Beauty School Dropout Offer Up A Feast in Sophomore Album ‘ READY TO EAT’ [Q&A]

Photo: Skyler Wagoner

Dinner is finally served. Rock trio Beauty School Dropout have finally released their smash hit-packed sophomore album READY TO EAT ahead of the band's US headline tour, kicking off on Monday, October 15, and it is everything and more. The highly-anticipated follow-up effort to 2022's We Made Plans and God Laughed is a nine-track journey that features a collection of radio-ready anthems that detail the ups and downs of growing fame, love, and personal relationships.

"READY TO EAT is the culmination of our high highs, low lows, and everything in between," shares the band. "The album is a sonic spiral through our personal struggles with addiction, relationships, and love (or lack thereof). The album is meant to be a reflection of our growth and our intentions to overcome every obstacle that life throws our way. From the last album to this one we have traveled the world, performed in places we never felt possible, gained fans all over but still have to deal with the trials and tribulations that are being a band putting 500% into our career. As much as it looks from the outside that our lives are skyrocketing, we are still dealing with the same issues we have been for years, only amplified. This album is our purge to our fans and an expansion and growth from where we started and a glimpse into where we are going."

Ones To Watch had the chance to sit down with the band and talk about the album, the highs and lows they've faced as a rising band in the indie scene, and what they hope for in the future.

Ones To Watch: How do you feel at this very moment, knowing your album Ready To Eat is nearly out?

Bardo: We're starving!

Colie: Yeah, we're starving! [laughs]

Bardo: And it's perfectly paired with our tour. The album comes out, and the next day is our first show on the headlining tour. For us, touring is like the best thing in the world. And we're just so excited this whole week. I've just been getting the zoomies thinking about it.

As you should! Can you share why you decided to name the album READY TO EAT?

Beepus: There's actually a really good reason.

Colie: Yeah, there's an incredible story to this. Do you wanna tell her, and I'll add?

Beepus: Yeah, I'll do it. So we were on tour in the UK and Europe, and while we were in the UK, we became obsessed with this coffee shop called Pret a Manger. Have you been?

Yes, admittedly, there are a few near me.

Beepus: Right, yeah, New York has them too. But anyway, we got a subscription to that, and we just became so obsessed with that place that we would go five times a day to get coffee.

Bardo: Well, tell them what the deal was. The deal was that for 30 pounds a month, you get five drinks a day. As long as they're spaced out 30 minutes apart, you could get up to five drinks.

Beepus: Yeah so we were going A LOT.

You were essentially living there and paying rent.

Beepus: Exactly. But Pret a Manger stands for "ready to eat," and they also use a red star, and we were using a red star for a lot of our stuff. So we were like, this is perfect. Let's call the album Ready To Eat. Because we were, like, in the middle of a shoot, and our label goes, "We need the name for the album," and we had been throwing about a bunch of different ones, and that was the one that really sparked our little hearts and set them on fire. 

Colie: Like, what's something that means a lot to us. And it's like, oh, this massive coffee franchise in London.

Maybe they'll sponsor you someday.

Beepus: That's the goal.

Colie: To elaborate on that a bit more, too. Like, that's like where it came from, but the whole concept of READY TO EAT, I think where it really, really resonated with us is this is just like, obviously such a turning point in our career where things have been building where it's like, got a lot of friction, and we've just like, been in the trenches working our way out. And it's our way of saying that, like, I don't know, like, everybody's like, "Oh, he ate, we ate. We're about to eat." That's like the sentiment, in a sense.

And you're 'serving' on this record.

Beepus: Exactly.

Bardo: Serving AND swerving.

In the early days of making this record, y'all set out to make a second album, or was it more organic, and y'all came together to create, and then all of a sudden, you look down, and you're like, "Oh, this is an album that's coming together. Let's keep working on it."

Beepus: We had waited so long, and we were like, "We need to put more music out." And so we were initially only going to do, like, a six-song EP, and then we kept being like, we need to add stuff to it, we need to add stuff to it, and we were just so stoked to get music out, and I think the early writing process of this-- I mean, we write all the time together all the time. And then, in the early phases of the album, we were all talking about, like, being heavier. And then, weirdly, this album is softer, which is, it's like a nice juxtaposition when you're trying to go heavier, and you actually end up going softer. It's like, okay, it's time to go, a little softer. There are still heavy moments, for sure. Like "dying to be you," that's as heavy it gets. 

