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Interview with Beev Rations

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Beev Rations is an indie band of bedroom pop, which music, always an alternative, is deeply influenced by the root-styles of Rock, flourishing from the heart with full flavor in those juicy little pearls of songs, expressions of an own musical language.

Beev Rations is the natural expression of his creator’s musical project, Alan James (Santander, north Spain). True musical artisan, he is a songwriter, singer, and multi-instrumentalist, who also produces Beev Rations’ records.

His musical tastes and background are as wide as the influences and genres that converge in his style, going from the 50’s to the 90’s and mainly the 60’s, where many of the bands he loves most are gathered. Anyway, Alan James’ music is completely current, thanks to the original -simple but subtle- way to synthesize, craft, and perform it, for the delight of a growing audience that now loves and asks for more rooted flavor music.

How did you come by your band name?

All I know is that, in the spring of 2016, I started to feel a deep inner impulse to express myself musically again, as much as I could, after long years of absence regarding musical projects.

Although I didn’t know (or there wasn’t) anybody like me to play together, I was -and I am- very confident to make it alone anyway, as I’m an indie and “one-man-band” or DIY artist. I like to call Beev Rations a band because it sounds like a band. So I ended up creating this project, recording in my bedroom, with humble means.

I remember that in the previous months, back in 2016, I went to several concerts of the Municipal Music Band of Santander (my city), directed by Vicent Pelechano, an incredibly talented individual that made that band play in such a wonderful way that I often felt moved to the tears. They played pieces like “Orient Express” (Philip Sparke), you know, that kind of impressive and magical stuff.

Somehow, things like that contributed to making arise music again from my heart in a resolutive way, because I always knew about the musical treasures within me and certain ability of mine to craft magical moments in music, through the proper combination of voices and instruments. Well, that’s how I feel it.

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When did you discover your love for your craft and what made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in it?

I grew up surrounded by music. Everyone at home liked to listen to music on the radio, the turntable, or wherever. There were several Spanish guitars (from my father, a classical guitar lover) and many records (vinyl and cassettes). Among the LPs my father brought from Holland (he was a migrant in the sixties), there were two very special ones: a wonderful C&W anthology entitled “Original Country & Western Music” (with two fantastic bands, The Nashville Gamblers – The Westward Wanderers) and the fabulous “The Country Side of Jim Reeves”.

Both are part of the soundtrack of my life from my earliest childhood, along with other major influences. Among them, much of the best music of the 80s, in a wide variety of genres, because my older brother brought home a significant number of great records those years. However, I was not really aware that all this was simmering inside me, to go beyond being a great fan of listening to music. Until, at age 14, I heard “She loves you”, from the Beatles, on the radio.

It was like a true revelation, like a mystical experience. And I was the first one surprised, but something very deep made its way inside me and, since then, I felt musician, without even playing an instrument. I soon grabbed one of my father’s old guitars and learned to play my first chords. Then I started composing and singing; also I discovered the bass guitar, keyboards, and… until today.

To what or whom do you accredit your sense of style?

Now it is clear to me that all the music I heard in my early years was cooking inside me, as I said before. And that, during that first stage, the spirit of the authentic C&W had penetrated me deeply, because I had been exposed, very soon in my life, to pure country music, of enormous quality, among other influences. Later, the Beatles catalyzed all of that, in an irresistible way, taking me even beyond the musical aspect.

I remember playing “This boy” (my favorite song from them) again and again, hundreds of times, in old players, even spoiling the cassette where I had recorded it, directly from a radio broadcast. There is something very curious I’d like to add. The first LP I bought was “Beatles for Sale” (1964), which – I realized later – can be considered as the first great Country Rock album, years before the epic albums (in that style) of Byrds (in 1968) and Flying Burrito Brothers (1969).

In fact, I compose or play country-rock by default… together with folk, blues, doo-wop, Mersey, psychedelic essences and whatnot, because all come blended, mixed, spontaneously. Anyway, together with the Beatles, a whole host of wonderful groups and artists came into my life, especially from the 60s, but also from the 50s and 70s. A very special mention, due to his profound influence, has for me the genius of Brian Wilson with the Beach Boys; in my opinion, hand in hand with those of Liverpool in musical greatness. Yeah, I really mean it.

