New York psych rockers Sunflower Bean played day 2 of Beach Goth, and lucky for me, the trio carved out some time for an interview before their set.

Julia Cumming (vocals/ bass), Nick Kivlen (vocals/ guitar), and Jacob Faber (drums) sat in a line while I sat and faced them like a new teacher on the first day of school. But these burgeoning artists are so laid-back and friendly it felt more like classmates getting to know each other by the end.

First off, I got to know, how did you come up with the name Sunflower Bean? What was the inspiration behind that?

Nick: We just thought of it one day. I, like, used it to keep track of my Garage Band stuff on iTunes and me and Jacob started jamming together and we just went with it 'cause it sounded positive.

This is your guys' first Beach Goth?

All: Yes.

Nice. How has your experience been so far?

Nick: Well, we came in and our friends who we were on tour with, DIIV, were playing. So, we watched them, for you know, maybe the twentieth time this month. And, right after that we did, like, ten press things so we've been running around for like two hours now.

Julia: Ya, but it's been good. We were here for Burgerama; we didn't play but our friends Cherry Glazer were playing. So we just got to hang out backstage and get the vibe. This definitely has like a similar vibe, but it's nice to see everyone in costume.

Nick: It feels like the same exact festival.-

Jacob: I feel like I'm in the same exact place, just time traveled.

(We all laugh.)

Julia: It's nice you know...It's nice to see people listening to rock music and having fun.

Exactly, exactly-

Julia: Oh, wait hold on.

Nick: Is that- is that Julian pulling up?

Julia: That's crazy!

At this point, none other than Julian Casablancas comes pulling up in a black town car. He unrolls his window and chats with them about their set time. His set begins in 30 minutes. Turns out he’s friends with the band. An unexpected, but very pleasant surprise welcomed during our interview. After we calm back down from the excitement, we get back into discussing Beach Goth.

Julia: Whatever you think about the booking, it’s miraculous this exists.

Jacob: Yeah, like people just listening to rock music, in 2015.

And especially in Orange County.

We all laugh. It's more of a light chuckle thinking about the fact we are in this place with a stigma for being in its own conservative bubble, yet hosting an extremely eclectic and eccentric festival.

...And besides Julian, are there any other acts that you've seen or ones you really want to see?

Nick: I would've loved to see Grimes again.

Julia: I haven't seen Grimes in so long. I think it will be fun to see Die Antwoord. I haven't seen them in a few years...I think it will just be a fun experience.

So I know you have toured with some big bands like Best Coast and Wolf Alice. And I know you are also recording - wait are you still recording or have you finished recording your first album?

Julia: (very excited) We finished! Woo!

Nice! Did touring conflict with recording in any way? Or did touring influence your album in any way?

Julia: No.

At this point, Julian comes up to say hi to everyone. He shakes my hand and seeing the phone recording in Julia's hand, realizes we’re doing an interview. We laugh it off and tell him no worries - I let him know it just makes things better. I let Sunflower Bean know that one of my photographer friends who shot them earlier will be extremely jealous. Their manager, Crista lets us know she got both interactions with Julian recorded for their own personal archives. We compose ourselves again and get back into things.

How did going into the studio, doing what you guys wanted to do, transition to the stage? Did you find anything that, like, that works better on stage, or worse?

Jacob: I think, more like, we were figuring out how to, like…

Julia: Record.

Jacob: Record, mostly. 'Cause, like, up until then, we were just playing a shit ton of shows. We hadn't had that much time in the studio. So, it was more about taking our lives down and evolving it.

Julia: Yeah, 'cause like, you know, we have the EP out and we've been a band for about two years now. And it's like, definitely time for a record. The EP keeps us at a point where it's like, "Are they a new band? What's their deal? What's going to happen?" And I think in 2014 we played the most shows out of any band in New York City. We played something like, 60 shows, just in the New York area... It was crazy and definitely kept us from recording.

Jacob: And then we took the summer off... we demoed some stuff for like a month in my basement, and then went into the studio. That took about eleven days. Not too long.

Did you guys find that what you did on the EP, like sound-wise, did you find you developed certain sounds more than others for your debut?

Julia: Yeah. The record, I think, is going to be really surprising when people hear it. It's, like, uhm, definitely different than anything we've ever done... It has a lot of singing and a lot of harmonies and stuff... It's about figuring how we're going to take that sound and do it live. But it's still fun to be a really heavy live band. It's going to be interesting to see the reaction to the record.

Very nice. So, a little bit of a transition here, since we're at a festival, a rock concert... was there any musical experience that really made you realize this is what you want to do, some sort of turning point? Maybe a particular band?

Nick: I mean, for me, everyone here knows who I'm about to say, and it's DIIV. Because, I met most of those dudes when I was 16 and they first came out and me and my friends went to a lot of their shows and just saw them get bigger and bigger over the course of the year. And by the end of the year they were playing Terminal 5 and it was really inspiring.

Julia: And with anything in the arts... there's no plan, there's guidelines, there's no rule book, there's no boss. You have to kind of think outside the box to do it. And I think if 2015 all the musicians have to try extra, extra hard to figure it out... some of my first memories of music are when I was a kid. And I wanted to be a musician, but I didn't know how. I didn't start playing anything until I was 12 or 13.

Jacob: I've always wanted to be a musician. I've always played music, you know, just going out and playing shows at 15 and seeing-

Julia: And just seeing that New York scene existed in a way…and all of our families, you know, we were lucky enough to have them show us certain music that shaped us and let us go out and play shows. Which is a lot for a parent, I think. You don't think about it as a kid, but it's a lot to let your kid go out to clubs, and like, you know, it's a lot of trust.

Oh, I completely understand. So, last question. You all are still considered, you know, an up-and-coming and. Is there any advice you would give to kids who are the position you were in a year or two ago?

Nick: Yeah, practical advice: Really take everything really seriously. Don't be lazy. Practice a lot. Find someone who has very strong organizational skills to help you sort things out.

Julia: In our case, it's Crista.

Nick: It's not cool to be lazy. It's not cool to be unorganized. You have to work really hard and you have to take really special care with your first recordings and your first album. You don't want to put out anything that's not ready.

Julia: Yeah, on the internet, it lasts forever. And you know, definitely what Nick said. It's not cool to be a drug addict. It's not cool to hurt yourself... and just practice and practice.

Jacob: And you have to think like, "If it's not this, then it's nothing", you know?