Attention music lovers- we’ve got a great local find for you. Luck conspired to bring these working musicians together in Southern California beach towns, mixing those coming from well known bands such as Lifehouse and Freedom Fry to create a personal sound that has been in the works of their souls for many years. Thus, LOST BEACH was born, and named after group instigator Jonny Perdue (whose surname translates to “lost” in French), along with the environment that brought them together. Vocalist and guitarist Perdue takes the lead in determining the band’s direction, and co-producer Steve Stout (Lifehouse lead guitarist) also plays a huge role in their sound choices.
These guys take their music seriously - it’s clear that there is so much intention behind every bit of their sound. The leading riff of their most played track, “Famous for Foolin'”, lulls you right in to this relaxed beach vibe with an underlying energy that builds into the releases indie rock is known for. Last month they released their only cover, which is a fascinating interpretation of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance”. You’re right to be surprised that Gaga is the artist who inspired a LOST BEACH cover, there’s more on that below. Their full EP is available on Spotify now, and you should definitely give it a listen. We got to see LOST BEACH live over the holidays, performing a well curated set at Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach. Check out the full interview below!
TH: Can you tell us about the band itself and how you guys met?
Jonny: Yeah, it kind of started out I was doing a solo thing under my, name and we actually played as hired guys in two other entities. One was called Freedom Fry and the other was called Blondfire. Steve was playing guitar in Blondfire and I was playing bass in Freedom Fry. It just so happens that the leader singer for Freedom Fry, his sister is the lead singer in Blondfire. He got married what, 5 years ago or so. And we met at the wedding- because we didn’t know anyone else. We were both told to play acoustic for the wedding but we both didn’t know the other was playing--
Steve: Yeah in the reception- I practiced so much. I was like “I thought this was my gig!” [laughs]
Jonny: And we just hit it off from there. We hung out that whole night because we were kind of the only ones that knew each other. And from there we’ve just been keeping the dialogue and we eventually started this thing called LOST BEACH. This thing only really started a year and a half ago and we’ve really been pushing it ever since.
(Left to right: Steve Stout, Jonny Perdue, Zacc West)
TH: So should we do a intro really quick?
Zacc West: My name’s Zacc I lost my voice, I play bass and do harmonies, believe it or not. [laughter]
Steve Stout: I’m Steve, I play guitar and do some singing. Me and the next guy here [Jonny] co-produce and mix and master all these songs.
Jonny Perdue: I’m Jonny, I sing and play guitar for Lost Beach.
TH: How did you guys meet?
Zacc: I met Jonny here actually, we used to work here at Saint Rocke. And we’ve been in bands growing up and our paths crossed here.
Jonny: We were looking to puzzle this thing together and he was just one of the players I always had in the back of my mind for having a good spot for. We’re all multi-instrumentalists and having another asset like that to where if he needs to play keys or sing or play guitar, we can do that. It’s just great having a bunch of assets in the band like that.
Steve: Zacc’s a better singer than all of us, so it helps.
TH: You all have been in different bands before. Did the genre change at all?
Steve: I would say so, I still remember we were playing in bands where we were like, “Man I really like this music, it’s close to what I really really like, but it’s quite not there. And we were both on different sides of maybe what that middle-through line was of what I guess this has turned into, and that was probably one of the biggest reasons why we started.
Jonny: Yeah, I think our genre has shifted from the start. It’s definitely evolved. It was pretty straight ahead rock’n’roll early on, and we’ve managed to bring in all the other elements of the things we like to get to where it is now, where we’ll be along this thing for the longevity of it. We’re open to shapeshifting as long as it stays within us and it’s something we love.
TH: What’s your ultimate goal with what you want to achieve, that you haven’t in previous groups?
Jonny: I think stability. Being able to do just this and having our own thing ourselves. We’ve been hired guys for so long that having something of our own has been the main goal. And getting to a point to sustain ourselves. That’s all I could really ask for. Everything else is the cherry on the cake.
Steve: We already have some of the pieces people don’t really get for a long time. We have two studios that we work in that are kind of ours, and we don’t need anyone else to produce or mix, we just do it all ourselves. The clubhouse element is already there- that end goal- so just getting it funded to do that full time is definitely the goal.
TH: What is your creative process like when you write a song?
Jonny: It varies. Someone brings an idea into a room and then it blooms from there. Every idea is welcome. We always will suss an idea out until we feel like it’s great, and we can continue to indulge, or if we decide it’s time to move on but everyone has a fair shot in bringing something to the table. It works for the band.
Steve: We’ve been working on a record that’s gonna come out early next year, and when we started just due to time limitations we did what everybody else does where you get drums going and you get some other instruments and write to that track. But we’ve been trying to make a really conscious effort with this record to just start these songs with a bunch of us in the room and not have a click track going. A couple of these tunes have started by coming up with riffs together in the room and trying to be as ‘70s approach’ to it as possible- even though it takes a lot more time we found out- the reward of knowing that listening back is so worth it.
Jonny: Yeah you can’t do a lot of changing after the fact. You live with these moments. You grow to love them or hate them.
