Best Coast's debut LP, Crazy For You, is the album of the summer, and lead singer and song-writer Bethany Cosentino has captured our hearts with lyrics like "And nothing makes me happy/ Not even TV or a bunch of weed." We recently caught up with Cosentino and found that she's pretty much everything her hilarious Twitter account would lead us to believe.
Your songs could be the soundtrack to the best teen movie ever. What were your high-school years like?
I grew up in Glendale, but I spent most of my time as a teenager and all that shit in Hollywood and wherever teenagers hang out. Mostly, I went to shows. I went to school in a town called La Crescenta, which is a small, suburban town, so everybody was bored all the time. I had the quote-unquote cool mom, so everybody would come to my house and my mom would let us stay up late and rent R-rated movies.
I finished high school early, and then I thought I was this big-shot adult and I started partying a lot. I moved out of my mom's house and was living with my boyfriend and I was like, 'Oh, I'm so mature and cool,' but in actuality, I didn't know what the fuck I was doing. I just wanted to secretly drink beer and go to the movies.
Everyone loves to say that those years suck, but it seems that we're all secretly nostalgic for them.
I definitely feel like I have that Peter Pan complex where I don't want to grow up and don't ever want to have to be responsible. I'm 23. I think most people around my age go through that where you're like 'Oh, shit! I have to start paying for my own car insurance and my own health insurance and I'm not a teenager any more.' It gets scary. I just saw Toy Story 3 and it made me so bummed out because I remember when Toy Story came out and I was like nine years old and went to see it with my parents. And now I'm an adult going to see it with my adult friends, and I'm like, 'This sucks! I'm not a kid anymore!'
Being an adult is so shitty sometimes. I think when you're a teenager, you have a lot less to worry about, so sometimes I think it would be so great to be 17 again, but in reality, being 17 again would suck! It's like that movie Never Been Kissed—Drew Barrymore thinks it's a good idea to go back to high school, but it's really like the worst idea ever.
You spent a year in New York. Is that the only time you've lived outside of California?
I moved to New York when I was 21, so I had lived here for 21 years. I really wanted to try something different. I was really fed up with the traffic and the driving and all the things that people complain about with LA. But it wasn't until I moved away that I realized that this is home, and all those things are ingrained in me. New York is really different, and not to say that it isn't an awesome place, because it is, but I would just much prefer to visit than to live there.
All of my friends were still in LA, and I was the first one to leave. But now that I've moved back, a lot of my friends have moved out of state, and I get a little bitter, like 'You're not gonna like it! I didn't like it!" But everybody reacts differently to different situations, and if I hadn't moved away, I never would have started this band, I wouldn't be the person that I am today, I never would have learned to appreciate the things that I appreciate now about California.
What inspired you to start Best Coast?
When I moved back from New York, I was really kind of freaked out. Because when I was living in New York, I had a boyfriend, I had friends, I was interning at Fader magazine, I did really well in school. I had a pretty good life set up there for myself, but I got to a point when I didn't want to do it anymore. I have a tendency, when things get a little too hard, I quit, and I am trying not to do that anymore. I think I am getting better at that, but I completely dropped out of my life that I had known
for the last year, and I came back to L.A., and I was like shit, I have to do something.
I was really inspired to start making music, and I started writing these songs, and Bob and I started working together, and we started recording and then we started doing all of these 7-inches and shit. It was really fast, like from the time I wrote "Sun Was High" in my guest bedroom at my mom's house to the release of our first 7" that had "Sun Was High" on it was less than a year. I didn't expect it, but I'm really excited about it. The band was basically fuelled by boredom and my mid-20s breakdown.
Your lyrics just tell it like it is. Are you like that in real life?
The reason why I think my lyrics are so straightforward—and a lot of my songs are about guys or situations with guys—is because I have a tendency to not say that stuff in real life. When it comes to everything else, I'm pretty much a loudmouth, I'll say whatever is on my mind. But when it comes to love and relationships, I'm a little more reserved, and I'm scared to tell this person that I like them.
In my lyrics, I'm like I'm going to tell a story and tell it exactly how it is. But in real life, I probably wouldn't be so blunt or straightforward. I'm one of those people who gets caught up in playing games and all that shit in relationships, so it gets more difficult for me in real life.
Who was your first crush?
I was really, really obsessed with Jonathan Taylor Thomas. I loved him and I would buy those Teen Beat magazines and put the posters on my wall. And then a really embarrassing one, I was obsessed with Hanson when I was in 5th or 6th grade, and my room
was covered with Hanson posters. And then when I got older, I was obsessed with Tom Delonge from Blink 182, and my friends and I would go to every Blink 182 show. I definitely had a crush on everybody. Any dude that was in a band that I liked.
Your cat Snacks is getting kinda famous.
Snacks is kind of like my best friend, and that probably makes me sound like the biggest loser ever. I have never really had my own pet before. I adopted him around the same time that Best Coast started playing shows, and that was kind of like two major things that happened in my life last year. He is just like the best cat. I know so many people who hate cats or are allergic to cats, and come to my house and they're like 'Your cat is amazing." And I'm like, "I know, I told you! I wouldn't be obsessed with him if he was stupid." I just found that someone made Snacks a Facebook fan page, and it makes me really excited that he's getting the recognition that he deserves. I mean, obviously, he's a cat and he has no idea that I do interviews every day and people ask about him. I don't want to let it go to his head!
How long has Crazy For You been in the works?
We started recording the record at the beginning of the year. We had two weeks to record the album, and then we finished it right before we left to do a West Coast tour with the Vivian Girls. We didn't really spend an insane amount of time on it because we didn't have that much time. But we finished it—I work really fast, Bob works really fast, and Lewis Pesacov, who recorded it, works really fast, so it felt like everything turned out like it was supposed to. And now we're anxiously waiting for it to come out. I wake up every day and I'm like, "Ok, when does the album come out? How much longer is it?"