Interview: Pearl and the Beard
Like a snow blizzard in the heart of winter that shows no signs of ceasing, Brooklyn-based trio Pearl and the Beard is a continually irresistible force that blankets and beautifies every
Inch of your soul and being. Incorporating elements of pop, Americana, folk, rock and even the riveting mystique reminiscent of mermaids and the unknowing, yet undeniable depth of a seascape, the band’s overall aesthetic coruscates more than the impeccable gemstone and jostles stereotypical standards and boundaries in defining music; simply put, Pearl and the Beard offer an indisputable amalgamation of transcendent tunes for any and every occasion.
The chemistry between Pearl and the Beard’s members is just as unerring, but interestingly, that wasn’t always the case.
“We met at different open mic nights throughout New York and Brooklyn,” explains vocalist and percussionist Jocelyn Mackenzie. “We weren’t friends first before we started a band, so we started as bandmates first and friends second. The thing that has transformed is that now we put our personal relationship before our professional relationship, and that shift in balance has helped both areas of our lives thrive.”
And thrive they most definitely do, despite the surplus and talent within their surroundings.
“The band was born among a plethora of other bands around the same time,” Mackenzie says. “This keeps us on our toes: in Brooklyn you’re constantly reminded that you are indeed a very small fish in a very big pond, and you can’t let that impact your art. You have to stay devoted to your craft no matter what anyone else is doing. It’s a challenge, but it keeps us humble and in check: it’s a constant reminder that we do this because we want to, not because we have to.”
An epitomizing example of fate, Pearl and the Beard demonstrates chemistry, presence and growth that many band can only dream of having.
“In terms of pursuing our career as a band seriously, it felt natural from the very beginning,” says Mackenzie. “Personally, I take fun very seriously, and doing music ‘for fun’ just never seemed like an option for me. I wanted to do this, or not. If this was just ‘for fun,’ we all would have quit a long time ago. There was something inside us as a group that just always kept us wanting more, and that’s the thing that keeps this thing rolling.”
In terms of progression, the band currently has two albums out, but will be releasing another (entitled Beast) sometime this year. In fact, the first single, “You,” debuted on Hype Machine recently, which already indicates the positive impact and raving reviews it will assuredly bring.
“In the past, our writing was collaborative, but not nearly as much so as with Beast,” Mackenzie claims. “This time, we were all incredibly dedicated to the idea that we all had to be 100% behind each and every musical decision, the chord structures, melodies, lyrics, artwork—all of it. It was a harrowing process, but we all learned a lot about each other and came out the other side with an album that all three of us can be totally proud of. We just love it. And because we love it, we have no expectations of it. It is what it is. We want what’s best for it, but at the end of the day, expectation leads to disappointment, so we just stay focused on being happy with and proud of the work we’ve already done.”
Such an optimistic and earnest mentality and work ethic attributes to the band’s overall demeanor; on stage, they exhibit passion and utter gratitude in their purest forms, ultimately influencing not only their listeners, but those aspiring to do exactly what they do, too.
“It’s so easy in any facet of life to look at what you don’t have, what you’re not doing,” Mackenzie admits. “Today, we’re excited to share what we’ve made with new fans and feel an immeasurable amount of gratitude for the people who have been listening to us since our beginning. We couldn’t do our job without people to listen to our music, and we never take that for granted.”
For more information on Pearl and the Beard, check out their website.
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