Last week Denver band Muscle Beach released a new self-titled LP, and tonight they play at Ratio Beer Works with Abrams. Muscle Beach, which won a 2015 Westword Music Award in the Hardcore category, can be described as surfy post-hardcore, but their eclectic sounds, rhythms, and time signatures make them stand out. Westword caught up with drummer Roy Jones, guitarist/vocalist Justin Sanderson and bassist/vocalist Derek Arrieta to talk about the new album and more. You can listen to the full album here.
Roy Jones: For me the writing process comes from Justin and Derek's craft-work. Sometimes it's a random riff out of nowhere that will turn my head and make me want to slam on it, Most often they have riffs they bring to the table, and we drink beers and figure out the foundation of the idea. Geez, inspirations are everywhere. Local bands that slay as well as touring bands we have played with push us in a lot of ways to be better musicians. I'm so goddamn excited for this album! Writing and playing these songs with Justin and Derek since the beginning has been nothing but a rad time. We have had so much support and great times since MB started, and this album hopefully has a little something for everyone involved.
Justin Sanderson: The writing process has been super organic and we are usually riding a cool buzz! Usually Derek or I have a riff in mind and just build and rebuild until we have a song. The lyrics and cadence of the vocals happen after the song has been written instrumentally. I think the inspiration comes from our catalog of music we listen to and the environment we play in.
Derek Arrieta: All of these songs were written basically from right when we started [around May 2013] to the day of recording at Dave Otero's studio earlier this year. I actually found the perfect closing riff for "Pressure Kills" right when it was my turn to start tracking. Generally Justin or I have riffs or concepts we bring to the table, and we show Roy and we flesh them out together. If Roy can get down and jamming it together feels right, we know we have a winner on our hands. But honestly, some of the songs were cranked out in an hour, and some took us months to write. It just has to feel right. And [be] gnarly enough. (laughs)
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
As far as inspiration goes, it's really all across the board. Obviously we love punk and hardcore, but I could be listening to like Ennio Morrecone or LCD Soundsystem or something, and a light bulb will just go off and I'll run to my bass and try something. What we identify most with each other is probably just our love for catchy, sometimes heavy, fast, groovy, and just overall ass-kicking music, which is probably why playing music like that feels so natural to us.
Ever since we got the final mixes back from Otero, I've just been obsessing over it. But like with anything creative anyone does, you could always find something you could have put in or something you could have taken out. But as a whole, i feel like we nailed it, and that it's something to be proud of. I'm definitely proud of it, Its up there in personal achievements for sure. It's just a perfect representation of us, and I just can't wait for people to hear it.