Published Feb 20, 2013Last fall, Hurricane Sandy devastated the United States, leaving several dead and injured, along with causing some $50 billion of property damage. Among the destroyed property was Civil Defense, a Brooklyn recording studio that has hosted artists such as Vivian Girls, Lemonade and Frankie Rose, among others. At the time of Sandy's arrival, Dustin Payseur was just finishing up Beach Fossils' second album, the newly released Clash the Truth.
"Everything was fucked up," Payseur explains in a recent Exclaim! interview. "The walls were gone, the floors were out, all of the gear was washed up to one corner of the place. It had flooded and it was a terrible mess. It was weird to think, 'I was just in this place a couple days ago recording and now it doesn't exist.'"
Luckily for Payseur, his sessions had just finished and the tracks he had recorded were saved.
"We had a few days off and were going to go back in to start mixing, but on those days off that's when Hurricane Sandy came in," he says. "We almost lost all of our sessions, but thankfully the guy who booked the studio went and backed up all of the sessions a couple of hours before it flooded. So we almost lost everything."
Payseur says that even though it was eviscerated, Civil Defense is being resuscitated. "It was destroyed, man, but they're rebuilding," he says with relief. "I was actually surprised when I found out a few days ago about that because I didn't know what the hell they were going to do. I saw photos of right after it happened, and that place was ruined."
As for what he would have done had his recordings fallen victim to Sandy, Payseur says he would have just released the demos, which was originally his plan.
"I think I would have just put the demos out and maybe thrown live drums on it," he says. "Part of the plan was to have Tommy [Gardner] play drums on the record, so we probably would have recorded him and just put it out like that. It wouldn't have sounded quite the same. It wouldn't have been as energetic, but they are the same songs."
Clash the Truth is out now via Captured Tracks, and you can listen to the album below, where you'll also find Beach Fossils' upcoming North American tour dates.
2/23 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
2/24 Cambridge, MA - TT The Bears
2/25 Winooski, VT - Monkey House
2/26 Montreal, QC - il Motore
2/27 Toronto, ON - The Garrison
2/28 Buffalo, NY - Tralf Music Hall
3/1 Washington, DC - DC9
3/2 Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's