Interview: Victoria Legrand of Beach House
Beach House plays the Siren Festival this Saturday, July 19 at 5pm on the Stillwell Stage.
With the name Beach House, "People immediately think, 'lying in the cabana.' Smoking opium. Listening to Galaxie 500. Spiritualized."
Do those qualify as jazz hands?
After playing together in another Baltimore band, Victoria Legrand (a graduate of Vassar) and Alex Scally (a graduate of Oberlin) spun off and out on their own to form the two person/two keyboard entity with two albums (thus far), their eponymous debut Beach House and the more recent Devotion.
We spoke with Victoria by phone on subjects ranging from philosophies of art and songwriting, performing in daylight as opposed to dark, and cell phones for temporarily orphaned housecats in the early afternoon of July 9, 2008, ten days before her band appears (in daylight) at the Siren Festival.
So since you're a big rock star I'm guessing you haven't been up more than an hour or so.
I am definitely not a big rock star [laughs].
No! I'm way low on the beanpole.
How long have you been up?
Oh, I've been up for about three hours.
So you got up around 10.
[laughs] Well, I got out of bed so I could talk to you.
You needed three hours of preparation?
Yeah, well, I have my makeup on.
My cat actually does my makeup.
I really wish you could send me a picture, because I would dearly love to see cat-applied makeup. I can't even begin tell you. That's like a hobby of mine.
Well, if I had a billion dollars I would invest heavily into research to get cats cell phones so they could text me while I was on tour.
How many cats do you have?
I only have one.
Is that the big regret about going on tour? That you have to leave the cat at home?
Actually I miss him a lot when I'm gone because I feel like a bad mother.
And what's the cat's name?
Is there any Mozart connection?
Definitely. I named him after, you know, in the movie Amadeus the actress who has a surprisingly good American accent for being, I guess, Austrian.
I didn't know she was Austrian. Hell, I don't even know her name [Elizabeth Berridge]. I just remember when she takes Mozart's manuscripts to Salieri and giggles when he offers her Nipples of Venus. That seems to be her big scene.
That is a big scene because her breasts are like heaving. All of the breasts in that movie were heaving.
You know what? That's probably why I remembered it and now I'm just so embarrassed I don't know if I can continue talking to you.
No, that's fine. I can handle talking about chocolates.
So your cat's named after Amadeus.
But he also looks kind of like a wolf, too. He's quite hairy and his hair around his neck is thicker than the rest of his hair so he has this kind of a beastlike look to him.