The psychedelic rock band Jeff Beam’s Loudspeaker Wallpaper — which also includes Sam Peisner, Scott Nebel, Jacob Wolk and Cam Jones — is set to release a self-titled album of live-in-the-studio tracks recorded in Maine musician Dominic Lavoie’s studio. The songs were previously released on Beam’s 2012 “Be Your Own Mirror” and 2009’s “Portraits of Poor Traits.”
The CD is available at jeffbeammusic.com, and rumor has it that there will also be cassettes available. GO recently caught up with Beam, who is originally from Greene.
First off, where does the name “Loudspeaker Wallpaper” come from?
In the late 1960s, The Beatles hired a mad scientist named Magic Alex to head the electronics department at Apple Records. He claimed that he was a gifted inventor, and he promised them that he would create fantastic new musical concoctions: A 72-track recording studio, a soundproof force field around the drum kit, and loudspeaker wallpaper, in which wallpaper would double as a stereo system.
Needless to say, Magic Alex … never actually built anything useful for the band. But I still want loudspeaker wallpaper. Don’t you?
When did you first become interested in psychedelic rock?
Jimi Hendrix was my gateway to psychedelic rock, and I discovered him around the age of 10. From there, I began to appreciate the psychedelic sounds of The Beatles’ late catalog.
In high school, the band Olivia Tremor Control introduced me to the idea of combining catchy melodies with sound collages and tape loops in a “home recording” kind of vibe. I also enjoy plenty of bands from other genres who only have a few moments of psychedelia scattered throughout their music. Spoon and Radiohead come to mind.
Do you think there are misconceptions about the term “psychedelic rock?” How do you personally like to define it?
I think a lot of people simply don’t know what to think when they hear the term “psychedelic music.” To me, psychedelic music is any music that has a mind-bending quality or has the ability to change the listener’s existential perspective. I think there’s also a particular aesthetic quality about psychedelic music in its production and instrumentation; the sounds are generally pretty colorful and they swirl around, conjuring kind of a spacey and otherworldly sound.
I generally like psych music that has interesting or thoughtful song/chord structures, or stuff that attempts to take the production or instrumentation in a new direction. My main complaint with many modern psych bands is that they sound more like revival acts than trying to expand the umbrella of psychedelia. I don’t think we’re psychedelic in the purely traditional sense, but we’re trying to bring something new to the table.
What’s the song “Successful People Who Never Existed” about? How about “Noctilucent?”
The title “Successful People Who Never Existed” was lifted from a news story I saw about identities created for nonexistent people, and how some of these nonexistent people have faked their way through life and amassed college degrees, created works of art and achieved other notable accolades. But the actual song is more about how people tend to get stuck in the material world and become a bit numb to the bigger picture in life.
“Noctilucent” is a kind of mysterious cloud, and I wrote the song about five years ago. It’s about finally breaking free from a relentless cycle.
Staff Writer Aimsel Ponti can be contacted at 791-6455 or at: