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Speaking to LADYGUNN less than a week before their sophomore album READY TO EAT arrives, it’s clear from the get-go that the members of LA-based rock band Beauty School Dropout all exist on the same shared wavelength, finishing each other’s sentences and regularly interjecting with bits of shared humor. Vocalist Colie Hutzler and guitarist Bardo Novotny introduce themselves first; Hutzler then introduces “Mr. Michael Rose, the best drummer in the world,” who sits in the back of the room; bassist Beepus Burdett joins shortly after.


The week before the album release is “jam-packed with work”: rehearsals for their imminent tour, meetings, and recording TikToks. After tours with blink-182 and JXDN, as well as festival slots at Lollapalooza, Aftershock, and Download in the UK, Beauty School Dropout are excited for a headlining run: Burdett explains that “every show that we’ve done this year has been trying to win over new people, whereas these ones are going to be our people” and Novotny feels that on a headlining tour, “We get a lot more leeway. We can fuck around a lot harder.”



READY TO EAT takes its name from the English translation of Pret A Manger, a European coffee shop the band is “obsessed” with. Fawning over Pret A Manager’s $30-a-month coffee subscription, Burdett reveals that the album title has “evolved into so much more.” Hutzler describes this new, deeper interpretation of READY TO EAT: “We’re ready to step up to the Big Boy table. After all this touring, supporting arena acts and people who we’ve aspired to work with for a long time, I think we’re at the point where we’re ready to fill those shoes.”


By the end of 2023, Beauty School Dropout will have played over a hundred shows this year alone, so writing and recording sessions for the album were scattered: “We kind of got thrown into a frenzy of sessions and then had a deadline to put a body of work together,” Hutzler shares. He hopes that next time the group records, they can be more intentional about creating an album with a through line and building a rollout plan. Novotny adds that he and his bandmates “always think about these crazy concepts for everything we do. We can’t just come up with a simple idea. We have to have storylines involved in everything. I think it’s our natural way we think. It would be cool for us to have a little more breathing room for the next one.”



Although BSD produces most of their music, they do bring in other people – Andrew Goldstein and Dru DeCaro were involved in the making of READY TO EAT. Novotny mentions that he and his bandmates love working with people who are “a little bit removed from the rock world”: they’re all big fans of EDM and name Skrillex as a shared inspiration and “dream collaborator.” The band is good friends with JXDN – an artist well-steeped in the new school of pop-punk full of hip-hop influence – and naturally wrote “probably 15 songs” together. “FREAK” was their favorite of the bunch, and they released it in March, right before the JXDN tour.



A highlight of READY TO EAT is “Beautiful Waste,” written about the reality of pursuing people romantically when they’re up against stiff competition in LA. “We’re this band on the come-up,” Hutzler says. “Sure, whatever, people think that’s cool, but then ultimately, we’re up against billionaires who are flying these chicks out to go to Mykonos. There’s a humor in that.” He clarifies that – despite some fans’ expectations otherwise – “by no means are we living this luxurious and lavish lifestyle.”



READY TO EAT ends with “thanks for nothing,” an outro track that builds and swells around a vocal freestyle by Jager Bonham, a friend of the band. Discussing the final vocal line – “life is like a box of chocolates; go fuck yourself” – Novotny attests that sometimes the meaning of a song comes after it’s written: “I feel like we create art and then find reason for [it] after, because we write from where we’re at in the moment. A lot of times people think we have these elaborate preconceived ideas, and I think it’s more day-of, and then we sink into what it actually is.” Hutzler affirms that this approach allows listeners to find their own meaning in the songs – and adds that he wants fans to come out of the upcoming shows thinking, “that was the best fucking thing I’ve ever seen.” Novotny concurs, sharing that he hopes to build a space for fans to be themselves “and not give a shit about the outside world for an hour and a half…. My goal is to help kids escape as much as possible if they’re having a hard time in their own realities, cuz that’s what music is for us.”


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