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Words by Stephen Shelverton

Photography by Elizabeth Sharpe | @ummagummamumma

Arriving at The Brightside on another wet Friday night, I can’t help but quote Thelma Plum’s song The Brown Snake; “It’s always raining yeah, in the Sunshine State”.

Rain aside, I was pretty amped to interview one of my favourite new acts on the Brisbane scene; the highly energetically and artful Bean Magazine. Playing as first act on Grain’s SILO lineup with Girl & Girl, Obscura Hail, Underlay, and people mover.

Bean Magazine are the band on a setlist that turn a smouldering flame into a barnstorming bushfire in two songs. Tonight they had the challenge of the early bird slot at 7:30 pm, but they adopt the Einstein theory of ‘time is relative’, and a Bean show is a great frame of reference to be lost in.

Tonight, the Bean set had a few new tracks, with some of the popular tracks, Fire, Nobody Wore Shoes and Hoogiefest.  Frontman, Henry Creamer, hits the mic with the gusto of an enraged grunge idol from the 90’s, spraying an energy straight from the get go. The set is over within 35 minutes, the crowd has some new faces, all of which are in awe of what just occurred. 

Following their set, I had a chat with Bean Magazine; Henry Creamer (guitar and vocals), Gabrielle Beiers (drums), and Seb Baren (bass) to find out more about the band and what’s next on the horizon for the Brissie 3-piece.

The interview – Let me set the scene…It’s a poorly lit laneway, a squally wall of sleet spiralling down on us, as we wedge between the bonnet of a car, and a forlorn looking lamp post, no seats or comforts, my notes have big fat drops of rain dripping onto them from the guttering above. The scene is complete with the whirring sound of a Helicopter overhead, and the many hooligans on the street, love the atmosphere (Ben Fong-Torres eat your heart out).

GCL: In a band with a mere three years playing together, are you surprised at how well the sound has perfectly synched, combined with the traction and fan dedication you’ve gathered so far?
Gabi: I don’t know if I’d use the word perfectly! But I think being a bit rough is actually what we are about, and we’ve just got better as we’ve practised, particularly over the last few months.
Henry: It’s so nice just to see people come to our shows, particularly at 7:30pm, we got the Better Homes and Gardens slot, and we had so many people there; we’ve not had that many people before at such an early time slot, so that’s really positive stuff.

GCL: People were there distinctively to see you, not just by default either…
Henry: Yeah, that’s a really nice feeling.

GCL: Your fans are very loyal, normally taking off their shoes, and animated to that extent. (Although I was the only lunatic that did that tonight, We all laugh about this!) Is this an OG circle of friends, or have you seen that swell with each performance?
Seb: At the start of our shows, there was definitely a group of OG circle of friends, and there still are those friends that come along to all our shows, but it’s getting bigger and better each show, there are new faces, and more people getting into us, it’s a nice thing to see.
Henry: There were a lot more people there tonight I haven’t seen at our shows, so that’s super sweet to see.

GCL: Yeah, the last gig you played at The Brightside a few weeks back, you could tell there were some day one fans.
Henry: We have a mate called Gus, that comes to every show, and half way through our set list will always start chanting “One more song!” (we all laugh…) He has 6 kids; he doesn’t get out much!

GCL: The part where the audience takes off their shoes for the #24 in the 4ZZZ Hot 100 You must be pretty happy with this result?
Seb: Thank you! Yeah, we were super surprised, we were listening and we thought oh maybe we missed it, and then it came on, it was a lovely feeling.

GCL: There were some pretty big local acts there (we all start rattling off place getters): Girl & Girl, Radium Dolls, and Square Tugs with the #1 song- One Minute Love Song that’s some great company to be amongst.
Bean: Absolutely, yeah thanks… (To note: It was at this moment Security, moved us from our location due to the licensing requirements)
Seb: Interview on the move…

GCL: Nobody Wore Shoes is a unique experience. And those type of traditions tend to get bigger over time. It’s a bit more wholesome than the overdone call for a Shoey right? For those yet to see a Bean concert, how would you best describe your sound?
Henry: Like genre wise? I would say it’s like…. fun. I feel that’s the best way to describe it…. loud
Seb: And it’s loud…
Gabi: (Nodding) yep loud…fun
Henry: Yeah, it’s loud fun…. There’s moments of roughness and moments of softness.

