(L-R) Paul Laliberte, bass; Shelby Archer, guitar; Brian “Big Bass” Gardner, mastering engineer; Michael Johnson, drums; Jeff Laliberte, vocals/guitar; and co-producer Matt Wallace. Photo by David Goggin.Hollywood, CA (August 11, 2015)—Engineer Brian “Big Bass” Gardner at Bernie Grundman Mastering has mastered the debut LP by New Beat Fund, which was co-produced by the band with Matt Wallace at L.A.’s Fairfax Recording (formerly Sound City) and mixed by Tony Hoffer.
The band got its name from a corporate billboard piggy bank encrypted with the words “New Beat Fund.” The band has been active over the past two years, releasing an EP “Coinz,” and touring with the likes of blink-182 and 3OH!3.
“The whole point and the reason that we’re in this,” says Paul Laliberte, “is to grow with a culture. And to also influence that culture rather than just hit at a surface level.”
“When people meet us, they say, ‘you guys are weird, but it’s fun!'” says Michael Johnson. “We want people to be cool with being weird, and thinking about things differently. The name of our record is ‘Sponge Fingerz.’ It’s what we are as a band, there’s no definition—we’re able to be free. We wrote the record in Topanga Canyon—the freest place ever. We live in Southern California and that’s the whole vibe of our band. Just being weird and free.”
Freedom is a main theme of “Sponge Fingerz,” which touches on such genres as surf-rock, dub, hip-hop, indie, punk, garage pop and jam music. “It’s not just punk rock, or indie, or weird-ass psychedelic art. We were all exposed to different things growing up, so we didn’t choose to only go in one direction,” says Shelby Archer.
“We don’t claim any certain scene,” adds Michael Johnson, “and that’s kind of what we represent as a band, especially for kids who are figuring out who they are and where they fit in this weird world.”
Bernie Grundman Mastering