AN INTERVIEW WITH DADDY'S BEEMER
Discussing the music scene of rural South Carolina seems semi-pointless, that is until Brady Sklar, Luke Waldrop, Wesley Heaton, and Dan Fetterolf joined forces to create Daddy’s Beemer. Slack rock straight from the abyss of frat parties and simply southern t-shirts, the boy’s shook up the college campus. Creating their own house show venue and collective called The Pablo Generation, they created a community from virtually nothing. Eating Mexican takeout 30 minutes before going onstage, sunglasses indoors, and their parents a table over, you’d never guess they pioneered a whole music revolution.
WHO ARE YOU OUTSIDE OF THE BAND?
WESLEY: World traveler.
LUKE: I’m a passionate connoisseur.
DAN: I work at a violin store.
BRADY: Soon to be audio professional, rock and roll star. We DJ for the Clemson radio, WSBF-FM Clemson, we all met each other because of the student radio organization.
WHAT’S THE CLEMSON MUSIC SCENE LIKE? WHAT IS PABLO AND WHAT ARTISTS DO YOU WORK/PUT ON SHOWS WITH?
LUKE: We have a collective, The Pablo Generation, 7 bands right now and we're in a lot of the bands ourselves, we just mix and match. That’s about the only music scene there is.
BRADY: There’s not much of a music scene, Greenville is alright. Greenville's getting bigger as a city so their music scene is getting bigger as a result, but we kind of are the music scene, that’s about it.
WESLEY: The music scene there comes and goes in waves. People graduate and their band leaves and somebody else fills in.
LUKE: Nobody stays in Clemson after they graduate, that’s the problem.
HOW DID YOU DECIDE TO MAKE THE COLLECTIVE?
WESLEY: It all started at once. There were no bands at all and then all of the sudden all these people who I had never met before started up their own bands and started coming to our shows and connecting and then it all organically came together and we decided to keep building with it because we all became good friends.
WHAT WAS THE PROCESS OF RECORDING YOUR EP?
BRADY: So here's a typical day in the studio: we wake up around 10-11 and we go to Bojangles, we eat, well we bring it to the studio and we eat. Then we start figuring out what we’re going to record, we always do drums first, then we get some bass and guitars and then do vocals. Then we spend a lot of time mixing, sometimes I get a little too into the mix where I black out for hours on end and I’ll be mixing. I just get these blinders and then we look outside and it’s morning again and you’re like ‘jesus christ.’
LUKE: Now we got to go to Bojangles again.
BRADY: Yeah now we got to go to Bojangles because Papa needs his fuel.
YOU OPENED YOUR EP WITH “TV LIED TO ME.” HOW DID THAT SONG COME INTO BEING?
BRADY: That was the first song I wrote by myself and brought in to show the guys. I wrote it on a cheap classical guitar and we came in and worked out all the other parts and it was weird because it wasn’t as laid back as some of the other ones. It sounded like a Cars song - something you’d hear in an 80’s fight movie.
DAN: It’s fun and I think people like it the most when we play it live.
WESLEY: Dan has 47 drum fills in that song.
BRADY: We counted.
DAN: I’m proud of that number. I’m going to try to keep getting it up too.
BRADY: It took us about 7 hours to record Dan’s drums for that song.
DAN: Alright you don’t have to tell everyone, that’s an intimate recording secret.
BRADY: So we got some recording fuel in him and then he nailed the drum takes.
WHEN BRADY BROUGHT THE SONG TO YOU WHAT DID YOU ORIGINALLY THINK?
WESLEY: Dan and I would be walking around our house singing that chorus over and over because we didn’t have a recording of it at the time so we just kept singing it to ourselves because it was just so catchy.
WHO OR WHAT IS “PENTHESILEA?”
DAN: My family had a parrot as a pet for a while and it’s been there since I was born but passed away unfortunately about a year ago, so that inspired us to write the song. It was part of my childhood that had passed away, something that had always been there you know? But then we made the lyrics a little more general so it wasn’t just about a bird.
BRADY: Wesley tells me one day, ‘hey Dan’s bird died.’ And parrots, just so you know, live like 30+ years so Dan’s parrot might have been in it’s retirement age.
DAN: It was born in the civil war era, that’s a fact.
BRADY: So Wesley texts me and goes ‘hey Dan’s parrot died you should write a song about that.’ Which I thought was really funny because most of the songs I wrote were just about girls and shit so I wrote it about that and then it was about Dan’s parrot dying. Everyone thinks it’s a metaphor.
IS THE BAND’S IDENTITY SET OR STILL EVOLVING? HOW IS THIS EVIDENT IN THE MUSIC YOU’VE RELEASED?
