Photo: Hunter Moreno

Beauty School Dropout

Alt-rock’s explosive newcomer Beauty School Dropout has unleashed the opening number of their next chapter.

Channeling Brit-rock with LA attitude and just a bit of glam rock, pop punk, classic rock ‘n roll, and everything in between, “dying to be you” is the most in-your-face Beauty School Dropout has ever been — and that’s saying a lot. Written at a crucial time by lead singer Colie Hutzler, “dying to be you” zooms in on imposter syndrome and self-doubt with vulnerable but incredibly honest lyrics. Yet, not only does the track shy away from any form of sonic insecurity, “dying to be you” is absolutely stadium-ready with its drilling guitar riffs and drums more fueling than adrenaline rush.

As a relatively young band, Beauty School Dropout is beyond impressive and beyond ready to conquer the world. Only their third tour ever, the band played Madison Square Garden days after the release of “dying to be you,” alongside and opening for mentor and A&R, Mark Hoppus/Blink 182, as well as Turnstile, the band carrying rock music’s future. With all three bands on the lineup being incredibly unique, era-defining, and innovative for generations, not only does the young band feel just as confident and skilled as their precedents, Beauty School Dropout is at the eye of the storm and ready for what comes next.

What’s the song that you’re currently obsessed with?

Beepus: One song I’m currently obsessed with is “Love Letter” by Knox. I’ve been obsessed with Knox lately. And I think lyrically, he’s just so cute and creative and that song has just been stuck in my head.

Colie: I’ve been obsessed with “Lonely Bitch” by Bea Miller. Highly recommend, it’s really good.

Bardo: I’m Bardo. And I’ve been obsessed with “33 ‘God'” by Bon Iver.

From Knox to Bon Iver, that doesn’t happen a lot, that’s a very cool selection. How has the tour been so far, and is there any show that you’re looking forward to playing the most?

Colie: It’s been amazing. So far, the first two shows, we were figuring out our dynamic on stage and how we wanted to navigate because, by the way, this is our third tour ever; but the last tour that we did was 1000 to 2000 caps, now we’re in 20,000 to 25,000 cap, so trying to figure out the way to be a band on stage in an arena is a lot different. But last night, the show was amazing, and it felt right and just perfect.

Beepus: Everything finally sunk in last night, which was so tight, so it was the best show so far. But I know we’re all excited for Madison Square Garden. That thing is a bucket list for all of us.

Right! I forgot that was happening. That’s insane!

Colie: It’s insane.

Beepus: I thought we’re gonna have to put a lot more years until we get to play that, and the fact that it’s happening this tour with Blink 182 and Turnstile, it’s like all of our dreams coming true in a very fast way.

That’s so cool. Well, in what ways do you see Beauty School Dropout being kind of similar to Blink? The reason why I asked that is because you guys are really different. Obviously for your career so far, Mark (Hoppus) has been there for a good chunk of it, how has it been so far? 

Colie: It’s pretty interesting. I feel like one of our biggest similarities is that–this is just my bias–but I feel like we have a very fresh sound for our era and time, which I think was pretty similar to them. They were very ahead of the curve and definitely set the trend for a lot of bands to come. I mean, it’s 30 years later, and they are selling out stadiums and people are still trying to make music like them, which is fantastic and obviously speaks to that testament.

Beepus: Just to add to the similarities too, we are very similar in our humor palette. I like watching them soundcheck because it’s like watching us soundcheck. The way they talk to each other is very similar to how we talk to each other. If you hit differences…

Bardo: We don’t look like them, and they’re older. (laughs)

Colie: That actually is a big one, we don’t dress anything like them. They have a very defined style, the SoCal-like baggy cargos — Well, actually, no, they did change it up a little bit, but very SoCal, 90s skater look, whereas I think ours is a little bit more grungey.

I see. You’re in LA for the most part, but are you guys from California?

Colie: Yeah, I’m from San Diego. Bardo is from San Luis Obispo and Beepus is from Tucson.

Beepus: And our drummer is from NorCal, so there’s a lot of California in the blood.

Nowadays [California fashion] is definitely different from the 90s, when Blink pretty much embodied the entire 90s SoCal aesthetic. Funny enough, when I listened to the new song, and also a little bit of your last album, there are more punk than pop elements in your songs. I think what makes it really stand out was the more metallic breakdowns. That’s something that a lot of the time labels like to cut out. Even with the newest song, I’m so glad that there’s a second breakdown happening instead of going straight to the outro. That was really fun.

Colie: Thank you. I think that’s something that we’ve discovered throughout this recent year with songwriting because we try and trim the fat as much as possible and really get to the point as quickly as we possibly can, but I think this is the best way to balance all of our biggest influences. Like we love big riffs and like, Rage Against the Machine, like that kind of vibe where it has that formula involved. I think we (BSD) can all say we’re in a similar vein, but it’s nice because Beepus kind of splits the difference between us. I came from a lot of punk and hardcore and metal. Bardo came from a lot more of pop and EDM, and then Beepus is on both ends of the spectrum.

