Beanstalk or Beans Talk? You decide. Riley Bean, the dude who is Beanstalk, says that the name is meant to be ambiguous.
“Someone nicknamed me Beanstalk in high school once,” explains Beanstalk. “It wasn’t a big deal really. People didn’t really call me that but, when I was thinking of names, I thought of Beanstalk. I liked the sound of it and it just fit.”
Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Beanstalk produces and records all of his own music. Starting percussion in the fifth grade, Beanstalks drummer roots are audible in the rhythmic beats of his music.
“From the start, I’ve been trying not to limit myself.”
Beanstalk has released music on Soundcloud that ranges from 80’s-esque synth-pop to house to meditation. He is even working on a hip-hop track with a rapper, currently.
He was in the indie band The Paths all through out the band’s three-year run, touring with The Paths across the mid-west and playing at SXSW. The Paths split up last year, now Beanstalk focuses on his own music.
“I’d never been to something that big [SXSW],” says Beanstalk. “[SXSW] was a really good experience for me and a chance to see some new types of music I hadn’t run into before.”
Another Michigan-based band that performed in SXSW was The Soil & The Sun, from Grand Rapids shares Beanstalk.
“[The Soil & The Sun’s] music is a lot of folk, and soundscape-y,” Beanstalk describes.
As mentioned early, Beanstalks music is all him. With a Bernard Sumner-respective voice, Beanstalk does vocals for his tracks. Not one to shy away from collaborating either though, Beanstalk’s Rhythmic Iron features Katie Wright on vocals as well.
His latest take on sampling music is Chop Chakra, which features Chinese music CD Music for Efficient Sleep Awakening he discovered.
“I just kind of chopped it up and added my own flavor,” he said. However, as you can see in the track title he made sure to give credit to where the original track came from. “That’s my biggest beef with newer musicians that sample; not giving credit to the original.”
Lately, Beanstalk has been listening to a lot New Order and David Bowie. His current obsession is Pet Shop Boys’ Always on My Mind and the soundtrack for Drive. Can you blame him? I still can’t get over Nightcall by Kavinsky.
Although pursuing music full-time, Beanstalk is also passionate about growing organic food. In March, Beanstalk will be going on a six-eight month trip across the country through the farming program WWOOF. Along the way Beanstalk will be playing a few shows, he is still in the planning process so hit him up if you would like to request a show near you. He is currently working on setting up shows in Asheville, North Carolina and California. Portland may even be possible stop. Last year, in October he visited the southern coast of India. It was an intense experience, both culturally and just in general , Beanstalk shares.
“We transplanted over 400 trees and 200 aloe vera plants in the heat,” he said. “At the Co-op forest we were in, we were alone at night and there were monkeys that would come out and harass us.”
While in India, he also had a chance to experience Indian culture and music.
“There were temple festivals going on,with music and theater lasting all night” said Beanstalk. “The most memorable was a traditional act at two in the morning that was all improv . It was four guys with unconventional and not-so-ordinary instruments, and was an unreal performance. Great inspiration, and example of the possibilities of music.”
After performances Beanstalk said people would sleep on the temple floor or sand.
Beanstalk is looking to do an EP, most likely after his cross-country trip. It will more likely be a four-five track EP, most being 80s-esque tracks like Rhythmic Iron.
“While I normally play a range of styles, I want to have a common theme [for the EP],” said Beanstalk.
Beanstalk is also working on getting his music into films. If you’re interested in collaborating, just shoot him a message.