Beat Union Take To The States

Beat Union Take To The States

Beat Union's Dave Warsop discusses the band's modest quest to conquer America, recording with Goldfinger's John Feldmann and the band's punk and new wave influences. "So it [was] a little nerve-wracking when we were leaving England to catch our plane to America and saying goodbye to friends and family. It's like, 'Well, I'll see you when I see you. I'm off to just live in a van.'"

- Corinne

posted August 21, 2008

As many bands and musicians can tell you, finding success in the United States is no easy feat. Many household names never manage to make the transition across the pond. The Beatles refused to even set foot as a band in the States until they had a hit. But it's not unusual for US musicians to flee to the United Kingdom and find success there before returning home as heroes, so to speak. Jimi Hendrix, The White Stripes, and The Strokes are just some of the many who built their careers on UK hype.

Apparently Beat Union never got the UK-first memo.

Despite the fact that the band, that calls Birmingham home, has seen some movement in their native country, Beat Union is unsigned there. Instead, they are focusing their efforts on the United States.

Signed Stateside to Science Records, who released the band's debut full-length "Disconnected" this past April, Beat Union seem content with the current arrangement. At the band's Warped Tour stop in Camden, NJ, singer and guitarist Dave Warsop explained their plan.

"We're definitely concentrating on America right now. We've been here all year and we're spending the rest of the year here. We'll probably do a lot of work over here in the next year, as well," said Warsop. "We're always going to pop home and tour at home, sure, but at the moment America's kind of the focus."

While Warsop called it "one of the greatest years of my life so far," the arrangement to push Beat Union in the US hasn't exactly been stress-free.

"We've done that [touring] around the UK but doing that in another country and literally having no home we'd never done that before. So it [was] a little nerve-wracking when we were leaving England to catch our plane to America and saying goodbye to friends and family. It's like, 'Well, I'll see you when I see you. I'm off to just live in a van.'"

But for Beat Union, who count late '70s punk and early '80s new wave as influences which they wear on their sleeves, their sound is one point that seems to be anxiety free.

"Definitely the late '70s and early '80s punk and new wave movement was definitely a stand out point in music history, I think," said Warsop.

"They just really, really influenced me. Like Elvis Costello's voice, Paul Weller's voice, Sting's voice. And all their songwriting just made such a big impact on me when I was growing up, especially in my latter teens, really. I was listening to all those bands when I was growing up but my, sort of, late teens/early twenties I listened to them a lot. That's probably when it made a bigger impact on my songwriting more than ever. I was playing in bands very young but those bands probably weren't influencing me so much. It wasn't until I was a little bit older that those bands took an influence on me."

It was with the help of Goldfinger singer and guitarist John Feldmann, who is also Beat Union's producer, that the band took their classic influences and caught the attention of Science Records.

"We were working with him [Feldmann]. He was recording us and trying to get us a record deal. He was shopping the CD around and talking to people seeing if they were interested. Science Records really, really liked it," said Warsop. "They wanted to work with us. So Stewart Teggart and Ryan Whalley from the label flew out to England, saw us play there, signed a deal, we came out and recorded, started touring."

Warsop said that working with Feldmann was a "really, really good" experience which allowed the band to try out a variety of ideas and arrangements, in particular, to see which would stick when recording their songs. It was a process that Warsop said the band embraced and found exciting.

"It was an honor to work with him. He basically just wants to try as many ideas as possible. I wouldn't say he's set in his ways at all. He's up for trying any ideas being for the good of the record.

"Yeah, it was something we weren't afraid of. Let any ideas roll." He added with a laugh, "It all turned out OK."