Artist Interview: 1-on-1 with Todd Beauchamp

I am sitting with a musician that has every ounce of talent to get him wherever he wants to go in the music industry. Mixing an educated set of lyrics filled with stories and heartache with an incredible sense of the concept of hard work, Todd Beauchamp is here to stay. Sit with me today as it is my pleasure to introduce you to Todd Beauchamp.

What is your first memory of the guitar?

I don’t remember my first guitar memory, but I do remember what inspired me to play one. I originally played drums, and I switched to guitar the second after I realized the guitar players wrote all the songs and got all the girls. I also really liked piano, but those are harder to carry around.

When did you know that music was going to be something you wanted to pursue?

I remember being transfixed in music class when I was in third grade. I also remember that it came naturally to me from a very early age.

Where are you originally from?

I was born in LA, but I grew up in Chicago and New Jersey. I returned to the homeland in early 2002, and this time I’m here to stay.

What is it like living in L.A. in such a competitive market?

It’s definitely a competitive market, but it’s also the place with the most work. As long as you are good at what you do, easy to work with and willing to learn, there are lots of opportunities here. We could sit for days and discuss this single question. I love this city, but Los Angeles can be a very cruel mistress too.

See any celebrities lately?

I went over to Tyler Hilton’s house for gumbo yesterday. Does that count?

Who is that singing “Hey La La” behind you?

That would be the lovely and talented Tara Naomi. We played a show together in Atlanta where I was making my record, and she had a day to kill on the road. I suggested she kill it singing on my record, and she was nice enough to do it. That woman is scary talented, and you can tell her I said so.

PC or Mac?

Both. I own 4 macs for making music, and one PC that I play video games on. I do love the video games.

How many tattoos do you have?

Three. My favorite one is usually the one on my shoulder that I got in Thailand. It’s a really ornate dragon, and the dude did it with a bamboo stick. Yes, it hurt like a motherfucker, and it took 5 hours.

You are a storyteller. Tell me a story.

Last night at my friend’s birthday party, one of the guys there got so drunk that he accidently left the party and wandered off into Hollywood. We called his cell phone as soon as we realized he was gone, and a taxi driver answered it. He had gotten in a cab, and asked to be driven to San Francisco where he lived. The cab driver said no, so he got out.

We went to the Police Station. We called every hospital. We actually looked behind dumpsters for the guy. Around four in the morning it became clear we weren’t going to find him, so we called it a night, and went home to wait for a confused drunken phone call.

It wasn’t until this afternoon that we finally got word that he had gotten another cab to take him to the airport, where he slept on the floor before getting on a plane and flying home.

Moral of this story?

When your friends get so drunk they loose the power of speech, you do everyone a favor and stuff them in the fucking limo.

So what should I know about your studio?

It’s the most relaxed place you’ll ever record. Vienna Circle Studios is based on the premise that making records should be a collaboration and a celebration, In the last year I’ve worked with Mitchel Musso, Josh Kelley, Tyler Hilton, Dave Yaden, Leland Grant, Andrea Marchant and Micah Levenson and they’ve all been a blast to work with. I have never loved a job as much as I love helping my friends make records.

If you had to describe your genre in one word what would it be?


Where does the inspiration come from when you sit to record a new song?

Generally the way it works now is an artist will come over to my place, and play me every song they’ve ever written. Then I get to pick which ones really knock my socks off and record those. Inspiration is easy when you only record the songs that inspire you.

Do you think MySpace is good or bad for musicians?

Both probably. It makes connecting with people and bands on the road a lot easier. I filled in a bunch of empty nights on my last tour by emailing bands that sounded like me in cities I was gonna be in and offering to trade gigs. On the other hand, I can’t remember the last time I was added by a band I didn’t already know who didn’t suck.

How do you know Dave Yaden?

We made a record together, played hundreds of shows, and gone on two tours together. We are as brothers.

What impact did you have on his latest album?

“Bear Me Up” was one of the most collaborative projects I’ve ever worked on. I produced, mixed, and played something on every song (except one). I also co-wrote “My Angel” with Dave and Josh Kelley. Making that record was one of the great joys of my life, and I’m so glad that people are listening to and loving it.

You just moved, right? All unpacked?

Yes! And it only took three months!

Let’s get some pizza. What toppings?

Mushrooms, black olives and chicken.

What is your favorite venue to play?

Lately, I’ve been having a lot of fun at the Roxy playing guitar with Leland Grant.

Any thoughts on a tour for this new record?

I would love to, but I’m so busy in my studio I don’t think I can get away anytime soon. To be honest, I prefer it that way.

What is currently on your iPod?

Right now, I’m really enjoying the Fleet Foxes record. It didn’t grab me at the first listen, but the more I listen, the more I love it. I’m currently entering the “why don’t you marry it” phase.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Hopefully doing exactly what I’m doing now, but better.

Who would win in a pillow fight? Keaton Simons or Curtis Peoples?

I think Curtis wins on speed, but Keaton’s got brute strength. I put my money on Keaton. Now if it was a potato sack race, I’d bet on Curtis every time.

Let’s play word association. What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you read these three words?

Teddy bear: Teddy Grahams
Blood: Dexter
Stomach: Ali

What was the last movie you saw?

I watched Gran Torino today with my girlfriend. We both loved it.

Let’s say you are offered a record deal for $250,000 but you have to sing someone else’s lyrics and it was a rap album. Would you do it?

It depends on if it’s good music or not. I’d kill to be on a Jurassic 5 record, but there isn’t enough money in the world for me to do a P-Ditty cover record. As a producer it’s different too. I get demo projects every now and again from bands I wouldn’t want to be in. In those cases, I focus them on the aspects of their music I like. So in the end, I always end up with music I really dig.

Who are some of your biggest influences?

I find most of my inspiration in the artists I work with. People take their music very seriously, and I am honored they let me play in their sandbox. I live for the “I can’t believe I sound that amazing” moments from my artists.

If you could meet anyone alive or dead who would it be and why?

I’m an Atheist, so it would have to be Jesus. I would love to hear his thoughts on how people have interpreted his teachings. I bet he’d be pissed.

What do you want to be remembered for when this is all over?

I hope some of my work will be remembered, but I don’t care if anyone knows it was me who made it.

I always let the artist get the last word. Go.