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Cody Simpson interview

Why did you pick up a guitar in the first place? What drew you to it?

I was drawn to the guitar ever since I can remember. My dad and a few close family friends would come around for backyard barbeques, and all I can recall is so desperately wanting to be apart of those jams. Most of my favorite musicians also are guitar players.

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Did it take time for you to learn how to play or did it come naturally?

I only ever played rhythm guitar growing up. Just something to accompany songs and poem I wrote, and some I wanted to learn. I didn’t start digging into the lead and blues playing until about 2 years ago. I think the years of casual rhythm playing growing up helped my feel and prepared me for the jump into lead electric playing.

Who inspired your current direction of playing? I heard you playing some Elvis rifts and you nailed a cover song of his while recording your new album. Is he an inspiration? Is there an element of Elvis on your new record?

I’ve made the jump into more guitar-orientated rock/blues. I love guitarists from Hendrix to Tommy Emmanuel, all styles. Elvis is one of, if not, my all-time favorite entertainer. I grew up with his records in my house and I’ve just dived back into his whole collection, movies and all. I’d say the record I’m working pulls from classic blues and rock influences like Elvis, but also from reggae, surf folk and more modern songwriting styles.  

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Can you share any information about your new record? When does it release? What will be the name and what is your favorite song and why?

I’m not sure yet. When I got signed up as a youngster I didn’t have a whole lot of freedom with music and releases/decisions etc. Now that I’ve started Coast House Records and am kind of my own boss, I can have my freedom and take the time I need to get it right. I’m still deep in the creative process at the moment.

Do you think girls like you more when you start serenading them?

100%. I try to keep it cool and casual most of the time, but sometimes I can’t help whipping out the guitar.

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You’re only 19 years old, which by any standard is young to have your own record company, which is producing your new album. Do you feel overwhelmed in any way with the commitment or are you really comfortable?

I feel pretty comfortable, I believe in my visions and I believe in my developing crafts. I know great things take time and I’m stoked to have started on my path young.

I know you love to surf Malibu in LA but is your favorite surf spot?

Malibu’s cool because it’s mellow and close to where I live, but I can’t help but miss any of the local Gold Coast breaks I grew up with!

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Do you get inspiration to play music when you are out in the surf and if so how does it help?

Without a doubt. Anything that takes my mind off of daily stresses and issues is always a conductor to creativity. Washing away whatever is blocking the flow and letting it roll. Getting out in the surf is a good release and usually opens up those pathways for me.

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Can you compare the rush of being on stage singing to people who obviously love what you are laying down verse riding a perfect wave that is pushing your capability as a surfer?

I would really love to know this.

I think so. Both adrenalines pumping for sure. You find those moments of harmony with the earth either surfing or playing music. It might sound cheesy and Zen but I find them both spiritual acts. Connecting to the earth and connecting to the divine. Anything that stokes you out!

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House Beer with Keegan Gibbs

1. Why did you decide to start a beer company? are you an alcoholic or is it because you wanted to be the man at every house party in LA?

It stemmed from wanting to do something fun, and for ourselves. I have worked on a lot of creative projects and marketing for other people, and i felt like we could bring a new look and creative angle to the beer market with House Beer. To be honest, Im burned out on drinking beer at the moment and don’t really care about beer at all. When you do too much of anything or get too close to anything you can burn out on it pretty easily. But that isn’t to say I don’t appreciate the culture of craft beer, and the great artisans who master their art. I just grew up drinking Coors Light, the antithesis of everything beer culture stands for.

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2. When was House Beer born ?
Fall of 2013

3. How do you keep inspired at work? We saw some nice books in your office. Whats your favourite one and why?

Meeting new people, or bringing people into the office that haven’t seen our brand before, telling our story, seeing their reaction. Anyone that has a real passion for what they are doing, and anyone with a unique outlook on the world and how they turn that into their art. I have a lot of art in here from friends too, as well as a bunch of art books and vinyl that we listen to throughout the day. Favorite book here right now would be this Wolfgang Tillmans book I have called Abstract Pictures. The guy is really prolific and diverse. My base is in photography, so he is really inspiring in how unfiltered his work can be.

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4. You listen to a lot of vinyl records. Thats becoming more and more of a novelty. Tell us about whats in your record collection and why its so awesome!
It started from stealing a stack from my dads extremely eclectic collection, listening to some of those, and then going back and asking him to suggest some more. I have started to collect some of my own, but all the gems are really from my dads original collection from when he was young. A lot of really good rare Miles Davis, Weather Report, Keith Jarrett, Talking Heads, and then some of my Black Sabbath and Nina Simone thrown in there.

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5. Tell us how you came to the final taste of house Beer? What process is involved?
That was a long process that had plenty of speed bumps along the way. We set out to brew our modern take on the traditional American lager (think Bud, Miller, Coors etc.) But our intention was to give it a bit more flavor profile, some more hops and to make it with integrity and the quality you would find in a much higher priced craft beer. Its not an easy task though to create an american lager since its a very simple beer, so any imperfections stand out and you can’t hide behind heavy hop profiles.

6. Where are your favourite spots to surf in LA around the world and In Australia?
At home, definitely Zuma Beach. It packs a punch, you can always find an area by yourself, and its my home break. The best session I have had in Australia was actually the first time I met Steds which was at pumping Bells maybe 7 or 8 years ago when he was on tour, right before the contest started. I borrowed one of his boards, wasn’t wearing a leash and almost lost the thing in the rocks but saved it with my head and ended up with a few stitches. We were on tour with Ozzy Osbourne at the time shooting a documentary so we went back to the hotel and a friend stitched me up after taking a few swigs of whiskey (sans numbing meds).

7. You have a history with taking photos and shooting cinema photography do you do any of this work with House Beer? ( perhaps talk about the marketing exercises you do like grand prix last weekend? )
Yes. All the visual content is stuff I create for the most part. My background is in conceptual art, film making and documentary work, and a bit of commercial/advertising photography, so it seemed natural to start working towards something for myself instead of one off projects for brands I’m fairly removed from.

8. Who inspires you as a photographer or cinema photographer?
Wolfgang Tillmans- In an age where everyone has the tools for good imagery in the palm of their hands, and clean aesthetics and thought out conscious imagery is so common and expected from people, he is a refreshing balance to what a high schooler can create on their instagram.
Also pretty much the entire Dusseldorf School of photographers. Massive inspiration for me from there.

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