Beepus: They’re like the Wonder Bread And I’m the ham and cheese.

To be more specific, who did you listen to when you were growing up? And who are some of your favorite bands now?

Beepus: Hilariously Blink 182 is my favorite band of all time. That’s the idea, and that whole area like Sum 41, The Offspring, Blink obviously, and Rise Against, anything that lived in that whole palette, I live for it.

Colie: I was in a very similar vein, those were a lot of my favorites growing up as well, but I think my biggest influences were all 90s legends, like Deftones, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, and even earlier like Motley Crue and Kiss, all the crazy glam rock, hair metal stuff was awesome for me. And then rap too like ASAP, Tyler, Kendrick, Keem.

Bardo: I grew up on the Strokes, and then Arcade Fire. Also, I grew up going to bluegrass festivals with my parents. I love folk music a lot. As I got older, I learned how to produce EDM and hip hop beats. And I think Skrillex is the best producer ever. So he’s my goat. But yeah, I just pulled from a lot of different styles, it’s always important to have a really great song and then have production that just hits you in your face.

That’s a pretty dense list across the spectrum for sure.

Beepus: The thing that’s cool about it to me is we all pull so heavily from our influences, and because we’re all so opinionated in our writing process, if we listen to each other, you can hear all of our influences trickled throughout our music, evenly, song to song. You can hear bits of us each in every song, which is really cool. That defines our sound as Beauty School Dropout.

Any bands that you’re excited about at the moment that are not growing up influence?

Colie: Turnstile, and we’re on the road with them now so it’s kind of funny.

Beepus: Yeah, they’re a huge influence to us, we’ve all been on them early. And Colie and I have been on Knocked Loose a lot lately.

Colie: Yeah they are amazing –Loathe, and Static Death, Mouth Culture, and Kid Kapichi, our English counterparts–all our English counterparts, oh my god, incredible, incredible artists. I’m so excited for the future of rock and all their careers as well.

Beepus: The UK scene right now is just so cool. We just love the UK scene right now so much, so we’re so excited to go over there in like, two weeks.

Colie: Also our close homies at home, more solo artists with bands than actual bands. But like Jager Henry, and Jxdn, god who else are we rocking with right now…

Beepus: Royal & The Serpent! My girlfriend, just by chance, is making the sickest music. She’s paving the way for female fronted alt rock and it’s so cool.

Colie: Yeah, I love her music. Undeniably incredible.

Beepus: It’s so nice to have my girlfriend makes such sick music, but if she made bad music, it would be so bad.

Bardo: (laughs) I love her music.

I want to talk about the debut album a little bit more before I start asking you guys about the single and what’s up next, because I really like it as a debut album. It’s very strong. What is your personal favorite out of the first album?


Beepus: That’d be one of my favorites as well.

Colie: Or “See you in hell.”

Bardo: “YEAHYEAHYEAHYEAH” is on there. Or Yeah-times-four is popularly known as in the Dropout community.

Colie: It just has the most angst and rawness to it. And I love that. It’s just so upbeat and in your face.

Bardo: It was stuck in my head when I woke up this morning. I was singing it when I got dressed.

I want to ask you about the upcoming single, what inspired “dying to be you?” Is it the beginning of a new era? 

Colie: Yeah, this next era that we have is more summed up by the aesthetics and the world that we’re building. Sonically, we cover so many different bases, there’s so much control and so much range. This is definitely the heaviest song I think as of now that’s coming out on the record, which is why we like it so much. But the song itself came from a session that we did with some of our closest friends. We were all just getting ready for the road. I was coming out of a deep depression. So I think lyrically that spawned a lot because I was pretty much spitting game about how fucking depressed I was. But I think it also is very symbolic of where we’re headed. Just because we’ve been working so hard these last few years.

And the “dying to be you” thing translates into how we really can’t be prepared for how much work goes into really getting a band off the ground. When you have all these other successful artists around you, it’s really easy to compare and contrast or feel biased towards your own project or what you deserve or what you don’t. So I think that was, in short, a testament to that feeling and acting as a symbol of “Okay, we’re here now.” And there’s no reason to compare anyways. That shouldn’t ever be a thing. We’re here to just make good music and live life to the fullest and change people’s lives and bring them together with music.

Beepus: That sentiment, too, I think holds true to the rest of the stuff that we’ve been writing for the next era. We have a lot to say about how we feel. We write a lot about how we feel very deeply.

Colie: (laughs) Yeah. We do. Very deeply.

Beepus: (laughs) We’re sad boys.

Well, the closing question, is kind of a silly one. Which music note or chord has this year been so far for you personally?

Colie: I don’t know… Like a G Major?

That’s a good one, that’s a very bright one.

Beepus: Oh, yeah. I definitely think this year has been a major note.

Colie: An open D! F major!

Beepus: A perfect little “fuck yeah.”

Bardo: My favorite key is a minor because it’s the easiest to play, or C major, but I like minor keys better.

Colie: This is the time to be major!