Interview: The Beets Are Back (Even Though They Never Really Left)

01/24/2011 11:00 AM |

The L: So what kind of music did you grow up with then?

Juan: I just listened to the Stones and The Ramones, nonstop. That’s the only thing I listen to even today. I never got out of it. Well, and The Beatles. The Beatles I started listening to here, in New York. I’m from Uruguay, and in Uruguay, you’re not allowed to listen to The Rolling Stones and The Beatles. I mean, you’re allowed, but you’re a fucking wimp if you listen to The Beatles out there, so I never gave them the time of day. Over there, people like things that are a little closer to reality. The Rolling Stones are always talking about partying and bad things to get into, whereas The Beatles are the good guys, and you don’t relate that to rock music. My friends and I would never sit down and rock out to The Beatles; we’d get pumped listening to other stuff.

Jose: I feel like I was really sheltered, especially for growing up in New York, kind of because of my parents but also just because where I was from. So I listened to Hot 97 and Z100 and KROQ for a number of years. I wasn’t really into music. Like, I would never buy records or anything. And then I met a friend who had an older brother who went to NYU who got really into music. Then CDs came, and I started listening to pop-punk and ska and all that.

It’s weird, I didn’t know that local bands existed, really. I was almost totally oblivious to that growing up. You were either huge and on the radio, or, I didn’t know there was any other kind of music. I never had a job, so I couldn’t ever buy CDs, but then Napster came out, and Audiogalaxy &#8212 I don’t know if anyone ever got in to Audiogalaxy, but you could get anything on there &#8212 and so I started to get in to Polyvinyl and Rainer Maria and all that sort of stuff that was considered “indie rock.” You know, emo. The Get Up Kids. It’s funny, ‘cause I think all that stuff really sucks now, but I like that I had [it] growing up. It was fun. Good to sing along to.

The L: At what point did you two meet each other?

Jose: 2003 or 2004. I was taking classes at LaGuardia Community College, and he was taking an art class. I actually never spoke to him, and then one day, I did. I immediately asked him if he played guitar. I don’t know why, it was really weird. It was fate, kind of.

Juan: I looked like a guitarist.

Jose: Yeah, I remember you had “Adam Green” on your sneakers, and I knew The Moldy Peaches. The school is the biggest international school in the city or something like that, so no one really looked like they were in to the stuff that I was in to. Even in the art classes I would take, it would just be nursing students taking a random art class.