Updated: March 25, 2003

One of the bands igniting up the local music scene is The Beautiful Mistake. With members based out of Orange County and Riverside, The Beautiful Mistake have been taking it out on the road and scorching crowds all across the country with their fiery brand of emo and hardcore. Prior to their recent show at The Troubadour opening for Further Seems Forever, the band spoke with Highwire Daze about their unique music.

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in The Beautiful Mistake, and how long the band has been together.

John: I’m John, I play bass in The Beautiful Mistake.

Josh: I’m Josh, I play guitar and sing in The Beautiful Mistake. Sean, the guitarist, and I started the band in January of 2001. We’ve had a few member changes, but John’s been in the band for almost two years now and Armin our drummer has been in the band for a year and a half.

What is the music scene like in Riverside?

John: For me and Josh, we live in Orange County but we stated the band in Riverside. The other two guys live there. There isn’t anywhere to play, besides the Showcase Theater, which is in Corona – it’s not really Riverside but it’s close. Either we, if we play Showcase Theater or Chain Reaction, we do pretty well. Or The Glasshouse

Josh: Orange County and Riverside are kind of our hometowns.

How did you wind up on The Militia Group?

Josh: I’ve known Chad for a long time. When we recorded our first EP, we really didn’t send it out to any labels, but a friend of ours who worked at a record store in Riverside put it in the listening booth and it started selling really well and consistently. That kind of caught the attention of people. The he started sending out press packs that he made to labels. We were talking to Militia and a couple of other labels and it just seemed like the right fit.

Where did you get the name The Beautiful Mistake?

Josh: Sean and I were looking for band names, and I think we had a list of about 100 that were really bad. But I was reading an e. e. cummings poems making reference to a beautiful mistake.

And what does the name mean to you?

Josh: Honestly, I think regardless of all of our screw-ups, there’s still beauty – humans still deserve respect. Regardless of how much you screw up, you can still be a beautiful person.

And then what about the title ight A Match For I Deserve To Burn?

John: Actually our friend Josh was going through a lot of rough spots in his life, and I think it was like a poem or an email. And he just basically talked about how sometimes you just – not like you want to bathe yourself in gasoline and light yourself on fire. But sometimes you get so fed up how stupid you are and how you do dumb ass stuff sometimes – and you wish you didn’t exist. It’s not like in a morbid sense. It’s just a metaphor. Sometimes you just get fed up with yourself. All of us do. We go through everyday and ask, “Why did I do this? I feel like a dumb ass!”

Josh: People take it at face value. Like we’re promoting people to kill themselves or whatever. But people have a lot of negativity. And if you die to that metaphorically, then I think you’re gonna be a better person. It’s not that much of a stretch.

Where do you get the ideas for some of the lyrics?

Josh: I think they come from personal experience for the most part. And trying to exorcise the demons so to speak – whether it’s friends going through a rough time or your friends stabbing you in the back. We’ve had loved ones that have died and there are songs about that. It kind of runs the gamut of personal experience, and I think for us, that’s the best way to do it because it feels more honest. I don’t think everyone needs to know every single detail of your life, but you can speak in general enough terms to where you are conveying an emotional point. And you could be putting your 100 percent into it, but people can still draw from it and say “This song means this to me.” Kind of let people interpret it for themselves. But it’s all personal experience for the most part.

John: I don’t write a lot of the lyrics, so for me I know the heart behind them. For me, it’s like a remedy for the poison I guess. The way I look at it, it’s just a way to get rid of a lot of aggression in your life. When I take the stage, that’s my time to let everything out, regardless if it was a bad week or whatever. And I think the lyrics have a say in a lot of that. Any lyric from any song I can relate to something in my life every single day, which is awesome.

And then there’s the live show where you get it all out.

Josh: It’s definitely a release, and I don’t think like in a negative way. I think there’s a lot of bands that get up there and they’re pissed off at something. Everyone goes through different experiences, and you can either dwell on those or you can deal with them. I’d rather deal with them and face them head on, and hopefully give people some sort of hope. Hopefully lyrics that are in our CD, hopefully people can go, “Hey! I understand there’s hope!” You don’t have to sit in your room and be bummed. You can live your life. We definitely want to be positive. Even though it may seem pretty melancholy. A lot of people ask us that – “Are you depressed?” It was a time, and I think the next album will definitely be way different.

A happy album!

John: With a love side and…

Oh no! (Much laughter) So you guys have been doing a lot of touring. What is the strangest thing that has happened on the road so far?

John: Dude, it had to have been New York City where this guy jumped on the van. It was after we played at CBGB’s.