So when you have those moments where you find yourself in this cycle of constantly writing and adding more and more to a record, at what point do you step back and set a boundary and say, "Ok, we're not adding anymore. I need to accept that this is done. I can't keep working on this forever."

Colie: [laughs] when our label set a deadline.

Bardo: I think also when we're sick of hearing the songs, we're like, "Cool, they're done." I heard Ed Sheeran say that once, and it always stuck with me because I'm like, "Damn, he has some crazy songs, and he's like, "Yeah, when I'm sick of the song. That's when I know it's done," and it's like, dude, I feel that. But then it's cool because it comes out, and then it's rebirthed in your brain, and it's like, "Oh, I like it again." You got to stop listening to it for a couple months, and then you're cool.

Colie: I've been an avid Beauty School Dropout listener recently. I've been pumping around tunes. Is that weird?

Beepus: No, I also bump our own tunes. I like our music a lot, which is an awesome feeling.

What's your favorite Beauty School Dropout song of all time and on the upcoming record?

Bardo: Of all time for me, it's probably "YEAHYEAHYEAHYEAH." It bangs every time.

Colie: I agree that's probably my all-time favorite, too. That's out, at least.

Beepus: My all-time favorite is "Coming Down."

Bardo: The one on the record is probably "heart of gold" or "scarlett letter."

Colie: "blow my high!"

Beepus: "heart of gold." That song is one of those songs that, when we wrote it originally, it was so different. And then I was gone, and the boys flipped it into this masterpiece.

Colie: Aw, dude, thank you.

Beepus: Like, they changed the whole vibe of everything. I feel like I had just gotten off stage and put my air pods, and I was like, damn, they made this 100 times better, which is a cool thing. So I'm a fan of my bandmates.

Your chemistry as artists and people is palpable not only in your live performances but also in songwriting. What are some of the most essential things in a relationship when you're creating together?

Colie: I think a lot of it is having an open line of communication. And, like I said earlier, we've all been climbing our way out of the trenches together. And because we've had to go through all our highs and lows, being transparent with our communication towards each other and holding each other accountable. It's just a constant work in progress and growing. But I think that's definitely one of the key components for us, like, even in the studios, being able to openly discuss ideas, why we think they're good, why we think they're bad, you know, playing into the democracy of the band, because, obviously, we triangulate our decision-making process a bit.

Beepus: Just to add that, too, I think we're really good at apologizing and calling each other out if one of us is being out of pocket. And that's just real business friendships. Some people will be out of pocket every once in a while, and as long as you can say sorry and your friends believe you're actually sorry, nothing actually matters.

You mentioned that this record juxtaposes your first record by being softer while still having those heavier moments. What do you feel you learned from the songwriting process you went through with the first record that you've taken into this sophomore album?

Colie: Oh god, so much.

Beepus: It's like creating a journey throughout the entire project. It's almost like when you're deciding things and all these more minor details like the tracklist or whatever, you have to ask yourself, "Does this feel good?" We base everything on feeling. Bardo is kind of the captain of that. He'll be like, "It doesn't feel right yet." One song on the album, "one night stand," went through about thirty revisions.

Colie: Yeah, it was crazy.

Beepus: Yeah, but it wasn't until the very last one that we were like, "Yeah, we're all happy." That's just the benefit of being in a band. Honestly, we like being able to bounce off of each other, and if not everyone is fully happy, we'll keep working til we are, and if three people like an album, it's probably decent.

Statistically, it's gotta be good.

Bardo: Yeah, good odds.

During the creation of this record, what were you consuming and how did those inspirations bleed into the record itself?

Colie: It's funny because we began the record before we went on tour, then we toured for four months, and we're like, alright, well, we have to come back and finish an album now. I think I speak for all of us when I say our tastes evolve so quickly, just what we're constantly spinning. But weirdly, I've been listening to a lot of pop and rap more than anything recently. I don't know about you, boys. I know Bardo has been slamming some country jams pretty actively.

Beepus: I have the same music tastes as when I was 14. It's never changed.

Bardo: He listens to Hannah Montana.

Beepus: Yep. Hannah Montana and Selena Gomez, and that's it.

What kind of stories are you trying to tell with READY TO EAT?

