California Dreaming: An Interview with Best Coast

After a successful 2015, California-based indie duo Best Coast starts off the year by sharing the stage with their surf pop colleagues in Wavves on the “Summer Is Forever II” Tour. While Best Coast and Wavves have been closely connected together within their respected scenes over the years, “Summer Is Forever” is actually a tour package that was originally crafted by these two groups back in 2011.

Now that Wavves and Best Coast have matured personally and musically since the first rendition of “Summer Is Forever,” guitarist and vocalist Bethany Cosentino is excited to revisit this colossal event—especially since they’re both at the height of their musical career. Attracting fans with an extravagant wrestling-themed poster to get everyone excited for these fun-filled shows, it’s guaranteed that listeners are going to be in for a unique event filled with live music amongst the company of tight-knit friends.

About a month before Best Coast embarked on the “Summer Is Forever II” Tour, I had the chance to briefly chat with Cosentino and talk about the band’s history with Wavves, continuing the touring cycle for their third studio album, California Nights, as well as her personal goals and aspirations for 2016.

Pretty soon, Best Coast will be starting a February tour with Wavves hailed as “Summer Is Forever II.” How did the idea for this tour come about?

[Wavves guitarist and frontman] Nathan Williams and I were just kind of talking one day about touring and I had said that…we were thinking that we wanted to do a tour this year that was like, a packaged tour. We wanted to tour with bands that we really like and respect, and you know, I couldn’t think of anyone better than Wavves for a number of reasons.

So, Nathan and I were into the idea and, having done it five years ago, it just seems like a cool thing to revisit. We both put out records last year that, to me, feel like the strongest records that either of us put out. It’s kind of a way to introduce the new wave of Best Coast fans, and maybe some younger fans who didn’t get to go to the tour five years ago—to sort of do it again, and for them to get to experience it.      And also just to revisit something that we did five years ago, and kind of approach it this way where I think everybody is a lot more grown up and is a little bit more together, I’d say. But yeah, I think it will be really fun and I’m looking forward to it, for sure.

I know Best Coast and Wavves have a long history together, and it’s pretty clear that you’ve been closely linked together over the years in your respected scenes. Is this tour the first time in a while you’ve had the opportunity to share the stage with Wavves?

Yeah, I mean, we haven’t really played too many shows together minus the tour that we did, the first “Summer Is Forever” Tour, so I think it makes a lot of sense. We have a lot of the same fans, and the demographic is similar across the board.

But I think it’s also cool because there are a lot of people who are into Wavves that maybe don’t know Best Coast or vice versa, so I think that it will just be cool to support one another and to also introduce people that might be familiar with his music [Wavves] who may not be too familiar with our music.

Just to do that, and to go out on tour together and not have to spend a month apart from each other like, on separate tours, and also get to take out a band like Cherry Glazerr, who are young and are doing something really cool. We’d get to bring them on to play bigger-sized venues that they haven’t got the chance to play. We’re really psyched to bring them as well, and I think all across the board, it seems like it’s going to be a really cool tour, for sure.

Definitely! Since you’re going to be playing in a lot of major cities and venues on this tour, do you anticipate for these dates to have a huge turnout?

I mean, I try to go into every tour kind of with… not low expectations, but I try to not have crazy expectations about anything. But I do think the reception to when we announced the tour—seeing that are shows that are sold out and they’ve added a second show because of popular demand and stuff—it’s a really cool thing to see. I think that for the most part, all of the shows will probably be pretty cool, and the crowd will be excited.

We wanted to make this not just a show, but an event for people to come to, which is sort of why we had the tour poster be kind of wrestling-themed and to sort of look like a wrestling event. We just want people to be accepted and feel like they’d get to go and experience an awesome night of music in whatever town they get to come see it in.

Very cool! I really do admire the wrestling-themed poster drawn up for the tour. Now, how do you think this year’s tour will be different this time around? Are there any on-stage surprises that you have in store for each night?

I don’t think we really have anything like that planned, but you know, I’m not going to say that something cool like that won’t happen. I just think that we really want to make this a really fun and awesome tour. So, if doing something special or doing something like that seems appropriate or organic, then I’m sure nobody will be against trying it out. But no, we haven’t really brainstormed any crazy things yet. I don’t know, we’ll see because we have a lot of time until then.

Totally! Either way, the shows should be a lot of fun. Now, there’s no question that your latest record, California Nights, had a huge reception in 2015. How does it feel to start 2016 on a strong note by continuing forward with this record’s touring cycle?

I mean, it feels really good to know that we made a record that not only we’re really proud of, but the people responded well to it. We finished 2015 off really strong, and we did a ton of touring—we were pretty much on tour for the majority of the entire year.

So, when we were done, everybody was pretty stoked to get to just chill at home and relax and kind of reboot. I would definitely say that we’re all ready to get back out and play shows and tour, and I think starting the year off with this big, epic tour is a really radical way to start it out. You know, I don’t feel that the album cycle is complete, so it will be cool. Everybody got to take a break and got to hang out with their friends and families and significant others and all that stuff, so I think we’re all pretty ready to get back out there and do what we love to do.

Reflecting back on your accomplishments and milestones from last year, what are some goals that you have set in mind to make 2016 even greater?

We are kind of in the early stages of figuring out our year, but I have a lot of really cool ideas that I’m trying to work on this year that I am still brainstorming, so I don’t want to let them out since they’re not fully fresh yet.

I just kind of want to really focus on some cool and unique things that I don’t really feel like we’ve had a chance to do yet. I’ve started writing a couple of songs last week, and that’s the first time I’ve sat down and written and demoed stuff since writing California Nights. So, it was cool to do that and to kind of snap back into a creative zone.

I think we really love what we do, and we really love working and touring and meeting new fans and people whose live are affected by the music that we have created, which is a very rewarding feeling. So, if anything I would just say that I hope that it would push me to work really hard. Like I said, I have some really cool ideas in the works that I am trying to make happen, so you will be definitely seeing more Bethany and Best Coast in the new year. But right now, we’re trying to harness everything and get it all together before announcing stuff and talk about things.

I feel like I really want to put my best effort forward with everything that I do, so I really try to make that stuff come together before I even talk about it. It’s really kind of the way that I want to do this new year—just make sure that shit is ready to go before I start to say, “Hey, I’m doing this thing,” and have things fall through or something, you know? So yeah, I think it will be exciting once everything kind of gets sorted, but I am definitely looking forward to all of what this year has in store.


Best Coast is currently on the “Summer Is Forever II” Tour with their California surf pop colleagues in Wavves. This week, the tour will be making its way to the Electric Factory in Philadelphia on Feb. 17 and at Terminal 5 in Manhattan on Feb. 18. Best Coast’s third studio effort, California Nights, is available now on Harvest Records. For more information, go to