Josh: Halloween night in Manhattan. Wow!

John: We’re driving out and we pulled up to a stop light – and this crazy ass dude – he had to have been on drugs because I saw his eyes -- they were just crazy…

Josh: And this was after a chorus line of drag queens that either hit on us or paraded themselves around the van.

John: That and a guy making racist remarks to like Persians, and our drummer is Persian. So he jumps out of the van! But like for us, this guy is staring at me, and he jumps on the frigging hood – he looks at me, gets off and smacks the rear view mirror. And he tries to open the door. Luckily I locked it or else we would have been in trouble dude!

Well my next question was about Beautiful Mistake groupies, but it sounds like you met a least one in New York…

Josh: I’m engaged, so there goes my Behind My Music. It’s just not for us I guess.

John: There’s people that try, but honestly. The way I look at it, when the band is done, if I just settled with any frigging girl every single night – when the band is done, those are the people I have to be with for the rest of my life. So why use the band as an outlet to make myself feel better for five minutes?

Tell me about this cause that you support.

Josh: We support this organization called Jubilee, and it’s an organization that’s dedicated to relieving third world debt. A lot of countries in Africa owe the World Bank and they owe Western countries huge amounts of money. It’s not something that we’re preachy about. We’re not a political band, but we say if you’re interested, you can go and check it out. They do a lot with AIDS funding and getting people educated in Africa about AIDS and about abstinence. A lot of times I think people just throw condoms at the problem, but I think beyond that, there’s way more that you can do. They are very proactive in that, and we’re really supportive of that. Just for people, if they are interested, they can come to the table and check it out. It’s not a political organization, which is cool. There’s no vote Democrat, vote Republican, vote for war or whatever.

John: It’s taking a step when you know that you’re blessed, and wanting to help other people out. Just as Americans in general, we have it really lucky here. That’s pretty much a lot what drives us to realize how much we have as individuals. We don’t get to eat for weeks at a time playing in a band (much laughter), but we realize that we’re a lot luckier than a lot of people are. We just want to help people out with the gift that we have.

So on tour, what do you guys do to break up the monotony?

John and Josh: Go-cart racing!

Josh: Not in the winter, but in the summer, spring and fall we hit go-carts at family fun centers.

John: It’s so fun! Like we went on tour with All American Rejects and we would go go-cart racing. We did like two or three different times.

Josh: We always get busted for bumping…

John: yeah, because we’re all like aggressive.

Josh: We always end up spinning somebody around…

John: yeah, and then someone gets pissed and they shut it off.

Josh: That’s about as rowdy as we get. There’s no heroin binges or anything like that.

John: We’re not like G & R or anything…

So what’s up next for you guys after the Further Seems Forever tour?

John: After this tour, we have a tour with Hopesfall on Trustkill Records. We leave for that towards the end of March and the first date is 6th of April and it starts in Ohio. We have a couple of shows before that to help us pay the way to get out there. We go on that tour and Every Time I Die joins up on the second half on it. We take that out to Phoenix, drive home and have a couple weeks off. We’re still debating what we’re gonna do after that. We have a possible tour with Bigwig and there’s also some talk about going on tour with From Autumn To Ashes in Europe. We’re still deciding that. Then we’re going to do a headlining tour from July into August. We’re going to take September to December off and write new music. We haven’t really had any time to write for a new record, so we want to work on that definitely. When you look at it, the record has been out for quite a bit – and we have so much touring coming up still. It’s like, man, we need some time off to work on some stuff! So we’re pretty much just touring – that’s what we are – we love to do that. It’s the best feeling in the world to play music.

Why should someone run out right now and buy the new Beautiful Mistake record?

Josh: It’s something a little different. I think people are going to label us as emo or label us as Thursday rip-offs which every magazine seems to do. I think on second and third listen, I don’t think we sound like Thursday at all. I think they are a great band. I hope we are doing something different, and I hope people can get something out of it, more than just loud music. Don’t burn it, go buy it.

Any final comments?

Josh: If people want more info, they can check out our website – beautifulmistake.com – for tour dates or whatever.

John: I just want people to come out to shows, because I think we’re definitely a live band. I think our CD is awesome – the production is great. But you can’t capture what we do live on the CD, and that’s just the way it is. So I definitely recommend anyone to come out and check us out live.

Light A Match For I Deserve To Burn by The Beautiful Mistake is now available from The Militia Group!


THE BEAUTIFUL MISTAKE: Their beautiful Home Page!
THE MILITIA GROUP: Their beautiful Record Label!
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