We Finally Convinced Daddy’s Beemer to Move to Charleston

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    We Finally Convinced Daddy’s Beemer to Move to Charleston
    Published: May 1, 2019

    In late 2018, Daddy’s Beemer played at the inaugural Extra Chill Fest at The Purple Buffalo, and I walked up to them after their set and half-jokingly asked when they were moving to Charleston. At the time they had just recently moved to Charlotte, so I didn’t expect them to actually consider the possibility. They did mention not being so sure about Charlotte, though, so naturally I continued to pester them about it for months afterward, both in person and on this website.

    Then, in February at the Royal American, bassist Wesley Heaton told me that they had finally decided to move here. He said that it would be sometime in April, but I didn’t really believe him until he messaged me on Sunday and said they would be moving in downtown the very next day. On Monday night, I went over to their leaning historic house to help them warm the place up a bit, which wasn’t hard to do, since the A/C unit in their living room doesn’t work. We drank some beers and talked about the move and the full-length album that they’re currently working on.

    “We moved to Charlotte recently, and we wanted to do that because we wanted to tour and stuff, and expand an audience that we didn’t really have,” Wesley begins. “We didn’t really know very many people in Charlotte, so we thought it was a good opportunity to get into that scene. Once we got there we realized that it wasn’t exactly the place for us. Like there’s a lot of great venues, and there’s a lot of really cool bands, but it’s really hard to grow a fanbase there.”

    “There’s not as much of a community in Charlotte, as much as there is here,” guitarist and vocalist Brady Skylar adds. “I think all of South Carolina is kind of like that. Since it is very small, all the scenes are very tight and well-coordinated, and they talk to each other.”

    “After we were there for about six months we decided we should try and go somewhere where we were already a little established, and it would be a little more fun to live,” Wesley says. “When we come to Charleston it feels more like the community is there, and we keep seeing the same people. It’s growing, and we can feel it growing, and we’ve felt more and more at home in Charleston.”

    Daddy’s Beemer feeling at home in Charleston started in the house show circuit, back when they were all students at Clemson University. At Clemson, Wesley and Brady were part of the school’s student-run WSBF radio station, and part of what they do is record live sessions in the studio there. The sound engineer at WSBF at the time was a guy named Christian Steinmetz, whose name you might recognize from any number of projects including the music discovery tool he created called Cinuosity. Christian connected them to some bands he knew from Charleston, and they brought them in to do live sessions.

    Bands like SondorBlue, Whitehall, Mr. Rosewater, and Orange Doors would come in and talk about the house show scene in Charleston, and specifically about a place you might remember called Makeout Reef. At the same time, Wesley was booking a house venue in Clemson called Pablo, which spawned the Pablo Generation with bands like Tom Angst, Apricot Blush, Wallpaper, and J.S. Terry. Pablo became the center of the Clemson DIY scene, and eventually the DIY scenes throughout the state started to become interconnected.

    “So whenever I would come down to Charleston, I would try and go to a house show,” Wesley says. “That’s how I got introduced to Makeout Reef, and then eventually I made friends with them, and started a band, and booked their bands up in Clemson. And then we started to do a show-swap kind of thing, and so we eventually played at Makeout Reef, which was the best move for exposure at that point. It was the college crowd we wanted to hit, and it was a really fun show. Owe it to those dudes, I guess.”

    That Makeout Reef show was around the time that Daddy’s Beemer had released their self-titled debut EP, which was actually Wesley’s senior project at Clemson. The crowd took to them instantly, and they played shows in Charleston fairly regularly after that. The band was a three-piece then, and was still a three-piece when they released their second EP, Pucker, which was Brady’s senior project at Clemson. The difference with Pucker was the addition of a violin on certain songs. The violin was played by drummer Dan Fetterolf, who has a background in playing classical music on both piano and violin. Greenville-based drummer Brandon Gallagher has now joined the touring band, and Daddy’s Beemer explained their plan, pending Brandon’s availability.

    “The master plan is to have a full-time drummer, and then I can go to basically a multi-instrumentalist,” Dan explains. “If we figure out a keyboard situation, do a little keys, guitar, and violin. I need to get a nice electric violin.”

    While Daddy’s Beemer is working out their situation as a four-piece, they are also recording their first full-length album that has, according to Brady, “a shit ton of violin.” This will be the first album from Daddy’s Beemer that isn’t a school project, and instead of self-recording the whole thing like the old days, they’re working with engineer and producer Preston Dunnavant, whom they know from their time at WSBF in Clemson. Daddy’s Beemer just released two songs that will likely end up on that album, “Indoors” and “Serotonin”.

    “If you don’t know, in the middle of South Carolina, west of Columbia, there’s Denmark South Carolina, Norway, and Sweden,” Brady says. “These little, little towns. We’re going there.”

    “My family has been going to the Edisto River since before I was born,” Wesley explains. “They had a little cabin where they always went, and owned. And so my mom and my uncle and my aunt decided that they wanted their own place. They found this cabin where it’s very secluded. There’s a lot of land, it’s on Lake Margaret. It was notorious for being the party house of Denmark, SC. They bought the house as it was, about a year or two years ago. We walked in, and there’s shag carpet everywhere. It reeked of cat piss, the whole place was destroyed. There were two grand pianos in there, and an organ, and there was this huge room.”

    Wesley’s family has since renovated the cabin, and kept one of the grand pianos (the one that sounded the best). Daddy’s Beemer has gone in there for a few sessions already, and as it stands they’ve recorded nine new songs. The band goes out there with Preston, or “Chucky D”, as they call him, and sets up their gear and some recording equipment and works out the new material. They talked about how much better this process has felt for them than the way they had worked in the past, when their deadlines were set by Clemson University.

    “We’re going in there, recording, drinking, hangin’ out. We can be as loud as we want in this place, and we can spend our time,” Wesley says. “We don’t really have to pay for studio time, or worry about all that. It’s very casual, and natural, and it’s all coming out very organically.”

    “I love just being in the middle of the woods,” Dan says. “You can go on a walk, there’s tons of land. The lake’s right there, it’s so nice.”

    “Man, it’s coming along,” Brady says. “We’ve got songs, and Preston’s helping us a lot, as far as making it sound good. Before, we might leave a take that isn’t necessarily perfect, and we’ll go in and keep doing it, because we’ve got the time. It’s not like going into a studio where it’s $100 per hour, usually more. We go in there and we don’t have to worry about all that. I can do vocal takes in the living room, and like, chill out and watch Animal Planet while I’m doing it. It’s very easy, and being away from everything really does help you.”

    As for when we will get to hear this new material, it’s still up in the air.

    “We’re trying to get it done, but we’re not trying to force it,” Wesley says.

    “Don’t expect anything very soon,” Brady says. “We’re still talking to people about how to put it out. We’re trying to have it finished as this package that’s very neat, and already perfect. And then we shop it around and then see if they [record labels] wanna go with the vision that we’re seeing.”

    For now, though, Daddy’s Beemer is excited to settle in to Charleston, meet their neighbors, and get their house in order. Once they get the oven and the fridge working, Brady plans to bake an apple pie and offer it as a gift to the neighbors, so they might not get too upset when they hear the loud music coming from the Beemer house. Dan’s got himself a job at Chipotle, where Brady says he’ll probably work, too. I hope you’re all ready to give them a hearty welcome when they play their first show as a local band.

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