rock or pop is about layering and creating an energetic build, what I like about your technique is that it fluctuates and is very listenable. It’s more dynamic in that I can listen to it if I want to dance and if I don’t want to, it’s in general just energizing. This is a hard balance to find in dance music I feel it can either be very droney or too hyper. Can you speak to your process and what it is you are trying to convey to the listener?
IB: I love dance music, I love all kinds of music, but I’m really into dance music. You can’t listen to club tracks in headphones, it’s too intense, your ears get too fatigued. We’re trying to pick out the energy in the club tracks and our favorite parts but translate it to playing live and singing.
AM: I’m also curious to hear about the inclusion of vocals, and even further why you choose to sing?
IB: I can say more by singing, when I talk about being honest. I can convey way more emotion using my voice than anything else. It’s the most direct way to get the message out. Singing for me was really hard, I only learned a few years ago. Spent years trying to find my voice. Was in my apartment in Berlin for a few days picked up a guitar and it just clicked.
We haven’t hit the ‘magic zone’ yet but we’re trying. We want that sound to be one part cool electronic dance music and one part acoustic songs.
AM: You’ve been compared to Passion Pit, but who are you listening to?
IB: Influence in the past year is Diplo mostly as a creative person. His attitude says F**k the industry, I’m just going to make music and push boundaries.
I’ve been listening to Jessie Ware, a lot of UK stuff, dance music, Disclosure, and Soul.
AM: Finally, what can we expect from you in a live show?
IB: It’s very much a band, four on stage; I’m up front playing bass and laptop. My twin brother (Greg Bevis) plays the drums and keys. Kyle Statham plays the guitar. The fourth guy, Kenji Rodríguez plays projections, mapping images live onto these square structures synced with the music.
AM: Is there anything you’d like to add or say to the good folks of San Francisco?
IB: I love San Francisco, we’re very excited to play, there’s a rad community down there that we’re looking forward to hanging out in.
For full coverage on Noise Pop 2013 and concert photos check KQED Arts daily throughout the week of February 27 - March 3.