How did your brief stint in NYC shape who you are today? How did it influence your musical style?
It just made me appreciate California more than I ever had. I took it for granted because I grew up here and I never really knew what it was like to be away from it for longer than a few weeks at a time. I started listening to a lot of '60s music while I was there and dealing with homesickness, and I realized how nostalgic that music made me and how much I wanted to replicate it in the music I made myself.
So, is the West Coast the best coast?
In my opinion, yes.
Best Coast has been slapped with the '60s surf-rock/garage-rock label. Who were some of your influences while growing up in California?
The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Steely Dan, Fleetwood Mac, music my parents listened to. My dad is a musician, and my mom is like a free-spirited hippie artist, so music and art were huge in my family. It's like I can't remember a moment in time where there wasn't music playing in my house. It's just ingrained in who I am as a person and it always will be.
What's the hardest part about being female in this business?
People just talk about what you look like, how hot you are, how ugly you are, how fat or skinny you are. It's bullshit. In the end, it shouldn't matter what I look like, how I dress or what I weigh. If you like the music I make, then that is what should matter. Also, girl bands are always getting pinned up next to each other and being compared, and people are always trying to start drama between bands with females in them. It's so lame and boring. I just wish people would get over it all and start focusing on the music and less on the gossip.
How did Drew Barrymore end up directing "Our Deal?"
We met Drew at one of our shows in L.A., and she was a really huge fan. MTV approached her about working on a video with us, and she wanted to do it. She took time out of her own busy life to make this video, and for that, I will always, always love her. She made an incredible piece of art to put with our song, and we owe her so much.
It has that "Warriors" feel. What was the inspiration behind that video?
Well, Drew wrote and directed the entire thing. I didn't have anything to do with it besides that it was my song being put to her ideas. When I wrote "Her Treatment," I knew that it was something we needed to do. It was just such a strong story for such a strong song, and it was just too beautiful to pass up.
The music industry has changed so much over the past decade. How do you think it will change in the next five to 10 years?
I have no idea. I mean, I guess if anything, the Internet will just play an even bigger role in music and in the way bands gets recognized and popular these days. It's so easy to just put your songs online and have people listen to them. It wasn't like that 10 years ago. So much has changed in the world because of the Internet.
Your lyrics revolve around love and relationships. Is it all from real-life experience?
Yep. I write really person lyrics. That's just what I do. It's how I've always been as a writer. I believe that the more personal a song is, the more relatable it is to the listener. I want my fans to understand what I've been through and I want them to think, "Whoa, Bethany has been through this, too," and for it to give them faith that shit gets easier and sometimes it doesn't. I just write about what is real.
There are so many bands coming and going. Do you think it will be a challenge to attain longevity in such a fickle market?
No idea. I don't really think about things in that sense. I just love making music, and I love playing it so I hope it can ride this wave as long as possible.
What does the music you make mean to you on a personal level?
It helps me get through stuff. It's like therapy to me. It's easier for me to put how I'm feeling into a song than it is to tell someone to his or her face, "Hey you make me feel this way." So, if anything, this music helps me move on and grow from things in life. My music is extremely personal. It's not sugar-coated. It's 100 percent real.