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A Year in Bushwick

Dustin Payseur, 23, was sick of working at Urban Outfitters and about to move back home to North Carolina—but then he got a record deal.

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Music has been in my family forever: My mom is like a female Neil Young, and my dad was in a band called the Pompous Fuckheads, just to give you an idea of what kind of guy he is. We jam. They don’t play anything corny.

When I was in bands in Charlotte, North Carolina, we would do shows in New York and I’d think, ‘If I lived here, I could always play here.’ So I moved last summer. I got a minimum-wage job at Urban Outfitters (though I’d rather people not know that) and started recording in my room in Bushwick. I love the warehouse scene in Brooklyn, which is like house parties in large creepy areas with old rusty pipes. I think music should be recorded at home and played in a warehouse. But a few months ago I was really broke and about to move back home. At the last minute I sent around some demos of my one-man band Beach Fossils—just for the hell of it, because I was leaving anyway. And then I heard back from the labels Woodsist and Captured Tracks who were like, ‘We really like this and want to do a record.’ So I thought, Oh shit, I’ve got to stay now. It happened just in the nick of time.

As told to Alexis Swerdloff.

Beach Fossils will be playing at Cake Shop on August 13 and Union Hall on August 15.


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