Checking In With Beats Antique at Electric Forest

Beats Antique have made quite the name for themselves. We sat down with David Satori of the group to check on what they have been up to, what the forest means to them, and what the crew is most excited about this summer.

How is it that you guys are always closing out the festival?

David: Maybe the festival likes it that way. We’re not in charge of who plays at what time, but we’re honored to do it. Everyone comes in smooth and relaxed that way. It’s a really fun crowd to play for because they’re ready for it.

What does the Forest mean to you?

David: The Forest means adventure and finding new possibilities and friends and new music, that’s the exciting thing about it.

Has anything you’ve created been born from the Forest and the experiences there?

David: Last time we closed Sherwood Court, we had a marching band that was made up of people who auditioned and were attending Electric Forest. That was a really unique experience, getting all of these ex-college players who haven’t played in a while getting together to practice and play music again.

Do you do something like that often?

David: That was the first time.

Will you do it again?

David: Yeah, we’d really like to. It didn’t work out this year, but hopefully we’ll get to do it again.

It’s the 10 year anniversary of Beats Antique this year, correct? Your new album is celebrating that?

David: Yeah, well, that’s sort of when Beats Antique started. We only started touring in 2009, but we started working on our first album in 2006, so this is the 10 year anniversary of us being together with our brand new album. It’s a rejuvenation of our old sound, so we’re excited to get the new album out. It was 2014 when our last one came out so it’s been about 2 years since we had something out.

Was the album specifically for the anniversary, or did it just happen to fall on an important year?

David: It just happened that way.

What has influenced your direction to go back to your roots?

David: I think we explored a lot of different sounds and we still have a lot of those sounds in us. We’re always exploring, we never want to stop, so it feels fitting that we would go back to something we really loved and something we haven’t explored in a while. Our new single “Killer Bee” touches on some of that sort of funky hip-hop groove we’ve got going on.

How did you guys all get together?

David: It’s sort of a weird story. Zoe, our main dancer/lead singer was in a famous belly dancing company, and the guy who started it was a guy named Miles Copeland. Miles Copeland was a huge influential manager and record producer. He started The Police and I think R.E.M. was on his label for a while. He was a super influential rock producer and he asked Beats Antique to make an album, but we weren’t even Beats Antique we were two producers that knew Zoe. And so we made a sketch album and he liked it, so we made two albums for him and then those got out and people liked it. So, we had to make a show out of it.

What were you working on before you created Beats Antique?

David: Zoe and Tommy were in a band called the Yard Dogs Roadshow who actually played the first Electric Forest back when it was Rothbury. So they were the original members of that, and then after a while they took a break and Beats Antique started. I was in an Afro-beat band called Aphrodesia which was on the west coast and we toured a little but not much…yeah.

At what moment during your career with Beats Antique did you step back and think “Wow, we’re doing something crazy here?”

David: I’d say the past two years. Once you take a step back from making an album every year you look at your whole life like “Whoa, what have I been doing the past 7 years?!” It’s amazing that we’ve come this far and developed a fan base like this. We’re really honored psyched and humbled to be where we are. Don’t take anything for granted because you never know what’s going to happen.

Are there any milestones you haven’t hit yet? Something you really strive to do?

David: It’s coming up — Red Rocks. Headlining for our first time, so that’s a big one, that’s huge. We’ve played it a lot but never headlined so we’re excited to do that.

Do you love playing in Colorado or is it the venue you’re most excited for?

David: Colorado has its own beautiful scene going on. It’s high energy people and lots of music fans and people who love going out and experiencing life, there’s just a high energy level. People go hard, it’s amazing the support that’s in Colorado. There are scenes like that all over the country but Colorado seems like one of the pinnacle scenes where it’s full on.

Where are your biggest fans?

David: The West Coast is like our home, we’re from the Bay Area, so there… Seattle is a big place for us, too, Oregon as well. Just the whole of the West, that’s where our original family is from. We’ve been so lucky to develop a fan base all over the country and all over the world, even. We’ve been to Australia, Canada, we went all over Europe last year and were just amazed by the fans. We went to Italy and played this small little town and there were almost a thousand people there; some even came from Rome, it was amazing.

Thanks so much for chatting with is today. 

David: Thank you.

Of course, as per usual, Beats Antique killed it at their set closing out Electric Forest 2016. The Jubilee Stage was overflowing with those laid back and relaxed fans for which David was so excited. The entire spectacle was worth staying in the Forest for the long haul on the final day of this memorable festival. We can’t wait to see what Beats Antique will continue to come up with. Their national (and international) fan base only continues to grow as they do.

Ashley Cizek

Went to school at UW-Madison, graduating with a BA in psychology. I hula-hoop, I write, I enjoy sunlight.

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