by Ashley Alongi and Melanie Cohen
This Friday, New Fund Beat opened the stage at the House of Blues, their first stop on their international tour with RDGLDGRN and Aer. We sat down with Burnie Baker (guitar/vocals), Snapz (bass), and Shelby (guitar) to discuss crowd surfing, their life on tour, and what exactly is G-Punk!
Five Cent Sound: So, how do you think the show went last night?
Burnie: You guys missed out set?
FCS: Yeah, we told you that last night!
Shelby: Well, we’re sorry you missed it. It was pretty awesome. It was a pretty fun show. It was really packed, obviously Aer’s hometown show. So, it was sold out, and it was a lot of kids there.
Snapz: The kids were going crazy, someone puked off the balcony so that’s always a good time.
Burnie: There were people up on shoulders.
Snapz: And the crowd was very energetic. Everyone was stoked. All the underage drinking, it was a pregame thing so by the time they saw our show. Fuck yeah. Freshly drunk people.
Shelby: Neatly drunk, not sloppy- they had the sway thing going.
Snapz: I think I saw a mini mosh at one point going around.
Burnie: A couple times.
FCS: Are you stage divers?
Burnie: We haven’t really had the chance for it yet, last night might have been a good night for it since it was pretty packed. But, when we can, yeah we fucking we’ll be surfing through the crowd. You’ll find your face planted up by our butt cheeks.
Snapz: It is funny though, whenever we go out in the crowd you always feel the reach around, the squeeze and cup on your butt cheek.
FCS: What is your favorite part about being on tour? I know this is your first stop of this tour, but you traveled with Blink 182 before for Warped Tour. Whats it like?
Shelby: I think its like everything.
Burnie: Obviously its like, the shows are the shit. That’s why we do this. But hanging out with our friends. traveling, meeting new people.
Shelby: We really travel and play shows- both are individually fun, you smash them together and you’ve just got a grood time.
Burnie: Shitty food. The shitty foods alright- free beer at venus.
Snapz: Free beer- and, interviews with you.
FCS: So, well you describe yourselves as G-Punk on Facebook. We looked it up a little, but what does it mean? How do you describe it to people who don’t know?
Snapz: Well, its a creative definition. by us. That’s probably why you couldn’t find it. It’s our own genre. Well its a derivative of G-Funk, a west coast hip hop movement from the 90’s. Like, Dr Dre and Snoop Dog and obviously we’re from California so like, SoCal punk rock, psychedelic rock from San Francisco and the Bay area and Los Angeles. It’s what we grew up on, it’s our blood. We kinda just take all that shit, smash it together and thats New Beat Fund. That’s G-Punk.
Burnie: G-punk, Beach Funk.
FCS: Haha I like that.
Snapz: If you wanna take it further ghost rock.
Burnie: G-Punk, beach funk, ghost rock, we just keep adding onto it.
Shelby: It’s a hierarchy, you start with G-Punk, then beach funk and ghost rock, We’ll just keep adding. Our genre is never finished. We’re adding on to it.
FCS: Where did the name come from? Have you always been New Beat Fund?
Snapz: New Beat Fund since day one. Yeah, a producer buddy of ours Matt Walliace he has the legendary Sound City Studios in Van Nuys- we would do extra production work, in times of need- there was a biggie bank
Burnie: “It was a jar that said ‘New Boat Fund’ on it and we etched out the ‘O’ and made it ‘New Beat Fund’.
Snapz: We were really bored in the studio one day and we made a makeshift three man water balloon launcher and we put the jar in there and launched it over to this corporate building and it exploded.
FCS: Did you break a window?
Burnie: Haha no, but it shattered the shit out of the piggy bank though. Then we took the ashes and baked them into some double fudge chocolate brownies and then we all ate them. That was our, inception.
FCS: A very poetic beginning. So you guys have been touring for a while now? What’s that been like?
Shelby: Our first tour was actually Warped Tour- last summer. So, we’ve been pretty solidly touring for like, seven months.
Burnie: Yeah, we hit South By South West, then we did some west coast run with our friends Night Rights then we hit Warped, then Blink 182, Noise Tour and now we’re here. Stoked.
FCS: Wow, that’s a pretty busy 7 months
Snapz: Yea, it’s been gnarly. And in our off months, we’re working on our new record.
Shelby: We’re just hermits in the studio. We’ve played about 100 shows last year. We’re probably gonna do more this year.
FCS: I think you should aim to beat that record.
Burnie: Yea, I think it’ll just happen.
Shelby: I don’t think we even need to aim. I think it’s lined up to happen. We’ll beat it by summer.
FCS: Did you ever think this was gonna happen? Did you start the band with the dream of touring or did it sorta just fall into place?
Burnie: Being in a band, yeah it is your dream. Playing shows and touring and sharing it with your friends and all of that. And so, fuck yea.
Snapz: I talked to somebody at the show last night, this dude, I’m pretty sure he was there for RDGLDGRN, but I think we stole him as a fan. But he was like, ‘So you guys you, like you made it. Like, you’re here. You’re playing these big shows and stuff.’ And I’m like, ‘What does that mean?’ And he says ‘Well I think like, you do something you love, so in my mind you made it.’ And there it is.
Burnie: That’s the right attitude.
Snapz: And then he bought a CD. He really dug us.
FCS: Yeah, you guys are at the great stage where you’re still hanging out at the merch table, talking to fans after shows.
Snapz: That’s what its about really, they’re the ones who enjoy our music and they’re the ones we do it for. That’s all that really matters to us.
FCS: How did you guys get singed to Red Bull’s label? What’s that been like for you?
Snapz: It all started with a man named Gabe, he heard us on LA’s KROQ’s local’s only and liked our sound. It was the local hour on Monday nights with Kat Corbett. So hommie Gabe heard it and put us in touch with this man named Chip Dragon.
FCS: Is that like a real person?
Burnie: Oh,he’s real as could be.
Snapz: We call him drags. dragon, drags, yea. See, I told you, we have nicknames for everybody. So he really dug it and he came from a similar musical background. And we just hit it off. We felt like it was a good home.
Shelby: It was a good fit for us and it seemed right. They’re a lovely family.
FCS: What do you think your proudest moment would be of this journey?
Burnie: So far? Up until this moment? I’m gonna say the most rewarding thing so far is is that the ($) Coinz EP was done in our houses and bedrooms and we’ve been playing this EP for almost 3 years. It’s on the radio, people love it, and it was truly done by us pretty innocently. Ya know? So I’m gonna say that’s probably the most rewarding thing for me personally- it still rocking, its still going and people still love it. It’s still going.
Snapz: It’s definitely a surprise.
FCS: Thats pretty incredible. And you were giving it away for free right?
Shelby: We do. If you come to a show. We’ve given away probably about 20,000 copies- now we’re starting to see if people will pay for it.
Snapz: It’s out there- its not hard to find. End of the day, we just want people to have it. As long as their listening.
Burnie: And we want people at the shows.
Snapz: We’re trying to build the live show into more of an experience. We’re an opener right now, so we’re in the beginnings stages of it. We’re trying to make the whole theme of our stage presence a psychadelic poster. Entering a new world you know. Our inner 6th grader with all those black light posters on the walls. As it continues it’ll be like, the shit.
Shelby: My room was decked out in black light posters in high school. God I was such a stoner.
Burnie: Yea… we smoked some weed. Some things never change.