LMN Interview: Bethpage Black

Neurotic band members, an oddly defined sound and cheese. Say hello to Los Angeles’ own Bethpage Black


Los Angeles-town has no shortage of bands for me to talk about but we’re going to change things up a bit and let the band talk about itself. Why? Well, why not?

Bethpage Black (http://bethpage-black.com/) is two things: a world famous golf course and a band that thinks to be defined by a whole new genre unto itself. “We call it ‘Sickle Pop,’” explains drummer-songwriter Steve Coy. “It’s aggressive pop-rock with a slight metal edge.”

Intriguing. As an up and coming band in LA, Bethpage Black has been making the rounds at local venues like the Viper Room and radio play on KROQ. On March 8th they’re primed to hit yet another renowned LA stage: the Troubadour for a night of rock solid local bands including the Crash Kings, the Active Set, and Light FM. I cornered Steve Coy for a little more info on the band.

LMN: So how long has the band been in existence? Who are the players and why are they here?

Steve Coy: In its current and best lineup, since May 2011, the players are me, Matt Carmichael (Vox/guitar), Davin Givhan (guitar), and Vivien Larena (bass). Collectively we are here I think because we like playing in a band where every song is a new experience instead of the “soundalike” scene where not only do 20 bands sound the same, but all 20 of their songs (if they have that many), sound the same. We’ve had people tell us our songs sound like everything from Death From Above 1979 to the Ataris to Muse to The Used to U2, and that’s definitely by design.

LMN:  What’s the musical definition of Bethpage Black?

Steve Coy: Bethpage Black is an effort to, as our guitarist Davin says, “always write better songs.” it’s a starkly simple statement but I think it’s our driving force, along with executing those songs better every time we play.

A visual aid, anyone? Video- “Losing My Nerve”

LMN:  Got it. Is that why you spend your spare time playing drums when there are homeless kittens around the world that need love?

Steve Coy: I’ve been many things in my life: Chef at LA’s #1 restaurant, web designer for major recording artists and superstar athletes, but it’s playing drums and writing songs for my unsigned, money-sucking rock band that’s brought me my greatest sense of personal triumph. When I wrote “I’ve Got Friends” in 5 minutes, I knew at least I’d created something undeniably great, and that will be with me forever. Music hurts me a lot, but she’ll never leave me. I suppose a cat wouldn’t either, though.

LMN: Never underestimate a cat. Now who’s the most neurotic member of the band?

Steve Coy: Unquestionably me. The days and weeks leading up to a big show, I want to jump off a cliff, until we play our first note, then it’s smooth as eggs! Davin is neurotic in a different way, more of a Rain Man, I’d play guitar for 16 hours a day if I could kind of way.

LMN: I think I know the answer to this but I’ll ask anyway: what band do you want to be bigger than?

Steve Coy: Foster The Fucking People. I want to stomp them out of humanity’s collective musical memory, and you can print it exactly like that. They are the opposite of, say, Young The Giant or Saint Motel, to name two other LA “indie-whatever-pop-rock” bands that would probably get booked on a festival with FTP but who wipe the floor with them in every conceivable way.

LMN: Final and most important question: cheese or cotton candy?

Steve Coy: Cheese–my goodness, what an invention! The first person to willingly eat the solid by-products of fermented milk–that’s a brave human.

This is the stuff of greatness or insanity, folks. Either way, you can catch it in the live on March 8th at the Troubadour when Bethpage Black rock out along with the amazing Crash Kings. Get a ticket or two right here: http://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/94703


This interview was conducted by friend of Local Music Nation, Trina N. Green (AKA @dharma69 also of High Voltage Magazine and The Owl Magazine).