In the middle of the poorly lit Wynwood warehouse district, nestled between a boxing academy, a factory, and some art spaces, there's a building overflowing with noise. Behind a gate, a double-locked door, and a barbwire overhang, Beings are hard at work.
Many artists refer to the studio as "the lab." And this art space that Beings takes over in the midnight hour is home to some real experimentation. Past a hallway lined with paintings-in-progress, disco balls, and mannequin heads, there's a tiny spot cramped with guitar cabinets, an array of pedals and tape decks, and a full drum kit.
Before we were allowed access to Beings' space, we were stuck outside for three songs (or five minutes). Wild changes, heavy rhythms, and poppy-spastic vocals bled out into the dark and creepy street. A few thoughts came to mind: I should be safe here, muggers are scared of this crazy rocker music. Or, shit, what if they've acquired a taste for it, like I have, and aren't afraid or shocked anymore by the fuzz-soaked attack. I think I'll text the band. Why aren't they answering?
Drummer Betty Monteavaro opened the door and led us directly to the spot. Bassist Mike Nela was wearing a tie-dyed shirt that "is not (him)" and singer-guitarist Ivan Marchena was packing up his guitars, looking pretty exhausted. "I've been block printing the seven inch covers all week."
This seven-inch is the band's new release on Discosoma Records, for which they're playing at the Vagabond tonight. And if you don't know, block printing is a method of printing where a block of wood is chiseled with an impression, dipped in ink and stamped onto the canvas. In this case, the canvas is the seven-inch cover and Ivan's been working on them all night, every night after working all day.
"This is the first band I've been in where we come up with practically everything together, it's usually some weird riff or random thing between songs, that turns into a new song," explains Nela.
"Yeah, happy accidents," Marchena corroborates.
"I have this tape recorder going every time we practice, you can hear the riffs that turned into 'Metrozoo' on one of the tapes, Ivan started playing this really pretty thing," says Monteavaro.
"I go home and listen to them all, looking for cool ideas for new songs," adds Nela. "Right before we went on tour with Torche, we wanted to have more material, and we found a lot of good ideas on those tapes."
Beings' style of writing and practice location has birthed great results: songs with dozens of tiny changes, unexpected shifts from quiet to loud to chaos (sometimes within the same measure), and everflowing enigmatic lyrics.
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"I write all the lyrics. Me and the posters on the wall," admits Marchena.
Download: Beings' "Zombies" from the band's forthcoming self-titled 12" LP on Amnesian.
Beings and Plains. Friday, October 29. The Vagabond, 30 NE 14th Street, Miami. The show starts at 11 p.m. Visit thevagabondmiami.com.