Liz Stokes of The Beths
By Arpie Shirehorse
The Beths play Hamilton for the first time this weekend, along with Paul Cathro and Hamilton's own (and quite brilliant) Celebrity Death Hoax. HUP caught up with singer and main songwriter Liz Stokes ahead of the show at Nivara Lounge this coming Friday October 21st.
You’re coming to Hamilton! Have you played here before at all, in any of your other bands? Not with The Beths! I came to a gig at Nivara Lounge last year to watch my friend Chelsea Jade and Boycrush. I drank Waikato Draft and tried to get into the spirit.
What was the catalyst for starting The Beths? I play music semi-professionally, the trumpet, so I was playing a lot of music in different styles. But I turned 23 and realised I really wanted to play in a guitar band, playing the kind of music I listened to when I was a kid. We all already played together in Ivan (our drummer, AKA Sal Valentine)'s band. I managed to get everyone on board with a demo recording of Whatever.
We hear there’s an album in the making? What can you tell us about that – where are you recording/with who/when will it be out etc. There is! It is still very early stages. Jonathan Pearce (our guitarist) recorded the EP and he is doing the album too. He has a little studio on K road. Hopefully next year we will have it out.
What is your writing process typically? Is there one main songwriter or do you jam ideas and see what sticks, or something else? Usually I will bring in a demo of a song, very rough. Then as a group we will arrange the parts. The exceptions are the songs that Ivan has written, but the process there is the same.
What does 2017 hold in store for The Beths? Hopefully an album and a trip overseas. We are keen to get over to Australia and the USA, but flights for four don’t come cheap. We are saving up though.
What’s your favourite song to play live? 'Whatever'. All our friends know the words now, which make me grin like an idiot.
Current favourite NZ bands? I actually shouldn’t answer this, there isn't enough space. Kip McGrath, Ha the Unclear, Rackets, Sea Views, Wax Chattels, Street Chant, The Naenae Express, Hans Pucket, Maple Syrup, I could go on forever.
Which member of The Beths is…
- the sportiest?! Jonathan loves Cricket, does that count? (It counts double! - Ed)
- the best cook?! Ben (bassist) for sure. All he talks about is seasoning pans.
- most likely to get arrested? (and what for?) Probably Ivan and me, but I cant say why.
You can curate a show anywhere in the world with any three bands, dead or alive, and there’s only one thing to drink…who/where/what are we quaffing?! I guess it's Rilo Kiley, Pinegrove and…mid 2000s Fall Out Boy. We are on the roof of my apartment building, drinking Bloody Marys and complaining about the fact there is no elevator.