Album: The Beacon Street Collection
Label: Beacon Street
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Tony: “The Beacon Street record was kind of like a b-side to Tragic Kingdom, but it came out before Tragic Kingdom, so it’s a weird situation. We were making Tragic Kingdom, and we were kind of battling with the record company. It was just being drawn-out, in the same kind of situation where we were all working, we all had jobs, we were going to school. We would record as much as possible when we would get some sort of budget allowance to go and record, and it would come in small spurts. We were just frustrated. There were a lot of songs that we knew weren’t going to make Tragic Kingdom so we were like, ‘We can’t waste these songs, we got to put these out.’ So we’re just like ‘Fuck it, we’re putting this record out ourselves.’"

“We planned it out: we’d play shows, save up the money, and we printed up a ton of CDs and we sold them at shows, we sold them in the back of our cars, and that’s what the Beacon Street record was. The first two songs we did for that I think were ‘Squeal’ and ‘Doghouse,’ and we recorded them in the garage at the Beacon Street house in Anaheim.

The Beacon Street Collection was exciting, because we didn’t have a producer. It was a very homemade experience. It was done in a really cheap studio for the majority of it, but then we also recorded three songs at the bandhouse—’Doghouse,’ ‘Squeal,’ and I think ‘That’s Just Me.’ We had this little 15 track recorder for both songs, and we recorded them right at the Beacon Street house. It was a very exciting time to be making music. There was no record company involved, no producer involved—we were just doing our own thing.”

“After that first self-titled album, we toured on and off for a year, and sold like 25,000 copies, so we were like, ‘Okay, I guess we’re going to make another album then.’ We didn’t get dropped from our label, so that was good, and we started working on the new album. We were just a young band, and our shows locally were better than ever. As we started to write and record Tragic Kingdom, so much stuff happened. It was just a long process with the label. Everything happened in those three years: Tony and Gwen’s relationship broke up, which was really a tough thing to go through for everybody as friends, and then for the band. The band survived that, and then Gwen’s brother Eric left the band. So these are all well-known stories, but it was traumatic. We were just a group of friends who were really tight, and we had our band for years. Our band just got rocked with this intense, personal stuff."

Beacon Street kind of came of out of our frustration with the label at that point. We didn’t know when we were getting a release date, we didn’t know when we’d be able to go in the studio to finish this album. We had this little home studio and we started recording songs. We kind of knew what songs weren’t going to end up on Tragic Kingdom, and which ones were. We had so many songs, so we took the best of the best of the ones that weren't going to be on Tragic Kingdom, and started recording them in our home studio, and put out the vinyl singles to sell at our shows. We didn’t have any music to sell to these people coming to our shows. We started making the vinyl singles. There was ‘Doghouse,’ which had a b-side, and ‘Squeal,’ which had a b-side." 

“One day we finally got the CDs made, and we were selling them at our shows, and our A&R guy goes, ‘Hey, what’s this?’ and we were like, ‘Oh, well we made CDs since you guys are making it take so long to record the album.’ But it was funny—they were totally cool with it. They were like, ‘Oh we get it, you’re selling them at shows.’ It was great—we sold one hundred and some thousand Beacon Street CDs, and I don’t know what it stands at right now— maybe a couple hundred thousand. For us it was just a really fun, creative thing to get to do.”