GCL: Ooooh I like that, that’s good! What stands out to me is the collective individuality in the band. 3 distinct sounds and crafts, melding together. It’s not just Henry’s unique sweet rhythmic serenade and devil like guitar skills, its Gabi’s clean percussion, that’s built and timed, not thrashing, layering-in wonderfully, with a very bold full bass from Seb that is very much present to the front. All 3 work together, not against each other. It’s beautifully done. I think the best example of that is the first 15 seconds of ‘Hoogiefest’… (Of note: Seb, told me prior to the interview that being a three piece they really worked on having a bass presence to serve as a second guitar sound, not just as part of the rhythm)
Gabi: Yeah, that’s a fun song to play.
Henry: Seb wrote that one.

GCL:  The way that song goes from one, to the other, the other and then all in it together. Its brilliant. Was this the original goal, or it just happened this way?
Henry: It was pretty funny Seb was playing bass for that song, and Gab left the room for a moment, and I jumped on the drums for a second and starting experimenting…And then Gab came back and we said “Hey Gab play this play this.”
Seb: That was just a happy accident, we were just mucking around.

GCL: Well, it was a good one!
Gabi: Absolutely!
Henry: And then we sat around for maybe 20 minutes, trying to figure out what to play on guitar, and we were getting too complicated with it, then we just played one chord for the most of the song and it work well.

GCL: There are some anthemic vocal tracks in the catalogue, the type that rally crowd participation Fire, Juiceman, Hoogiefest, Nobody Wore Shoes. Then the heartfelt pondering of When I Get Older. I saw a post on your socials, someone said this song has helped them through “…A grieving time”. It’s poignant and reflective yet reassuring. Is the process for writing and composing the different styles in tracks different?
Henry: I think with the softer tracks and more reserved songs…the idea is more concrete, and the rockier ones,… they’re not really jam based, as we are not a jam band, but we come in and figure it out as we go. We talk about it, and construct it together as we go, and arrange it, how we feel it sounds good. And then if we play it… and if it flops…we try to rearrange it, and work out the moments in the song…
Seb: Or we just don’t touch it again.
Henry: Or we don’t touch it again, we leave it and never touch it again.
Gabi: Yeah.
Seb: We leave it the heck alone…respectfully!

GCL: 2024 is shaping up to be a big one for Bean, supporting Radium Dolls next week, and then Ball Park Music (at Great Southern Nights). I think the crowds are going to take big bites and subscribe to the Bean Magazine! You must be pretty pumped for that.
Henry: Fingers crossed.
Gabi: That would be nice.
Henry: It’d be nice to get out of Brisbane and show people what we are doing, and the Brisbane talent.
Gab: And that opportunity to play with BPM on a big stage at the Princess Theatre last year, was such a good experience, and to go back again will be great.
Seb: Ahhh the Princess, it was so gorgeous, from the architecture to the sound… it was beautiful. (Seb was truly smitten, the band laugh and say “Keep going, keep going Seb!”)

GCL: What’s next for the Bean following this show? There were a few new tracks tonight, that’s getting towards album length there…
Henry: I definitely think we’ve been playing like a bunch of songs that haven’t been released forever, so this year is all about releasing music.
Seb: We’ve got more than a few tracks in the pipeline.
Gabi: We are ready to go for a release yep.

GCL: Oh, great that answers that one. Can’t wait! Thank you for your time.

If you like what you’ve heard, you need to come out and enjoy the happy loud sounds of Bean Magazine at a show real soon!

BEAN MAGAZINE UPCOMING SHOWS

Friday 02 Feb | Radium Dolls w/ Bean Magazine, Fat Dog and The Tits @ Stranded Bar, Fortitude Valley – TICKETS HERE
Saturday 10th Feb | Mountain Goat Valley Crawl, Fortitude Valley – TICKETS HERE
Friday 15th March | Great Southern Nights w/ Ball Park Music @ Hotel Brunswick, Sydney – TICKETS HERE

FOLLOW BEAN MAGAZINE

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Thanks to Loamy Group Management

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