Tagg Coppins is the songwriter and singer behind the experimental BEETSBLOG. Using effects apps, such as Apple’s GarageBand, Coppins recorded anything with an interesting sound and edited it to fit into his album, LOVERS AND FRIENDS. With the help of friends and family, Coppins has created a feel-good album that encompasses ideas such as self-love, sex, and the positive aspects of the millennial generation.
For Coppins, the production is incredibly important to the songwriting. “They think they inform each other,” he says. “If one doesn’t make sense with the other, the whole listening experience falls apart. I think that care and attention are what make a recording sound unique, especially when recording at home. You have a lot of freedom to create something that comes right from you.” Coppins learned his general music skills in high school, but shortly fell away from music after college. It was only a year ago when Coppins picked up music and songwriting once again. “It was during this acid trip I was on that I wrote the song ‘Lovers and Friends,’” he says. “One of my favorite things about the effects of LSD and making music is the auditory hallucinations, especially the voices coming out of you. You can feel it in your chest, feel it reverberate all around.” It was at that point that Coppins began experimenting with alternate voices and strange sounds, making BEETSBLOG the unique entity that it is.
One of BEETSBLOG’s standing trademarks is the sense of humor that Coppins brings to the lyrics. “I love singing silly songs, making jokes, and I think humor is really important to music,” he says. “It can often be left out. Sometimes pop music is so serious that I can’t even relate to it.” One good example is “Working on my Body”—a lighthearted song that is about self-improvement and being less selfish during sex. “I hope it’s a nice song about giving,” says Coppins. “You can laugh if you want, but you don’t have to stop and examine what you do with your life.” Other songs speak more to mundane daily tasks—such as “Work To Do,” which is about the endless cycle of work that’s necessary to continue living and eating in an overly priced world.
Most of the album’s songs, however, speak to millennials—the ones who are attempting to break free from the mundane and want a better life for themselves and those around them. “Young people are looking for a way out and feel like the need to invest their lives in a career,” says Coppins. “I think that is really amazing and empowering. I love my generation. I think we’re really onto something.” Though Coppins admires millennials, he also recognizes the constant demand millennials have to produce and market themselves, even in daily social spaces. “A big theme is social anxiety,” he says. “It’s something I experience and most of my friends experience. I hope I can get everyone who listens to [Lovers and Friends] maybe feel a bit better.” Overall, Coppins hopes people can reflect on the feel-good, go-out-and-party vibes of the album.
In his writing process, Coppins relies more on the sounds than the lyrics of each song. “I hope the ideas and even just specific words you’re listening to can leak in through all the noises, all the sounds,” he says, “and can contribute rather than the listener supposed to be concentrating on what you’re trying to say.” Even the album art for BEETSBLOG incorporates his ideas: Coppins in the center surrounded by pursed-lipped celebrities in a large swimming pool. “My wife designed the cover and compiled all the images,” he says. “I think it shows where it’s coming from—from me, in my weird, little world with a lot of floating heads around me.”
BEETSBLOG is planning on creating another album, and Coppins already has new songs in the works. He and his wife are also developing songs about friendship for a kids show. The song you’ll hear on this track is from Lovers and Friends, an experimental and humorous song, “Seashell.” For more information, or to download BEETSBLOG’s album, visit g-y-m.bandcamp.com.
Thanks for listening to SLUG Mag Soundwaves.
- This podcast was created by SLUG Magazine and produced by Angela H. Brown and Secily Saunders
- Associate Producers: Alexander Ortega, Joshua Joye, John Ford, Kathy Zhou
- Executive Producer: Angela H. Brown
- Background music by BEETSBLOG
- Soundwaves logo and art design by Nicholas Dowd
- Technical design by Kate Colgan
- Album art courtesy of BEETSBLOG
SLUG Magazine’s mission is to provide an honest journalistic alternative to mainstream coverage of arts, music, events and lifestyle. SLUG adds value to lifestyle through community engagement. Available in print and digitally on SLUGmag.com.