LUKE: It’s definitely evolving. We started off just having a collection of songs to put on the EP and now we’ve really honed in our sound a little bit more.
BRADY: It’s a little funkier, everything on the EP sounded really rushed like ‘bang bang bang’ trying to get it out but this one we’re trying to take more time with and get a little more sensual, more bongos really.
DAN: It’s about honing your influences. If you have one influence for each song that's one thing but if you can consciously take one influence and mix it into your song and make it special that's what we’re trying to do.
DO YOU FEEL LIKE THE TIME CONSTRAINT MADE THE EP FEEL RUSHED?
LUKE: We had to get it done because it was Wesley’s senior project for school.
Wesley: We did have a deadline for it but we still rushed through it a little bit, we spent a lot of time mixing at the end. There was like two weeks straight of just mixing and that was horrendous, but it turned out well. I still think it turned out well.
BRADY: The last week we spent 12 hours a week in there just doing that. It was horrendous.
DAN: How much Bojangles did ya’ll consume?
BRADY: I ate probably 16 pounds of Bojangles.
DAN: 16 pounds? That’s pretty respectable.
WESLEY: At least like 30 supremes.
BRADY: Yeah, it wasn’t a proud day.
LUKE: We have a new tradition, it involved McDonald's.
BRADY: Yeah we’ve kind of moved away from Bojangles a little bit, not that they aren’t near and dear to us, we still love you please sponsor us. We had a Charlotte show and after that with the money we got we bought 100 chicken mcnuggets and then we tried to eat them all and then I passed out in the car, that was it. We’re going to do it after every show.
ARE YOU DOING THAT AFTER THE SHOW TONIGHT?
WESLEY: Yes, catch us at McDonalds after the show.
LUKE: It’s actually not as expensive as you’d think.
BRADY: It was like 25 bucks for 100, just so you know.
DAN: Definitely on my drumming I’d say Steely Dan is one of my biggest influences.
LUKE: He had to bring it up.
BRADY: My dad always played a lot of 90’s alternative music like R.E.M and Counting Crows and Pearl Jam. My mom would play a lot of John Denver and folk revival stuff so I think you get the edgy lyrics and then you get the lyrics about falling in love with you.
WESLEY: I’d probably say The Strokes nd James Jamerson from the Motown era are two big influences for me.
LUKE: I listened to a lot of The Smiths back when I was a sad boy so I like Johnny Marr a lot, he’s probably my favorite guitarists, I really try to do riffs like him. Kind of upbeat and fun riffs.
YOU RECENTLY RELEASED THE MUSIC VIDEO FOR “TV LIED TO ME.” WHAT DO YOU THINK INCORPORATING OTHER MEDIUMS DOES FOR YOUR MUSIC?
BRADY: It’s like when you listen to a song you try to put some sort of visual in your head. When I was a kid I’d go on road trips and look out the window and pretend like you’re in a movie. When you have a music video you can reference that. Music by itself as an art form is going to die out in a way because everything is getting so visual. It’s so easy to make content, you can get an iphone and record a video. You can do a lot if you have the creativity. The barrier to entry when you’re making anything creative is so low now.
WHAT WAS THE WHOLE IDEA BEHIND THIS VIDEO?
WESLEY: We had these TV’s and we had a song called “TV Lied To Me” so our original idea was to have us smashing a bunch of TV’s and it will look fun and be fun. I wanted a little bit more then that so I was laying awake at night just thinking about music video ideas and I was thinking what if our character falls in love with the TV? Like he is literally in love with the TV and the charter on the screen. So I wrote out the scenario in my head for the video and that’s kind of the love story that came to be ‘TV Lied To Me.’
WHAT’S IT LIKE BEING A BAND IN THE 21ST CENTURY?
LUKE: It sucks!
BRADY: We’re trying to sell out! We’re trying to sell out hard. Back in the 60’s it was like a free for all and there was so much money to be made. The industry peaked in like 1998, that's when the music industry made the most money ever and then it was followed by the worst decline ever and it sucks. The only good part is that there's a really low barrier to entry, like anyone can make it which I guess makes it suck even worse but it’s cool that literally everyone can make music and be appreciated by a huge following.
WESLEY: It’s nice being connected with everyone. Like you can promote your music to everyone in the world really easily.
LUKE: We have a single fan that lives in South Africa.
BRADY: Yeah he loves us, like our album art is like all his profile pictures, we thought he was going to kill us but no he’s a cool guy. So it’s cool that people from everywhere can find out about you, not just the cities you go to, ten years ago you really couldn’t.