It's been about five to six years since Beats Antique has played live in Bend, or at least somewhere around there, according to producer/dancer Zoe Jakes. Along with bandmates David Satori and Tommy Cappel, Beats Antique has been bringing together an electronic fusion of music stylings that pulls from all over the globe. As much as it is a musical experience, the live shows hit hard on the visuals, too.
During its five-stop stretch of Western states, Beats Antique's second stop will be in Bend. I spoke with Jakes on the phone as her daughter Luna tried catching a nap in the backseat to the sweet voice of Harry Styles' "Watermelon Sugar."
Source Weekly: So your most recent single is called "Surges." Can you explain a little about the making of that track and what feeling you were trying to convey?
Zoe Jakes: "Surges" was a track that Tommy built the soundbed for. He brought it to the band and it was a really cool song. We were really excited to dig into it. I remember when it really got its legs—this is probably in 2020, around September. David recorded his violin over it and sent the track over to listen to and I was playing it and just for me, when I heard what David had done with the violin it was just such a beautiful combination of all the work Tommy had done and my daughter, she was a year old[at the time], and she loved the song. She kept wanting us to play it again and again.
SW: You are a band known for putting on epic performances and thriving off of crowd energy, so I was wondering what was the time away from live shows like for you all and how excited were you to be back at it last year and with another tour about to start?
ZJ: For me personally, it was kind of a nice stop. Obviously it wasn't on purpose and we had no choice, and when your choices are taken away from you it can feel pretty bad. But it ended up being an opportunity for me to slow down enough that I could kind of take a step away from my identity as "Zoe of Beats Antique" and kind of sit in my life and figure out what that was. It was really good for me. It was hard in some ways of course but it was actually a much-needed break. The thing that's been so amazing about it is how exciting and much more present I am for things we are doing now.
SW: You're both a talented dancer and producer, and I was curious which of those things came first for you in life, dance or music production?
ZJ: I was taking music classes as a kid. I was in band and I played piano. But dance was always the main thing in my life for sure. I feel like it wasn't until around 2003 or 2004 when I started to tinker around with Ableton [the music production software] and then I really started to learn producing and understand producing. That was a really interesting shift for me.
SW: You have a sound that pulls from a variety of genres and regions across the globe. Having dabbled in just about everything, is there one obscure instrument out there that you find to be your favorite?
ZJ: One of David's biggest inspirations, we would call him Grandpa Saul, and he was this really amazing artist from the '60s and '70s and he showed David this instrument from Turkey called the cümbü. A cümbü is a string instrument with a pinhead and very skinny wooden neck. That instrument inspired David to have his own made, one that is an electric cümbü basically, so it sounds good in a big room. That more obscure instrument, at least to Americans, has influenced a huge portion of our music.
SW: On the more electronic side, is there anything you've sampled from your everyday life that has made into your music? I know people will sample stuff from their kitchen or use pots and pans and things.
ZJ: Definitely! One time we were trying to find a good crackle sound and we were crunching paper. This was a long time ago, but we were crunching paper and I can't remember what David did but he used something made out of metal and we combined those two sounds together and you can hear that all over one of our albums. It's a very particular *Jakes mimics the crackling* sound.
SW: Are you planning to release any more music this year?
ZJ: Oh yeah! There's A LOT of music coming out. Expect a lot of music from us. We've got a lot of things ready to come out. We have several of the new tracks coming out this year that you will hear at the show.
Sun., Feb. 20, 7-11pm Midtown Ballroom 51 NW Greenwood Ave.., Bend $32, all ages