TH: Often musicians record something, and then change it up and it becomes completely different than when they first started. How many creative accidents do you typically have until you’ve arrived at a song?
Jonny: It feels like it happens seasonal in a way. We’ll have a run of songs that really challenge us, and then we’ll have one that just pops out. It’s knowing that it doesn’t always happen that easily, and knowing you’ll have to fight through some of these. And it’s also really rewarding when you do fight through it and you’re get to a place where you’re really glad that you stuck with it.
Steve: We’ve done records with friends and it’s been so cool to listen back to the records of these bands. I feel like I know what the room sounds like in there now, with those drums, and it’s like “hell yeah”. That’s ours! No one else has that. It’s fun to get those quirkinesses in there without just producing the hell out of it.
TH: You mentioned that you are all multi-instrumental musicians. Are you all playing your favorite instrument
Steve: Everybody but Zacc [laughs]
Zacc: I sing and play guitar mostly, and keys. I finally gravitated towards guitar and vocals, but in this band Jonny kinda asked me are you willing to play bass. As a guitar player you think it’s like a demotion but at the same time I love Jonny so I said yea let’s do it. I picked up the bass and it’s been a lot of fun. It’s been really fun for me to take that approach and I’m super stoked to do that.
TH: What do you usually start with in creating your songs? Harmony, lyrics?
Jonny: It’s always a guitar figure that starts with us.
TH: So it’s music first?
Jonny: Yeah. We phonetically get through it, speaking gibberish to find a melody, and then formulating from there. I’ve always wondered who those writers are that write the song and then put music to it. I feel like that’s something Paul Simon would do.
Steve: I play more guitar than I read. I feel like if it was the opposite than maybe songs would start the other way around.
TH: Favorite musical inspirations?
Zacc: I’m such a mutt. I grew up here. I’m a big sucker for harmonies. I love old country, punk rock, blues, metal too.
TH: If you could sit down with one artist, who would you pick?
Zacc: Jeez, that’s so hard. I really don’t know. I’m a sucker for harmonies, lap steel, anything groovy that gives you goosebumps.
TH: Okay different scenario. If you can pick two artists only, which one would you go out with for one night to have a blast, and which one you would be roommates with?
Steve: Probably none of them [all laughing]
Jonny: I would wanna go out with Keith [Richards] and be roommates with somebody like Willie Nelson.
Steve: I would hang out with Rod Stewart. That dude seems like he’s out of his mind. I love that guy lately. Willie Nelson is hard to beat...but I would be roommates with whoever has the coolest house. Not sure who that would be. Paul McCartney would be a good roommate!
Zacc: Maybe go out with Tim Armstrong from Rancid, and be roommates with Lionel Richie.
TH: How do platforms like TH help you with your career to be heard and seen?
Steve: I think these new platforms that independent bands like us have access to, and for artists that have been doing the professional musician thing for a while, platforms like Talenthouse provide the opportunities and new pathways to stand ANY chances in doing this. We post a ton to IG and when we produce these tunes, it’s fun to share our process. Being able to reach people at different levels of where they’re at...people creating remixes together is awesome. We’re huge fans of young independent artists and we’ve used a couple for most of our releases and we’re just fans of all of that.
TH: Any tips for aspiring musicians?
Jonny: I think there’s a sense of being patient and waiting until you’re doing the kind of art you feel is something you’re going to be doing for a long time. Don’t rush it, just be patient with it. And when it comes, be ready for it to be a love-hate relationship and to make a lot of sacrifices.
Zacc: Just don’t wait for things to fall in your lap. Those things are going to happen when you go out and do the work. Don’t wait around. I’m lucky to be a part of these guys’ work ethic because they do most of it all. I’m just waiting for the call like - “Did we win a grammy yet?” [laughter]
TH: Can you tell us about your new single?
Jonny: “Bad Romance” is first cover we’ve ever done as a band. We’re really excited about it. We wanted to do something that was going to totally challenge our sensibility on things. Obviously [Gaga] is not somebody who’s similar to our type of music at all. I was thinking- what’s the farthest thing? It was a really fun project to do. We’re really excited it came out. It’s like our Beatles 60s prom take on it. Totally different. Check it out!
Zacc: But your fashion sense is the same
Jonny: Yeah we do wear the same clothes..
Steve: He’s actually got a full meat suit [joking]
TH: How can people find you guys?
Steve: Spotify is the best place to go and Instagram is the most informative. @lostbeachmusic on IG. LOST BEACH on Spotify. Those are definitely the two places we constantly post. We also just had 2 singles recently, and one was with the first video we did. We had a lot of fun doing it.
Jonny: Our second video we just shot performing at KABOO, it was our first major festival. It was for our single “Club Soda”, and the video’s following us around the festival while we were there, alongside some of our heros like Tom Petty & the Wildflowers. That’s pretty cool to check out too.
If you’re in the Los Angeles area, you can catch LOST BEACH performing next at the Moroccan Lounge January 18th. And of course, you can check them out anytime on Spotify!