The Beths‘ Liz Stokes tells FIRST about singing along to Celine Dion, crying to the Spice Girls and more.
“I remember me and my sister playing on the balcony of a house – she probably would’ve been two and I would’ve been four – and her falling off the balcony onto the ground. She’s fine now, I think kids are quite bouncy at that age. But yeah… I think there are probably a lot more regulations around balconies now.”
First musical heroes
“I guess early on I was super into the Spice Girls. I remember getting really into this one Celine Dion album that my mum had, especially the song ‘Immortality’ with the Bee Gees on it. I still think that song slaps. For some reason our stereo had a little microphone that you could plug in and sing along with horrible reverb – I clearly remember doing that, especially when people weren’t around.”
First song that made you cry
“Maybe ‘Mama’ by the Spice Girls. I distinctly remember just being like, ‘I love my mum too.’ And they really said it.”
“I played badminton as a kid, that was my sport. I think my mum just dropped me and my sister off at the court like ‘I signed you up for badminton.’ And we were like ‘OK!’ So I did that. I stopped when I was 14 or 15 because I was like ‘Now I am a music person and you can’t do sports if you’re a music person.’ Which is stupid.”
First thing you collected
“At school I remember there was a period where it wasn’t Pokémon cards, it was Pokémon papers. You would go onto the internet and download like a stats page for a Bulbasaur and then print it out and put it in a clear file. You had black and white ones and then there were colour ones, and you could trade three or four of your black and white Pokémon papers for a colour one.”
“[My] first band ever was in intermediate school, I think. Even though none of us played any instruments, we decided we were going to be a band. I think we were called The Paper Electric and we had a logo and stuff. The first real band I was in is I guess Teacups, which was with Chelsea Jade and Talita Setyady, and we played like acoustic folk stuff. I look back on it very fondly and think it was the best kind of start to being in the music industry that I could have hoped for.”
First time you met the other Beths
“Jonathan went to the same high school as me, and he was in a band that was gigging back then and doing really well called Artisan Guns. I met Ben when I was in Teacups – he was in a band called I think The 80s Jacket Club and they were also playing underage shows. But we weren’t really hanging out until all of us went to jazz school, which is also where we met Tristan who’s drumming for us now… I wish I could make it sound more interesting.”
I believe we had a dog when I was very small, but I don’t remember him. Wait, is this one that people use for phishing? Are you phishing me? My first dog’s name was X-Y-9-!…”
Interview edited for length and clarity.
This episode of FIRST was made with support from NZ On Air.