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You know those really creepy old dudes who roam the beach to gawk at all the girls in their bikinis? Well despite the band name, these guys are nothing like those creeps.
Beech Creeps is a rock trio consisting of members Zach Lerhhoff on bass, Mark Shue on guitar and vocals, and Brian Chase on drums. Each hails from a different and eclectic musical background.
The most recent member to join the band, drummer Chase, happens to also drum for the popular indie rock band the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, who have been breaking music scenes everywhere since the early 2000s.
Shue also has a grade-A musical track record. He’s played in several great rock bands, currently and most notably, Guided By Voices.
Lehrhoff, who also played bass and occasionally provided vocals for the rocking band Ex-Models, was the one who brought the magnificent trifecta together.
He’s been good friends with Shue and Chase for a while now and has always embraced their musical talents. Bringing these music veterans together just felt natural to Lehrhoff.
“The formation of the band occurred accidentally and casually,” Lehrhoff laughs off. “In 2013 I decided I wanted to form a band called Beech Creeps; I had some pretty clear ideas of what it was going to sound like, but it didn’t actually end up sounding like them at all.”
Instead, it sounded even better than anybody could have imagine.
Lehrhoff tells BTR that their creative music-making process is usually a jam session that either ends up sounding quite polished or scratchy and rough.
“It’s like a lot of rock bands,” Lehrhoff says. “We jam and then we make magic.”
He explains that the melody arises from a collaborative effort. However, since he and Shue sing most of the lyrics, they have been writing their own vocal parts in the songs.
They recently played a record release show for their new 7-inch album at a DIY Brooklyn venue called Alphaville. The bar/DIY venue is known for great burgers and the rowdy punk shows they throw–the show delivered on both accounts. With their bellies full of beer and burgers, Beech Creeps played a killer show.
The band was able to release their new 7-inch to the public within just a few months, but Lehrhoff admits that’s not always the case.
Their self-titled LP, for instance, was a different story. Though recording was finished by June of 2014 and the songs good to go, it didn’t hit shelves until March of 2015.
“That took a long ass time,” Lehrhoff recounts. “We like to work quickly, but it’s hard nowadays with the vinyl pressing plants being so busy.”
Lehrhoff confesses that Beech Creeps is definitely more of a vinyl band. However, they encourage listening to their music in any available outlet.
“We’re also a cassette band,” Lehrhoff states, “it’s coming back!”
The band is currently finishing up a tour, capping it off with a show March 5th at Union Pool in Brooklyn. When BTR spoke with Beech Creeps they were on their way out of Pittsburgh.
They played a show in the notorious punk rock venue Gooski’s. The bartender, Timmy, was voted by The Pittsburgh City Paper as the best bartender in the city back in 2013. The bar is also known for housing one of the best jukeboxes around.
Lehrhoff recognizes Timmy by the giant beard and friendly smile, though he confesses his memories of nights at Gooski’s always end up a little fuzzy.
“It’s hard to remember things at Gooski’s,” Lehrhoff admits, “but Pittsburgh’s a big town for us. Definitely, a lot of good times.”
He states that the band usually likes to end their tours in Pittsburgh before heading back to their hometown of NYC, because there are always “good feelings” there.
They were headed to a bakery recommended to them outside of town as they left Pittsburgh.
“That’s important for us to stop and get some doughnuts and some baked goods,” Lehrhoff says matter-of-factly with his fellow band members giggling in the background. “I think it’s going to be pretty exciting.”
Lehrhoff also explains that the low price of gas is thrilling for the band right now. That may sound like something a suburban dad would say, but for a band on tour, it’s a big deal.
“What excites us is what we ate for dinner and that gas is cheap,” Lehrhoff says. “It’s been a low-stress tour, so nothing crazy has happened on this one.”
They hit towns such as Harrisonburg, VA, Knoxville, TN, Indianapolis, IN, and Cleveland, OH, before gracing the Pittsburgh music scene with their presence–each turning out to be a great show to Lehrhoff’s ears.
Indiana seemed to be the most memorable visit for Beech Creeps during this tour.
“It was pretty exciting to find out in Indiana that Hell is real and so is Jesus,” Lehrhoff tells BTR about the highly religious billboards and advertisements they seemed to pass every few minutes during their stay in Indianapolis. “But also they have those giant wind farms, so I’ll give that to Indiana.”
The south is known for their strong religious views and many traveling bands have felt the intensity. It was Beech Creeps first time playing Indianapolis, where they tore up a venue called Joyful Noise. Lehrhoff conveys despite the religious awaken forced upon them every step, they were able to have a rocking show.
Whether you’re looking for a beach party to crash or a punk rock show to talk about gas prices and what you just had for dinner that night, Beech Creeps has definitely got you covered.
Make sure to check out their Bandcamp and to catch one of their live shows!
“As long as it’s sunny, I feel fine,” Lehrhoff says as his Beech Creeps’ motto.
To hear the rest of the interview, tune into this week’s episode of The Discovery Corner.