On “We Are Nothing” from Beach Slang’s 2014 Cheap Thrills On A Dead End Street EP, vocalist/guitarist James Alex sings, “I’m not dumb/I’m figuring out my life/Let it come/The failures are worth the fight.” This heart-on-sleeve confession comes from a songwriter who knows very intimately what he’s talking about. And he’s has dropped his guard to share it. At 40-ish years old, and formerly the frontman of Weston, a Pennsylvanian pop-punk band that enjoyed some success in the ’90s, Alex has been around the block.
” When you grow up and start feeling OK in your skin, your perspective and perception of how things are get realigned in a way,” Alex said. “I’ve always talked about how I wanted to write Beach Slang material with this broken optimism. It is the struggle and all that stuff, but then knowing that it will be OK in the end. I really do believe that.
“I remember hearing or reading, ‘As long as we have hope, we’re OK.’ That has always sort of resonated with me. You get to a point where you realize what is really important. It’s like hey, we did this thing, we’re here. I still get to pick up a guitar and go make noise with my friends. That’s an awesome thing. I may not have x, y and z in my life, but I still have all the stuff that is really important.”
Teaming with friends bassist Ed McNulty of NONA and JP Flexner from Ex-Friends for the endeavor, the super group have already managed to delight critics with their guitar centric rock, which nods to Jawbreaker, The Replacements, and host of other middle-American rock bands that found joy banging on guitars in bars that smelled faintly of stale beer. They’ve also captured the attention of their peers and will join Cursive on tour in February, right before rereleasing their two EPs on cassette via Business Casual Records (Cheap Girls’ label).
” People keep saying, ‘How did you get all this to happen?’ I just waited 20 years to be fed up with nothing happening and thinking, ‘Let’s do something.’ It would have been amazing if things had connected at 18, or 21 or 25. Why not? Why not have cool, awesome things happen when you are younger so that you have more time to enjoy them? But it all comes down to the fact that it wouldn’t have happened that way. It took getting to where I am now.
“I love everything about this: meeting people at a show, exchanging stories, exchanging laughs. I don’t know what I’d do without that. I just want to keep the pedal to the metal until I can say, ‘I’ve done all I want to do here. What is the next thing?'”
(The band recently signed to Polyvinyl Records. Catch them on the road here: 7/22 — Boston, MA — Great Scott
7/24 — Long Island, NY — Amityville, NY
7/25 — Asbury Park, NJ — Asbury Lanes
7/26 — Brooklyn, NY — Gigawatts Festival
7/27 — Philadelphia, PA — PhilaMoca
8/5 — Baltimore, MD — The Metro Gallery
8/7 — Nashville, TN — EXIT/IN w/ Braid
8/8 — Atlanta, GA — The Wrecking Ball ATL
8/9 — Carrboro, NC — Cat’s Cradle
8/10 — Washington, DC — DC9
8/28-30 — Denver, CO — Riot Fest
9/11-13 — Chicago, IL — Riot Fest
9/25 — Urbana, IL — Pygmalion Festival
9/26 — Cincinnati, OH — Midpoint Music Festival
10/28 — Ybor City, FL — Pre-Fest
10/30 -11/1 — Gainesville, FL — The Fest)