Beacon's Thomas Mullarney and and Jacob Gossett are no strangers to Miami.
This year alone, the spectral electronic pop duo have played Bardot and The Vagabond, and Gossett opened a painting show at the Charest-Weinberg Gallery. In advance of the October release of their excellent new EP, For Now, Mullarney and Gossett are returning to Bardot on Saturday, September 8.
Crossfade spoke to Thomas and Jacob from their studio in New Jersey where they are currently recording Beacon's full-length debut, due out next year. They spoke about their many visits to Miami this year, the group's origin in the visual arts, and their moral opposition to an affordable cat-multiplying device.
Crossfade: Will the full-length be as cohesive and tight as the EPs have been or are you experimenting more?
Jacob Gossett: Both EPs were thought of as a collection of songs that were meant to go together. On the album, we'll be doing some new things for sure. We have some new gear we're experimenting with and it will be a little more uptempo. On a full-length, there's more room to take off in different directions.
Thomas Mullarney: We're just trying to really tackle and jump into this process and keep digging sounds out. Sounds that can fit the ensemble of the sounds we already have and color them in a new way. It's a process that started on For Now but now we've got more time.
And you've been able to get to Miami a few times this year, yes?
Jacob: We played Bardot with Tycho earlier in the year and I showed some paintings at the Charest-Weinberg Gallery. The first time we were there, we were in and out. When I came down for the show, I saw some of the private collections and that was a lot of fun. And after the opening, we got to play Vagabond.
Thomas: That second time, I just came for the night. When we were withTycho, that was crazy. We did like four dates in Florida, Miami coming last. And the next day we drove back up all the way through Florida. I had really wanted to get to the Pickle because that's a place that's hosted artists I was interested in. It was pretty amazing. Really good and even though I can't remember the name of the DJ, it was just an amazing place.
You met in art school at Pratt. How does your shared history as visual artists inform the sound of your music. It seems pretty texture based.
Jacob: I think so. Another thing we did together early on in the whole Beacon thing was we did some two-channel installation videos. One-off shows. Lots of sourced imagery and writing songs to accompany it. Maybe not directly but as a process, it informed the writing a bit more.
Thomas: Maybe it allows us to be a little bit, in terms of our process, able to take some more risks with those textures because we're more interested in how far you can push something. We're making pop music as we see it and we really like seeing how lush these textures can be. And the mixing process, being involved in that, the level of craft there is something that we take up as visual artists.
If you met as a painter and sculptor, how did you know you'd make for good musical collaborators?
Jacob: We got along well as people and we got along well as people. Tom was working on some solo project stuff on his own. Over the years, we would mess around on each other's music.
Thomas: We had already built up a rapport of working together being in school but we had collaborated on other projects. We made a small magazine together. An arts magazine at Pratt. Just one edition but it was our first creative collaboration. So it all happened organically.
A lot of For Now seems to do with transience and anticipation for things to come. I'd like to ask you about some things that may come in the future and if you would like to see them sooner than later.
Jacob: We'll see.
Death ray guns.
An affordable Cat Multiplier. This would be a device into which you'd insert a cat and out would come two cats.
Thomas: They shouldn't fuck around with that. They shouldn't do it.
Jacob: Too dangerous.
Jacob: That's smart of you.
Self-cutting hair. This could come in the form of a shampoo that would prevent your hair from growing any longer or maybe all of your hair would be removed and replacedwith special hair that could cut itself.
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Jacob: That's very useful. You could save money on haircuts.
Some kind of spray, other than yellow spray paint, that can make black bananas appetizing again.
Thomas: The thing is, that's just not necessary. Those blackened bananas, when they're overripe like that are perfect to cook with. You can make things like banana pie and they're perfect for that. My friend's mom told me that.
Do you have a banana pie recipe that you would be willing to share? Either your own or your friend's mom's?
Go meet Beacon and the armed security detail that protects their top-secret banana pie recipe next week.
Beacon. With Lu. Saturday, September 8. Bardot. 3456 N. Miami Ave., Miami. Show starts at 10 p.m. Call 305-576-7750 or visit bardotmiami.com.