The Recording Academy Pacific Northwest Chapter played host for GRAMMYs On The Road At The Sasquatch! Music Festival held in George, Wash. The Chapter conducted exclusive backstage interviews with artists performing at the festival, including psychedelic pop group Beat Connection and UK folk/rock singer/songwriter Ben Howard.
Beat Connection discussed how the group formed, recording together, differences in musical taste, and future plans, among other topics.
"It's a pretty organic process, we just kind of work together," said Reed Juenger on making music with the group. "It's been a good time writing songs and hanging out."
Founded in 2008 at the University of Washington by Jordan Koplowitz and Juenger, Beat Connection released their first EP, Surf Noir, with vocalist Tom Eddy in 2010. The EP was rereleased in April 2011 and in May of that year the group toured the UK with electronica artists such as Holy Ghost!, Toro Y Moi and Niki & The Dove. In summer 2011 drummer Jarred Katz was added and the group embarked on their first U.S. tour as the opening act for Starf***er, and performed in Spain opening for Real Estate. The group's full-length debut, The Palace Garden, is due June 19. Beat Connection are currently on tour throughout the United States and Canada, with select dates scheduled through July.
Howard discussed his career trajectory, his musical background, creative influences, and most memorable career moments, among other topics.
"I quit playing the guitar when I was a teenager for a bit [because] I hated it," said Howard. "I had this real love/hate relationship with it [but] I grew to love it and it kind of became a part of my life. I've always played guitar."
Hailing from South Devon, England, Howard grew up listening to singer/songwriters such as Joni Mitchell, Donovan and Richie Havens, among others. He started playing guitar at age 6 and writing songs shortly thereafter. After high school Howard moved to Newquay, considered the surfing capital of the UK, where he developed fans among the surf community. A European tour followed with Xavier Rudd in 2008. In 2011, while Howard was recording his debut full-length release, Every Kingdom, he signed a deal with Island Records. The album was released in the United States in 2012 and peaked at No. 19 on Billboard's Top Heatseekers chart. Howard is currently on tour throughout the UK, Europe and the United States, with dates scheduled through December.
Come back to GRAMMY.com tomorrow for more exclusive backstage interviews from GRAMMYs On The Road At Sasquatch!