Q+A: So Cal's New Beat Fund blends styles and gets funky

New Beat Fund takes So Cal Punk and Dr. Dre to create 'No Type'

March 28, 2016

You can imagine a persons surprise when they are sitting at their desk in Southern California when a jar that reads 'New Beat Fund' flew through the window and onto the floor. You and your coworkers are dazzled, looking around and wondering, "Where in the hell did that come from?"

That's when someone, probably Jerry from accounting, pokes his head out the window and looks across the train tracks to see four dudes with shaggy hair and colorful t-shirts laughing as they stood behind their homemade three-man water balloon launcher. Those dudes didn't know it at the time, but they had just discovered the band name that would launch them forward in their career.

Comprised of Jeff Laliberte, his brother Paul, their friend Shelby Archer and a drummer they call 'Silky' (his name is Michael Johnson, though), New Beat Fund is a So Cal band influenced by the sounds of early 90s California Punk Rock and Dr. Dre's G-Funk. Naturally, they call their style 'G Punk Beach Funk,' and once you hear it, that makes a lot of sense. The boys grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles (well, except for Silky, which also makes a lot of sense, for some reason) and came together while working in the hallowed studio where Nirvana's Nevermind was recorded, along with the likes of Tom Petty and Fleetwood Mac. 

We got a chance to chat with Jeff, the lead vocalist, guitar player, and artist for New Beat Fund before they headed out on tour with American Authors. Get to know Jeff and definitely go listen to their take on Rae Sremmurd's 'No Type.'

THE END: Tell me a little bit about how you guys got started! You guys were just a bunch of homies hanging out trying to get some music going and had some sort of piggy bank that you got your name from?

JEFF: Yeah we are all homies. The bass player is my brother, so that’s our relationship. Our guitar player Shelby we met just working shit jobs and started playing music together and our drummer Silky, we met through the ranks playing shows in LA. We used to work out of Sound City in Van Nuys in the sound studio where Nevermind was recorded and Fleetwood Mac and Tom Petty played. We had this little jar on our monitor with my friend Matt Wallace who produced our record. We helped him with random beats and stuff, and one day in the studio and there was a jar that said “New Boat Fund” on the monitor so we crossed out the ‘O’ and made the “New Beat Fund.” It had nothing in it but a gummy bear, paper clips and whatever crap we put in it.

In our free time to keep ourselves entertained, we would launch things over the railroad tracks with our three-man water balloon launcher. We put the jar in and launched it into the corporate building across the way and that’s when we thought, “Hey that should be our band name!”

THE END: Is your whole band from LA and the general area?

JEFF: Yeah me and my brother were born in Burbank which is just suburbs and we all kind of met. Our drummer is from Orlando, but he’s the weird one. That’s how he got his name ‘Silky.’ We just started jamming and we all have Punk roots and all have this DIY attitude toward music. Through the years we have become brothers. We have all been in different bands trying to hustle in LA for a long time. New Beat Fund is a moment where we got the right lineup and we share the same vision of where we want to go.

THE END: You say Punk Rock roots, but tell me more about your sound. It seems a bit more mellowed out, maybe that’s the So Cal vibe?

JEFF: Check it out, I think So Cal represents the vibe for us because we were into that So Cal Punk Rock growing up. Early 90s when we were little kids getting into music, we were stealing tapes and having our mom make us return and shit like that. We define our band as G-Punk Beach Funk. We took the term from Dr. Dre because we also are huge West Coast Hip-Hop fans because it was happening at the same time as Punk in Southern California. Dre calls his style ‘G-Funk,’ so we took the idea because we are very Hip-Hop influenced as well as Punk and Alternative. That mellow vibe comes from being by the beach with that peaceful reggae kind of vibe. We are an eclectic bunch of dudes and we listen to all sorts of music and we like to create music in that fashion.

THE END: You have a unique visual style as well in your album art and how you dress. It’s pretty striking. Where does that come from?

JEFF: Our visual style is organic because we do it all. I’m an art-school dropout and I do the logos and graphics and album art for the band. My brother and I mess around with visuals because there are all these crazy apps. Our style is very graphic and colorful. There are a lot of black and white things out there but we are very colorful and like to embrace more than just one thing. We like it to be striking to be different than all the random images people see every day online. We make it in the van. It’s all from us. I hope it seems cohesive.

THE END: It definitely does. Now, what the hell is Sunday Fundaze?

JEFF: That all stemmed from these Instagram promo videos we did for our song ‘Scare Me,’ which if you have a second to dig up, they are on YouTube. It was our first song out of the gate as a band in 2013 so we did this scary movie spoof video series around Halloween with 15-second videos of different things like me birthing a doobie, for example, as a parody on ‘The Fly,’ and then we all smoked this doobie I birthed. It came from the sketch comedy thing and other things we liked to explore like you said, with the graphics and the music. It’s all just having fun with the internet and the camera. Our friend was the director and he did our first video. We were living in Venice and just used it as a tool to make fun of a lot of Pop Culture stuff!

THE END: Tell me a bit about ‘No Type.’

JEFF: We got the idea from this rap duo called Rae Sremmurd. A year ago, we were doing a frat tour, which was wild all in itself and we barely survived,  but we noticed a lot of DJs and kids in the college scene were spinning this song and we saw the girls getting down to it so we said, “Alright, this has a cool vibe so maybe we could cover it.” We covered it with our own take on it and ran it through the New Beat Fund filter and put it out ourselves. We didn’t tell anybody about it when we put it on Sound Cloud and it has just got a huge response and now it’s growing into a single.  It’s crazy how it works, but I dig it. The response has been awesome and it’s growing organically, which is a good sign when people vibe on something.

THE END: That sounds pretty dope. Now that you’re growing in popularity, what do you guys have planned for the future?

JEFF: Well we are starting on tour with American Authors and probably just keep pushing. We have some rad festivals coming up like BottleRock Festival and Electric Forest up in Michigan. That’s cool because it’s a rave festival and I like the idea of putting  bands in that scenario. That’s maybe the next wave of things, putting bands and DJs into a rave scene and having it be accepted. I don’t think many bands except maybe Phish do that yet. We are stoked. Hopefully lots more touring and eventually a new single and a new record! Keepin’ up the hustle, man.