New York band creates distinct genre crossover


Photo Courtesy of Raydene Salinas

New York band creates distinct genre crossover

By Arts & Culture Reporter

Beecher’s Fault, a pop-rock band from Astoria, New York, works to combine synth-pop and rock sounds with a little bit of folk sprinkled in.

The band formed in New Jersey in 2011 when Ken Lamken and Ben Taylor met through mutual friends and started writing folk songs together. Eventually, the pair added a keyboard to integrate the synth-pop element of the band’s sound. 

When the band got positive feedback from fans in the New Jersey area, Beecher’s Fault moved to New York so the band could play more shows and fully pursue its potential. Lamken (vocals/keyboard) and Taylor (vocals/guitar) eventually added Max Maples (drums) and Serge Ruccolo (bass) to the mix to round out the band’s roster.

During the same year the band formed,  it released its self-titled debut album. A year later, it released an EP titled Misbehavior. Now, Beecher’s Fault is putting the finishing touches on its third record and hopes to have it out later this year.

The Chronicle spoke with Lamken and Taylor about where Beecher’s Fault draws inspiration for its lyrics, its influences and the band’s new album, Do As People Do.

THE CHRONICLE: Where do you find inspiration for your songs?

BEN TAYLOR: We’ve both kind of been in the indie-folk movement. Bands like Wilco are definitely a favorite of both of ours. Songwriting-wise, Jeff Tweedy [of Wilco] is a big one. I think lately, especially [Lamken] has gotten more into electronic music and sounds. We like to say that our band is kind of like if Wilco and Passion Pit had a baby, then it might sound something like Beecher’s Fault. Personally, I grew up first playing piano, then drums and then guitar, mostly blues guitar. I listened to a lot of Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Clapton. It wasn’t until the end of high school that I started getting into bands that we try to emulate now.

Your third album, Do As People Do, will be released sometime this year. What was the recording process like for the album?

KEN LAMKEN: The recording process has been pretty long. We’ve been recording over the last year. Going along with what [Taylor] said, we start with a folk song, oftentimes just an acoustic guitar, a couple chords and hopefully what people think are well-written lyrics. Then, we dress it up with all kinds of ear candy like synths, bass sounds—all kinds of things to embellish it. We listen back to it and do many different versions of each song and see which one grips the most. From there, we go into the studio [and record it].

How is Do As People Do going to be different from your last two albums?

BT: This album is the best and catchiest songs we have written. I think we’ve both grown a lot as writers over the four years that we’ve been working together. We’ve gotten to know each other’s writing process, like [Lamken] has become a lot better at reacting to my ideas and I’ve gotten better at reacting to his ideas. Maybe the downside of that is that we’re slower producers because we’re more of perfectionists than we used to be. I think in the end, the result of the new record is really catchy songs that will stick with people. Lyrically, it’s a little more personal, too.

KL: In addition to that, we’ve also gotten better at understanding what a specific song needs. So if there’s a song that’s really personal and it needs gut-wrenching vocals, raw chords and just head into the studio with the feeling of those sounds and don’t think twice, then we did that. If it’s a song that’s a little more poppy and it needs to be more lighthearted, then it could benefit from being really well-produced and go through a million revisions and make it perfect in that regard, then we will do that. You’ll hear that whole range on our new album.

Is there a specific message you want fans to take away from your music?

BT: I don’t think there’s one specific message—there are different messages within the different songs. Hopefully, the biggest message with our music is that we’re really not trying to limit ourselves to one particular type of music. Something we’ve always been conscious of is appealing to different age groups and people from different backgrounds. There’s a big mix of people at our shows, and that’s a really nice thing to have, and I think we always want to keep it that way.

What does Beecher’s Fault have in store for this year?

KL: We’re releasing our first single off the album, which is called “Liquor Store,” on March 31. We’re having a local show in New York City at The Bowery Electric on March 31 to support that release. Shortly after, our plan is to tour and within a month of touring, release the album.