We love music, we love the people who love music and naturally we love the people that make music.
So what about those people that make music? What sort of people are they? They like music as well, right? What were they into as kids? Was it the same sort of music we were into? What are they listening to now? What songs did they wish they had written?
We wanted to discover the “music fan” inside these artists, so we decided to find out using a similar format to our Meet The Community feature. By firing a series of short questions at a selected indie artist we wanted to get a bit of an insight into what makes them tick musically.
In this edition – Beth Arzy
Those were the first words that Beth Arzy ever uttered to us. It was around this time last year and it was in response to a comment we’d made about the Mark Hollis vocals on Talk Talk’s “I Believe In You”. Ever since then we’ve rather enjoyed the company of Beth Arzy in our social media interactive world.
Of course we knew all about Beth before then. She has a HR file like everyone else, although in the case of artists we refer to it as a rap sheet. Beth’s rap sheet looks something like this:-
- Sarah Records recording artist- GUILTY
- Appearance on Buffy The Vampire Slayer soundtrack alongside The Breeders, Dandy Warhols & Laika – GUILTY
- Member of Trembling Blue Stars, Charlie Big Time, Occasional Keepers – GUILTY
- Essential follow on Soundcloud – GUILTY
- Currently rocking our musical world in The Luxembourg Signal – GUILTY
We should also point out that our resident Sarah Records bingo caller has yet to call out numbers 93 or 97, so expect to see more of Beth in our social media world in the foreseeable future.
Considering the above and that Beth has been a big supporter of EIO40, she seemed a natural choice as the subject of our inaugural A View From The Stage Q&A.
So let’s see what Beth had to say for herself. We should clarify though that the footy season hadn’t actually started at the time of the interview (this will make sense at some point)
1) Where did you grow up?
I was born in Los Angeles but bounced between Florida and California so grew up between the two. When I moved back to California (Palm Desert) after 7-8 years in Southern Florida, I had a pretty fancy Southern accent. It’s sadly gone now and alternates between L.A. and Croydon. Croydon if I’m really angry.
2) What posters did you have on your bedroom wall as a teenager?
Early teens would have been Duran Duran and Nik Kershaw, mid to late teens was The Jesus & Mary Chain, Skinny Puppy, The Ocean Blue, The Telescopes, Primal Scream, Pale Saints, The Pastels, Trashcan Sinatras, Loop, The Wonderstuff, The Smiths, Bauhaus and more Mary Chain.
A few years ago, my mother proclaimed at a family dinner that I “loved Guns and Roses” and had a “massive poster” on my wall in high school. After nearly choking on pizza I got to the bottom of the memory failure. She confused my JAMC “Blues from a Gun” with “Guns & Roses”. Easily done I suppose.
3) What was the first record you bought?
I was given sympathy pocket money when I had my braces put on and I remember going to the record shop in the Tampa Bay Center and buying 3 singles: Queen of Hearts by Juice Newton, Sail On by The Commodores and Modern Love by David Bowie. I still have the Bowie 45 hanging on my wall, sans cover.
4) What moment made you want to become a singer/artist/musician?
Sadly I’m none of those things, but as a child, watching and listening to The Monkees as well as The Bugaloos and The Wombles made me want to give it a shot, or at least hang out with people who are… Musicians, not Wombles, though that would be cool.
5) How much did you get paid for your first gig?
My memory is so shite. I seriously can’t remember. Probably nothing. It would have been a battle of the bands thing at the high school I went to, and the prize was a demo recording session (in some dude’s garage) or, a gig at The Huntington Beach Library. My memories might be Replicant implants but I think that one was with The Brian Jonestown Massacre, and I think the lead singer dropped trou. I remember seeing a willy anyway. Again, might be a false memory or a very bad dream.
6) Do you have a particularly memorable gig you performed at?
Most of the early ones were non-events at cafes but Trembling Blue Stars playing with The Ocean Blue was pretty freaking special. I’d seen them so many times and love them to bits so to see them there in the audience as we played was about as special as it gets.
Mind you, Indietracks festival recently was pretty freaking memorable; for all the best reasons. The Luxembourg Signal are all great friends and it was an honour to sing Johnny’s amazing songs in such a cool place. There were owls, and pizza, and trains, and we played on the indoor stage which I think was where they used to store the trains. Such a great experience and the feedback has been so amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed a gig as much as indietracks. I’m welling up over here…
7) Who would you most like to perform with on stage?
Well, I’ve been lucky enough to be asked to perform as a guest with The 49 Americans as well as The Dentists so I’ll say, Jim Reid. Not as The Jesus & Mary Chain as I don’t want to contaminate that stew, but maybe if he did a solo something. That so isn’t going to happen though as I met him backstage recently at a Mary Chain gig and I had one hell of a whitey. I think I ran.
8) What is the best venue you have played at?
Indietracks with The Luxembourg Signal, no contest, but Fritz’s Corner in Stockholm (with Trembling Blue Stars) would be a close second.
9) What song would you most like to have written (not your own)?
Anything by The Dentists (nothing can come close to those songs man), or anything by The Jam. Maybe Weightlifting or Send for Henny by The Trashcan Sinatras; total corkers. I don’t write my own stuff anymore anyway; it’s not safe, nothing is sacred. People release your stuff and do whatever the hell they want to your lyrics and vocals without even asking. It’s safer to just sing great songs that other people write for me!
10) If you weren’t a singer/artist/musician what would have been?
A personal assistant; oh, wait….
11) What are you listening to at the moment? Any recommendations?
My favourite current band from The UK is called Treasures of Mexico, which is Mark Matthews from The Dentists, along with Bob from The Dentists and Russ from Secret Affair. The album (Holding Pattern) is available as a download on Shelflife and is just total great pop. We (The Luxembourg Signal), have some amazing label mates on Shelflife and if you’ve not heard The Fireworks, check them out too!
I’ve become a bit obsessed with the Medway scene lately and also love Words Beginning With X (another Mark Matthews band with Dave Read from The Claim on lead vocals and Russ Baxter from Secret Affair on drums) as well as Bob Collins and The Full Nelson (Bob from The Dentists), Stuart Turner and the Flat Earth Society, The Galileo 7 (him from The Prisoners), Theatre Royal, The Sine Waves (ex- Dentists drummer) These Guilty Men (another ex-Dentists drummer), & The Love Family.
The Treasures Of Mexico – Stars
12) What are you up to at the moment?
Coming down from a great min-tour with The Luxembourg Signal (who are working on new songs at the moment) and counting down the days until football season kicks off again!! 1, 2, 3, 4, 5!
The Luxembourg Signal – Distant Drive
Photos by Leah Zeis
Thank you to Beth Arzy for taking part in our Q&A and for providing an enjoyable insight into her musical world. And remember. If you don’t want to bring out the Croydon in Beth…don’t make her angry.
You can find out more about Beth at the following:
If you want to check out The Luxembourg Signal then we would suggest a visit to their site which includes some listening materials. A visit to the Shelflife Records website also recommended
So who’s gonna be next then?