Soul Sisters Podcast: Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast Is Speaking Up, Not Shutting Up
"Maybe I just have had enough," says Bethany Cosentino, frontwoman of the California band Best Coast and all-around feminist badass to anyone who's been paying attention to women's issues in the music industry this past year.
"I think it’s probably the amount of stuff I’ve experienced or seen or heard after being in this industry for now almost six years," she says, 2009 being the year she founded Best Coast with bandmate Bobb Bruno. "If I see something or hear something or feel something, I’m going to speak up about it."
As Cosentino tells us on this episode of Soul Sisters, recorded backstage at New York's Terminal 5, that "something" she's speaking up about covers a range of issues, from the way male critics attack her in concert reviews for not smiling enough, to sexual harassment perpetrated by male executives (she goes into detail about her decision to speak out when Amber Coffman of Dirty Projectors leveled such accusations against music publicist Heathcliff Berru.) For anyone who missed it, Cosentino's February Lenny Letter essay on these subjects blew the lid off what it's like to be inside an industry that is in many ways (and like many industries) built on double standards.
The L.A. native also tells us what music inspired her growing up (hint: there's a lot of Fleetwood Mac shower singing in her life) and how she's stuck to her guns in order to grow her sound and her own self-confidence in a business that doesn't make many allowances for insecurity.
"The beginning of Best Coast’s career was extremely hard for me because all anybody commented on was the way I looked, my weight, the way I dressed," she recalls. "It was that and it was, 'This girl needs to shut up because all she does is complain about boys.'”
But it's all dirt off her shoulder now, for the most part.
"Got to love the trolls," she deadpans. "Got to love that."
Check out the full episode below, hosted by Billboard writer/content creator Jessie Katz and Parlour Tricks singer Darah Golub, and be sure to subscribe to our iTunes channel for all future episodes: