Interview: Tom Mitchell Of BEACH PANIC! On Their New Single ‘Dance ‘Till Your Feet Bleed’ + Upcoming EP ‘Ride The Tiger’

Interview by Shannon-Lee Sloane – The Colourful Writer.

I get REALLY excited when I discover a new band that is just so gosh darn good, I immediately become a fan and play their songs over and over again on loop. This has just happened to me with the new surf punk art project that is, BEACH PANIC! This new creative project is made up of two parts Belle Haven, one of Melbourne’s biggest post-hardcore bands, Tom Mitchell and Daniel Marinakis and one part visual artist and all round creative talent, Yannica Stakelbeck-Keily . AKA – Daddy Long Legs, Dr. M Flamingo and Tequila Sunrise. This team up has proved to be something quite magical with all three members being extremely multi-talented with their music, art and more. Sometimes the universe just gets shit right and BEACH PANIC! are just so right!

They have just released a new single Dance ‘Till Your Feet Bleed (which is SO catchy – it has been stuck in my head for days!) along with a new video (the video was released yesterday which was after the interview took place). This is the second track from their upcoming EP ‘Ride The Tiger’ due out in September. I got to chat to vocalist and bass player, Tom Mitchell about all this and more!

So BEACH PANIC! is a fairly new creative and musical venture for you, how did it all come about?

“So originally, Marra (Dr Flamingo) and I we are playing in a band called Belle Haven that we’ve been doing for like 7 years or more. We absolutely love it but as time goes along your musical taste broadens. You want to try new things and you have lots of ideas that you want to express in different ways, so we were like, ‘we have got to try something else!’ We had a few ideas for different projects and then it was Marra’s partner Yannica (Tequila Sunrise) who came up with the name BEACH PANIC! And we were just like ‘YES!’ I think even the name gave us more direction in what we wanted to do musically. Along with the bands we were listening to and the vibe we were feeling really strongly at that time, like beach hangs, just kind of encapsulated that when she said that name and we were like ‘that’s the one!’ and we wanted to try and also add a more artistic element to it as well, having a member who is actually an artist rather than a musician just kind of really brought the whole thing together.”

On your Facebook page it states somewhere that you guys are a ‘Surf Punk Art Project’ – I have noticed a bit of a re surge in surf punk lately. I love the ‘good time’, light hearted, fun vibe from this genre. I think the world needs more of that; don’t you think?

“That’s it, 100%, definitely. I think we didn’t really notice a cultural shift in the kind of music coming back, I think it’s just a happy accident that we kind of started being into that at the same sort of time. But yeah, we definitely wanted to do something that was good vibes all round. Just like jangly guitars that make you feel good, feels a bit summery, songs about a bit more positive stuff than what we have played in the past. We kind of wanted to embrace that side of ourselves a bit more and just bring a fun, relaxed but upbeat fast paced surf vibe back a bit.”

So what’s it like playing surf punk in comparison to post-hardcore?

“It is like, a lot sort of ahhh, you don’t run out of breath as quickly that’s for sure! *laughs* It’s really fun. We absolutely love the music we play in Belle Haven and we will continue to do that for sure. But like, it is just like another side of yourself. It’s like ‘Man, I love eating Italian food, but man I feel like Thai tonight’ and you just kind of want to try that sometimes. You know, if you’re an artist, you don’t want to paint the same picture all the time, you want to kind of see what else you can explore. That’s it you know, we are into electronic music, we are into hip hop, classical, we will play a show tune every now and again – this is just another side of us that we want to explore.”

Where do you think that stems from for you, that broad taste in music? Was it something you were brought up with? Or did it come naturally to you?

“Actually no, I reckon growing up, I was definitely exposed to awesome old school rock records from my Dad, but when you’re growing up, I don’t know, for me, I kind of didn’t really like my parents music, I thought it was lame. So, like I thought I had to not like it, I am not sure why that was. I think maybe they played the same James Taylor record too many times! Then growing up in high school I was pretty much listening to punk and metal all the time. But yeah, I think you just get to a point where I don’t know what changes, it is just growing up. Hormonally I just needed to like, oh my ears wanted to hear this, and something chemically changed, and I am into it now, I don’t know what that is. Probably just maturing I guess *laughs*”

You guys have got some fun and quirky nicknames which you mentioned before, where did they come from?

“I think we just needed to have a holistic approach to doing a project. It’s like you want to show a new side of yourself musically, artistically and you know a good way to do that is to be like these are our personas, these are our characters and we need to play those parts. Not in the sense of we are acting or something, just like it’s a good way to immerse yourself in what you are doing if you have a bit of a persona that you become when you play that music or you create that scene.”

You’ve just dropped a hot new single, Dance ‘Till Your Feet Bleed – it’s an awesome track, who wrote this one, was it a collaboration? can you tell me some more about the track?

“Yeah we collaborate on everything together. I think I came up with the initial idea and then we worked on it together and then I wrote the lyrics and it came together really fast this one. I think it was the first one we actually demoed. It was like when we were first starting to write music, we were like yep, this is the first BEACH PANIC! song, it had that riff at the start that is nice and simple, it felt right. Then the lyrics came together like pretty much straight away, a train of thought kind of moment. We tweaked a few things and the whole thing was done in an hour or two.”

The single before this one, was Tsunami Of Love which also has a really cool video to go along with it. Whose concept was that for this clip, did Yannica have some input on this, being your in house visual artist?

“That particular video, not really. That was kind of mine and Marra’s kind of vision. Yannica was actually in Germany at the time when we made that one. She has been doing all the artwork that you have seen and helping us out with things, she made us these cool jackets and things. That particular video was just our baby, we pretty much built it as we went along. Marra shot the video with the green screen, he is a very talented videographer, and then we were just like ‘what shall we put behind us?’ and it was just an amalgamation of different random things that kind of felt right and Marra did his magic and that was that.”

That is so awesome that Marra can do the videos too, you guys almost don’t need to outsource at all, you can do everything between you and all your talents!

“It’s a super dooper DIY project, we do a lot of our recording and demoing in house too. I work as a producer of music so we can do a lot of it ourselves. The songs you’ve heard we recorded with our friend Chris from Belle Haven who is an incredibly talented producer and audio engineer. He has helped us out. But once again, he is one of our mates so it has been a DIY thing.”

Your EP, ‘Ride The Tiger’ will be out in September. How’s things going with that?

“It is going very well, it has been an extremely fun and cruisy process to write it, record it, we have had some help with some PR to get it out there. It has all come together pretty well and we are super happy with it and can’t wait for people to hear it!”

Do you have an actual release date yet? Or just going with September for now?

“It is going to be September 20th

Album artwork by Yannica Stakelbeck-Keily – Tequila Sunrise.

Very exciting! Can’t wait to hear it!  – Just before the release, you have a show in Melbourne with Redhook, Terra and Suburban. You must be looking forward to that one, is that your first live performance as BEACH PANIC!?

“It sure is. It is going to be our first show, so if you want to come and see us play live, which we are very excited to do, which will be a new experience for everyone involved including us, then please come along if you’re in Melbourne”

I don’t think I will be in Melbourne on that date unfortunately, I am based in Brisbane, which brings me to my next question, are you guys planning to come to Brisbane anytime soon? Because I totally reckon you should!

“Yeah we reckon we should too! Anything is possible. Nothing is set in stone just yet. We are working out what’s to come in the near future for us. But I am sure we will be there soon enough.”

My final question. Who or what inspires you with your music and your art? It could be other bands or musicians, people in your life, things…

“That’s a really good question, I think it’s a combination of things. I think firstly, with something that inspires you to do it yourself, I think you need to take a long hard look at what you want in life and what it is that gives you drive and I think for me and the other guys in the band, it is just like, there is nothing else you want to be doing more. It is just like you know that as much as you need to eat as much as you need to sleep you also just need to be creating things and I think for us a big part of that is music. It’s what I have done since I was 14 years old, I just need to always be doing it in some form or another. In  the sense of BEACH PANIC!, we have been super inspired by the music of the 60’s and 70’s. Modern bands like The Strokes or the Arctic Monkeys that have a bit of that sound but have made it their own thing in the 2000’s plus. There is just something about a throwback and something about making it your own and putting your own individuality to it. Testing yourself artistically and trying to outdo yourself and being like ‘hey, does this work? does this sound good? does it get stuck in your head? it is almost like, for lack of a better term, a drug that you just need to try and you are like ‘I want to try that I want to see what it can do!’ – In the healthiest form I mean.”

BEACH PANIC! released a video for their new single Dance ‘Till Your Feet Bleed yesterday AND the EP is out on September 20! Good Call Live highly recommends you check out some BEACH PANIC! and get along to their first show in Melbourne if you can. Fingers crossed they play Brisbane and Gold Coast soon too because I am quite sure we will be in for a really good time!

You can catch BEACH PANIC! on September 14 at The Workers Club in Melbourne with Redhook, Terra and Suburban. Tickets HERE.

Follow BEACH PANIC! on Facebook HERE.

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