Now, there is another very significant anecdote, related to the blues, that I want to comment on here. When I was 20 years old and looking for a group, announcing myself as a bassist, I was invited to a rehearsal (in a garage) from a blues trio, consisting of two guys (lead guitar and keyboard) and a girl (voice).

I sat in the middle of them and when they started playing a good classic blues song, composed by them, the impression was so big that I started to shake, which fortunately they didn’t notice, as they were concentrating on their interpretation. That was pure magic, again. And there the blues conquered me forever, forming since then an essential part of my sound.

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On your current project, how did you come up with the concept?

“My Vow” is about relationships. It may sound extrange, but we can’t expect the others giving us what we don’t feel by ourselves. And we can’t give what we haven’t. So, the vow for feeling good yourself, unconditionally. From my own inquiry and experience, I became more aware of how important it is to have a satisfying and healthy relationship with yourself in the first place.

Because then the effect of this is perceived in all other relationships, which can be especially challenging in times of pressure. But that can also lead people to a clear resolution to be who they truly are. This is what “My Vow” suggests. On the other part, the world we’ll see tomorrow won’t be the one we once knew. And in between, we have the present, now. Here and now is precisely where I wanna focus the attention and the intention with this song.

During these days, many are coming to know that none can thrive utterly alone. And yet, there’s no way for the collective to solve global problems without every individual feeling good by him/herself. So this is also an invitation for you to discard fear (the most lethal virus) and, instead, staying safe, confident, and glad in your Heart. In the official video of the song, this can be seen with great clarity.

In any case, at the end of the day, when everything seems to be staggering around us and under our feet, the impulse to turn our eyes to the essential and rethink our values ​​and priorities based on what is truly important becomes clear. And I feel, by the way, that it is a good time to realize the madness that has been our civilization, especially since the last century, with almost all people living disconnected from themselves and nature, enslaved by the material and programmed (or formated) in their consciences by a few mass manipulators, whose ambition has blinded them to the fact that you cannot grow unlimitedly on a planet whose space and resources are limited.

So, now that we are seeing the consequences in increasingly evident and irreversible ways, it is completely opportune and sensible to take responsibility for what we feel and what we do, to return to the heart, to harmony with all of nature; for there is really no separation between beings and things: life is one, we are all aspects of it. And love, properly understood, begins with oneself. That is at the core of “My Vow”. That’s what I feel, of course. It is my perspective and each one has his, which is the one that best serves him, for as long as it is.

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What are some of your greatest challenges, and what is your greatest attribute when it comes to your work ethic?

Not only as a musician but also as an individual who takes part on this current human and planetary environment, perhaps the biggest challenge is staying serene, lucid, awake, living in a world (internal and external) full of stimuli and distractions that tend to lead you to live “on automatic pilot”, through the beaten track and the precooked (“correct”) responses, from a civilization that is clearly ending its life cycle anyway.

Meanwhile, a new one is being born, discreetly but unstoppable, with a more harmonious and conscious paradigm, in my view. So, it is very comforting and healthy to be able to reconnect with oneself, for example, relaxed in nature or doing what I love to do and enjoying together with the people I love. For me, then, it is about remembering my “true nature” (a recent EP of mine) and live that way. Being myself and feeling good here and now, flowing in every moment, accepting what is presented, taking it as it comes. Fortunately, this is becoming more and more affordable, because today there is much greater awareness, individually and collectively, than there was only a few years ago; and it increases every moment.

We’re grown enough to let go of all the belief systems of limitation, the false intermediaries, all the obsolete and alienating structures, all the dogmas, and the ideological corsets that prevent the human being from maturing, developing integrally and living fully.

We indeed can develop our own criterium and we’re now more able than ever, to investigate in various sources, contrast information and reach our own conclusions by exercising our discernment, without having to adhere or condition ourselves to any group, school, politic party, sect, religion, or philosophy. You can not put doors to the field or to consciousness! Our true nature is utterly free and independent.

It is exciting to attend this time of gigantic shift at every level. A transition period that is, for me, an authentic and enormous window of opportunity, for each person and for the human species, within this great life form we call Earth, now facing big changes, including the geological ones.

