Dylan and Zach Beck haven’t always gotten along as brothers. Zach, a senior history major, is three years older than Dylan, a senior math major. Ask them about their separate ear-biting incidents as kids. Ask them because it’s too good to read here.
The Becks are normal siblings from Mountain Home, Arkansas, who have gotten closer as they’ve gotten older. As they got older, they formed the band Heidi Klum’s Bangs in 2009. On Saturday, Nov. 7 they released their sophomore long-play album “A Place We Know.”
“The album is like a novel, and it has some sort of intertwining concept,” Zach said.
The long-play album means if someone were to listen to it all in one sitting and then start it over again, there would be a smooth loop. Everything cycles back to the beginning.
“I think the flow for us is very important, in that we definitely want to have a sense of movement throughout the album, which I’ve sort of discussed this with Dylan before,” Zach said. “It’s spatial quality and it inhabits a sort of mental space.”
Dylan explained there are three distinct movements in the album. The first, Dylan said, is more atmospheric.
“The second part is murky and cloudy,” Dylan said. “The closing movement, it’s sort of a weird take on the things you’ve just experienced. I think the songs are more straightforward.”
Their music has a lot of instrumentals, and it’s a wide variety of instruments. Zach plays the guitar, trumpet and keyboard, and Dylan plays the drums, keyboard and orchestral bells.
“I can play some other stuff, but for the sake of our band, I usually let Dylan do that stuff,” Zach said.
On their Bandcamp website –– where you’ll find their music –– the Beck brothers file themselves under indie pop, indie rock and folk rock, among a few other things. Bandcamp is a free service that allows artists and fans to connect to each other and also allows fans to support artists monetarily.
The bangs and the band process
The launch point for making music was when Zach wrote a poem, a poem for a girl.
“I was really into this girl at the time, and she had the blonde cut bangs, but the bangs were the prominent thing,” Zach said.
Zach said he isn’t sure if at the time of the band formation supermodel Heidi Klum even had blonde, fringe bangs.
“We went through a lot of names, and most of them were pretty ridiculous,” Dylan said.
Dylan does have more of a traditional musical background. He started playing percussion in his middle school’s band and played through high school in the marching and jazz bands.
Zach, though, is a self-taught musician who started later in life than Dylan. He started with rudimentary guitar chords, but then he said he was listening to a lot of brass-based music; so he taught himself the trumpet.
“I literally had no musical hope in myself until I was 19,” Zach said.
To create music these days, Zach is usually the lyricist and starts composing first on the keyboard or guitar. He said the process is like creating the skeleton of the body, and then he will bring the piece to Dylan, to fill in the body with additional harmony and melody.
“For this album, the songs were all created with the express purpose of being on the same album,” Zach said.
However, for this latest release Dylan did more of the editing processes, using software such as Magix and Fruity Loops.
“It’s been the norm that I’ve not heard Zach’s lyrics until the actual album has been released,” Dylan said. “It’s been a recent development. You hear the lyrics before the sound is even completed and that’s bound to change the way it sounds.”
Also changing the sound is where Heidi Klum’s Bangs is recording. They record each instrumental track in Dylan’s apartment, which has wooden floors, though Dylan prefers carpeted rooms.
The ultimate goals
Since both brothers are set to graduate from Missouri State, the next step is actually more school. Both Becks said they are hoping to continue into higher education. Dylan said he is applying to doctoral programs for math to become a math professor someday. Zach said he’d like to continue at MSU for a Master’s in religious studies.
Their goal for their music is not to sign at a record label.
“The ultimate goal is just to bring, and we’ve said this from the beginning, is to bring some sort of beauty, truth and healing into the world,” Zach said. “We have no intention of becoming famous or making money.”
Dylan said he’s selfish in the sense he wants to keep their music production between the two of them, but made for everyone.
“The subject matter is sort of the universal experiences, told from a unique perspective, not necessarily for anybody and any point in time,” Dylan said, “Whatever you take away from it, is what it’s meant to be.”