Relentless Beats

RB Exclusive Interview: The Antics of Beats Antique

If you haven’t yet heard of Beats Antique, you’re in for a treat. Known for their fascinating culmination of different genres and influences of different music–including Middle Eastern belly dance music, afro-beat, hip-hop, and electronic music–the trio has solidified themselves a unique position in the electronic music scene.  Comprised of members Zoe, David, and Tommy ‘Sidecar’, the eccentric duo is also known for their elaborate set design, costuming, and dancing.

This year at Phoenix Lights, we will get to experience something that is sure to be a highlight of a high-octane weekend: a DJ set from Beats Antique. We had a chance to speak with the band ahead of their upcoming performance. Check it out!


 You guys have a captivating dynamic. How did you guys find each other; how was your group was formed?

Tommy – A dark night in Oakland, over a decade ago, in a warehouse known as the Vulcan, we smashed together acoustic instruments with beats – all in the spirit of performance art and dance.

As a diverse, multi-genre group, how do you feel about the idea of genres? Do you think they are merely labels that don’t need to exist or important categories that help people find and enjoy your music?

Tommy – Genres are made-up explanations of influences that become widely used as descriptive ways of getting excited about hearing something that you feel compelled to hear.  We support them and both gratify them and defy them.  They aren’t laws so breaking them shouldn’t cause too much civil unrest. 

Thinking about the various sounds within EDM, if you were to collaborate with an artist outside your own genre(s), who would it be?

Tommy – The ghosts of all past musical shaman of all walks.

You’ve become known for your lively performances. What three words most accurately define the experience of a Beats Antique performance?

David – celebratory, dramatic, Booty Shakin’ 

What kind of stories do you like to tell with your shows and music?  How do set design and costuming play a role in that?

David – we like to tell all sorts of stories. We have followed the Hero’s Journey through the Underworld. We have embodied our spirit animals with our audience and done large-scale future ceremonial mashup hoe downs. We have slayed giant dragons and battled cyclops kittens. Set design and the costumes paint the setting for our shenanigans to come to life. It’s very important to set a certain mood and feeling with the costume and set design. 

After more than a decade of being Beats Antique, what have been some of your favorite stories or experiences along the way?

David – We are honored that we get to make music and put on shows for a living. It’s been a long journey with so many stories. We adopted an alien on the road named Bebot. He was pink and from a thrift store. He spoke to us in an alien language but we eventually learned how to communicate. 

What can we expect from Beats Antique at Phoenix Lights?

David- Aliens to land. We are doing a DJ set so it will not be our big performance set. This one will be more about the crowd getting down. 

Tommy- A transmitted communication with the light beings in the sky and among us on the surface.  Low rumbles and pulsating codes embedded for the purpose of moving the body abnormally.


You can catch Beats Antique at the Invasion stage on Saturday, April 7th. Get more info and tickets here.

Connect With Beats Antique: Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

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