And about the second part of your question, I feel that the greatest attribute can be authenticity, the naturalness to express myself spontaneously. I only publish what it feels good to me. I also seek excellence to the best of my ability, in my records. As a lover of beauty, I like to faithfully capture and transmit, if possible, that beauty I feel intensely.

Are you the best at what you do in your opinion?

No doubt about it, because there’s no other Alan James and I can’t see another Beev Rations around, I can tell you, hahaha. Each one has its own tastes and views, but, honestly, I feel that I do a very unique and rooted style of music, beyond temporary fashions and tastes imposed by the industry; and even my very voice is pretty unusual. Then, see those lyrics, vocal harmonies, instrumental peculiarities, and mixed influences… and there you have it. A rare pearl, you see (now imagine my big smile with bright white teeth).

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What are your plans for the near future?

No plan or expectation at all, just living each day as it comes, preferably being myself, doing what I love, and, among the available options, taking those that I feel are the most satisfactory for me. Wellbeing. That’s my vow (haha). I have no idea how much longer this musical project will last (or where I will be tomorrow), although I do perceive that in this year 2020 a cycle is closing, in many aspects. As George Harrison sang in Something, “You’re asking me, will my love grow? I don’t know, I don’t know. You stick around now it may show. I don’t know, I don’t know”. So I’ll keep walking and the path will reveal itself with each step. I don’t know…

Is there anyone you’d like to thank, any shout outs?

Yeah, regarding this song and all that I have accomplished in my musical career till this date, I sincerely thank, to my dear ones in my family (the biological and the soul one), who truly love me and believe in me. I also thank the role played, no matter how, by whoever on this, because at last everything was for me an impulse to be myself and follow my own way in any aspect.

And, of course, I thank as well, from the deep of my heart, all the musical masters (the bands, the artists) who taught me and made me so happy through their wonderful music. Long live Rock!

To sum up, I thank the Life that I am and that we’re all are, beyond appearances. Because there’s no separation in nature, in life, in That what always is. That’s, I feel and I know, our true nature. It’s like the ocean and the waves. There you find only water, the same water manifested in uncountless forms and states…

And yes, I have also a gentle and kind “shout out” I’d like to say to anyone who can be reading this: hey, dear, rest easy, stay quiet, everything’s alright. Just focus, if you want to, in feeling good, in the things that work out well for you, in beings, and things that you appreciate. Because there where you put your attention, that thing grows! I’m talking about vibration, you know?

For the rest (there we go), this is a holographic cosmic movie, we are multidimensional entities that now are moving fast to a higher dimension. Simply rest in your Heart and we’ll be enjoying together the bliss of simpler and natural things and we’ll also find never seen wonders, sooner than you think.

Now I leave to the reader to decide if this is just another joke… or not. You know, those artists, you never know. 😉

How can fans find you?

I’ll be right here… er, oh well, that was said by ET.

Anyways, Beev Rations is active on Facebook, YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, SoundCloud, and its own website, among other places. In any of those, they can listen to my music and also contact me.

Besides, remember that “My Vow” can be downloaded for FREE in Bandcamp and SoundCloud, specifically, in High-quality audio! This is my gift for you because you deserve it and I feel it so. Yeah.

https://sunntones.wordpress.com/

https://beevrations.bandcamp.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsbJmdha0fuSjhiXfVKoERw

facebook.com/AlanJames22/


What suggestions do you have for other artist like yourself?

Well, a little bit what I said before, but now adding this: put yourself at peace with who you are, with what you lived and with the place or circumstance where you are. You can start to do it, if you didn’t already, and notice the good effects from the very beginning. I invite you to really know, accept, and love yourself completely the way you are here and now, unconditionally.

Otherwise, nobody but you would be your own obstacle, actually. Just listen: you are unique in all the universe, there’s nobody like you and only you can deliver art and music the way you deliver it. So, come on, sing your own song and forget everyone else expectations or madness. Enjoy yourself. In the end, this is a cosmic comedy, our adventure, our game, our dream. So, let’s dream it gracely!

Cheers, peace and good vibrations (“She’s giving me the excitations”).

My Vow – Beev Rations (Official Video)


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