Colie: Forever and always will be pulling from real-life material. It's like building a world around those experiences. Much like we tried to with our shows, creating a space where people can come in and empathize with those feelings or have a sense of belonging because of that relatability and also a lot of stuff that isn't relatable, just very unique situations that we've been in. But the idea is to build a world that, sonically, people can walk into, and it's a form of escapism.

Bardo: We want to be honest, and I think that's what we do. We're just like, "Hey, we struggle with all the same problems that damn near everyone on Earth struggles with, and here's how we propose it to you on a silver platter. Like, are you ready to eat? Here's our problems.

Okay, humor me for a second: if you were hosting a dinner party and you say "ready to eat," what are you serving?

Colie: Chipotle.

Beepus: Sushi. Like all-you-can-eat sushi.

Colie: I like Chipotle and sushi.

Beepus: What about sushi burritos?

Bardo: Or sushi on top of Chipotle

Bardo: Yeah, it's a collab. You get a burrito, and you put a bunch of sushi rolls on top of the burrito, and you put another burrito on top of it, and it's a burrito sushi burger.

I think I would die if I ate that.

Bardo: Well, you would die and then reach nirvana. That's what the meaning of life is.

What's your favorite music moment that's on the record? 

Bardo: I think the best lyric is from "dying to be you," and it's "If depression was a job, I'd be working the night shift."

Beepus: Yeah, that's my favorite too. 

Colie: I was gonna say, "Ready to eat, bitch."

Beepus: [laughs] oh, that is in the album too!

If you could go back in time and give your younger self any advice or say anything, what would you say to younger BSD?

Bardo: I would say enjoy all the moments, even the shitty ones. That's something I try to do. It's a practice, obviously, but I try to remind myself, even in the shitty moments, to enjoy the process of what we get to do because what we get to do is pretty lucky; if I told little 12-year-old me, what we'd be doing right now, this is pretty much exactly what I want to be doing. When you're 12, obviously, you can imagine it differently, and it hits differently when you're older and have to figure it out, and a lot more stresses come with it, and you don't think of that when you're 12, but it still is an enjoyable process. And showing that as much as possible, because it's like, you never know, we could be gone tomorrow. And we've lived a full life thus far. We've done amazing things. So enjoy it.

Beepus: Yeah, that's a good way to put.

Colie: Same, that's what I would say too.

Beepus: I'd be like, "Yo, little Beepus, it's going to be 10 times more work than you think. But it's going to be 10 times more fulfilling than you think."

Colie: Yeah, pretty much. Just like enjoying the process and spending less time comparing yourself, comparison kills. And I think it, like, inherently, that's just like, a part of being an artist is you're always like, okay, like, you know, what is happening that's hot, and like, what do I have to do to get there and you know, et cetera. And so I think just doing everything in your domain to remain true to yourself and authentic and like not becoming too jaded to like anything else happening just because of happening.

Being in the music industry can be challenging. So, what is the hardest thing right now that you have to work through and come to terms with?

Beepus: Oh, I got this. This one. Everyone tells us how good we're doing. And later, like, everyone gasses us up. And from an outside perspective, it feels like we're fully crushing. At least, that's what people are saying. But on the inside, we're still broke. We're still struggling. We're still figuring out our own personal stuff. And I think that sometimes people see what's on the exterior. And honestly, I prefer it that way that people like to gas us up like that. But inside, sometimes we are like struggling and like we'll call each other like really upset about something or like, we'll be all together and like really frustrated that something's not going the way that we want it to. Or like life struggles of being in your mid-20s and trying to pursue music. It's hard. But it's also very rewarding. And every win feels like so so cool. We've had a very sick come up so far.

You did a feature with Jaden Hossler on this record. If you could choose anyone to collaborate on a song with you in the future, who would it be?

Colie: Drake!

Beepus: Skrillex.

Bardo: Oh Skrillex or Beiber.

Colie: How are you not gonna choose Drizzy Drake?? Come on.

Bardo: Because we're doing all three, trying to cover all the bases.

All three on one song at the same time?

Bardo: YES.

Do you have anything that you'd want to say to your fans who might be reading this?

Bardo: We love you so much.

Beepus: Thanks for rocking with us. We love the dropouts. They're the best. We have the best fan base in the world.

Beauty School Dropout's READY TO EAT is available now. 

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