Interview with Reed From Beat Connection

Our interview with Reed Juenger, Tom Eddy, and Jared Katz from Beat connection at SXSW 2015

Here’s our chat with Reed juenger from Beat Connection. The guys are heading out on tour with Jamaican Queens, Javelin, and Odesza.

NT: How did you guys get so into electronic music, I believe you were mostly into Nirvana and Metallica?

RJ: Haha, we were mostly talking about how we started out when we were like 11 years old, you know the first time we got interested in pop music sort of thing. I started getting interested in electronic music when I was like 15-16 and just sort of started messing around in Garageband and learning how to use other entry level programs like virtual DJ.

NT: I read about how you described your music as “This is an absolute indulgence, because the world is an incoherent jumble of perception”. Can you talk about this a bit?

RJ: Well, I can’t exactly give that away now can I? Its just honestly a way to put some mystery in there, ya know? We are essentially just making gimmick-less pop music, so we might as well get metaphysical with it. I do honestly believe that statement though, but other than some lyrics, I think its just some dance music right?

NT: What was the transition like adding a drummer for live shows?

RJ: Honestly pretty easy, Jarred was a good friend of ours and we just asked him to join the band. He helps with all aspects now, but at the time it was basically like just remove the drums from the computer and let him take over for the show. Obviously it took a lot of practice, and we had to strategically place some other percussion in able to reinforce the live drumming. We also had to go through and figure out which sections would be better for him to play on the electronic drums and which should be the acoustic kit. It was a pretty fun transition though.

NT: The song ‘En Route’ has a bit of a Sting influence in it, is this intentional?

RJ: We’ve had a few comparisons to Sting, and I’ve got to say it must be somewhat subconscious. I think my parents played quite a few of his albums and Police albums way back, and I enjoy his music, but I can’t say I’m super familiar with his catalog or really try and like pay homage or anything like that.

NT: You now have a full time vocalist as well, both of whom played on The Palace Garden, was this when you decided to turn the band into a five piece?

RJ: The group is actually a three piece now. We have been through a few different iterations, and right now we are myself, Tom Eddy and Jarred Katz. Tom actually sang on two of our tracks on the first EP, and we wanted to keep working with him, when we first started out it was sort of just we didn’t know how to incorporate another musician into our show. It was more electronic leaning back then and instrumental, and honestly we had no idea what we were doing. Can’t be sure we even do now.

NT: You played some shows with the band Real Estate, who are a bit different musically. Were the audiences a little surprised at what type of music you were playing?

RJ: Yes haha, totally. It was our first time in Spain and we didn’t have enough money for Jarred to come play drums at the time, so we did it as an electronic duo. I think it worked, and the guys in Real Estate are great, but some of the audience was probably a bit confused.

NT: Wasn’t it only in the last few years that you guys actually started playing Electronica/Disco?

RJ: Essentially yes. I started becoming really into this style of music in like 2008, and Beat Connection was really my first band that wasn’t like a straight up high school garage band. A lot of our style comes out of DJing parties and whatnot, it all sort of feeds back into itself. We are starting to get more into djing again which has been fun, should be a good interim thing while we work on the next album and new live show.

NT: Which five albums should be in everyone’s collection?

RJ: Everyone’s gotta choose their own favorites, and there are too many to name, but lets start with:

The Avalanches – Since I left You

Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid, m.A.A.d City

The Beatles – Revolver

Talking Heads – Remain In Light

The Tough Alliance – A New Chance

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