Last modified on 9 April 2014, at 12:01

Beck Hansen (born Bek David Campbell, July 8, 1970) is an American musician, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.

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  • Our whole culture in this country now is so conformist. I don't even meet that many freaks any more.
    • Q magazine, April 2000
  • I think it's interesting being American, the expectations for an American guy, and the image that has to be projected. 'Oh, I can't wear pink,' that kind of stuff. There's none of that in Europe.
    • Black Book magazine, Fall 2002
  • We had one night where I wanted a bunch of percussion noises at the end of song. We went into this room with three cases of percussion. Everybody just grabbed different shakers and things and was just throwing them around.
    A few of the guys in the band got a little carried away and I just remember looking up and somebody was running into a wall. Another guy was leaping head first about three of four feet in the air. But other than that it was pretty sedated.
    • The Aquarian Weekly, 15 December 1999
  • I think I gave indications early on that mine wasn't just going to be a commercial, er, career. If that were the case, then the first record would have been 10 versions of 'Loser.' I always thought it would be interesting if there was no such thing as gold and platinum records, or record deals, and people were just making music. What would the music sound like?
    • Blender magazine, October 2002
  • I don't need to cry so much. I think whatever you let loose with crying, I let loose with singing. I tend to be the one who wants... I'm trying to say this without sounding too touchy-feely. I'm usually the one who's better at comforting the person who's crying, you know?
    • Jane magazine, April 2000
  • I'm not good at the protocols of dating. [laughs] I'm not really experienced in that. My girlfriend is my second or third girlfriend. I think in the past none of us really knew when we were "dating"-we were just hanging out and doing things. I didn't go to high school so I missed the prom.
    • Jane magazine, April 2000
  • I never really had them. I always get the eccentric kids who dress funny and sit and write poetry for three months in their bedrooms...
    ...I was going to see tons of shows when I was a teenager, so if I was a girl, would that have made me a groupie? If I wanted to shake Thurston Moore's hand or something?
    • talking about groupies in Bust magazine, Fall 2002
  • I have a fear of heights, so falling off something very tall. But I've conquered a good amount of my fears. I guess most people would have the fear of getting up in front of a large audience of people and making a fool of themselves. I've gotten over that.
    • 'Beck - On the Couch', NME
  • My mother was mistrustful of the education system, so it was all right with her if we didn't go to school. She was taking us to Truffaut films, and I was busy getting through a Knut Hamsun book or something, so she felt satisfied we weren't wasting our lives watching The Brady Bunch. Because of where we lived, I would've had to go to Belmont High, so the year I was supposed to start high school I tried to get into the High School for the Performing Arts, which had just opened. I sent them a tape of me playing blues guitar and some short stories I'd written, but they didn't want me.
    • LA Weekly, 23 June 2000
  • About a year ago, I started seeing these ads in the paper for 'Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation'. First it was a little ad. The next week, it was twice as big. And after a month, it was a full page-it just took over. Something in that triggered a bunch of associations and projections. Like, what kind of activities do you have to engage in to get to the point where you need to bring a laser into the equation?
    • Spin magazine, December 1999
  • You'd have to be a total idiot to say, 'I'm the slacker-generation guy. This is my generation.' I'd be laughed out of the room in an instant. I didn't even connect ['Loser'] at all to that kind of message until they were playing it on the radio and I heard it, and they said "This is the slacker anthem," and I thought, 'Oh shit, that sucks.' It's not some anguished transcendental 'cry of a generation.' It's just sitting in someone's living room eating pizza and Doritos.
    • Spin magazine, July 1994
  • I think it would be great to have a mall that looked like stores but you weren't selling things. You were just going to hang out or do things. Or if somebody bought a mall and turned it into a house that people could kind of come to and you could build rooms, and it's all orange furniture. Or you could just build environments. Reclaim a mall just in the name of aesthetics or to make something beautiful or something that has no real purpose. Wouldn't that be amazing?
    • Black Book magazine, Fall 2002
  • I try not to obsess about recording. I'm definitely the one who will leave all the mistakes-to have that balance between what's undone and done. I try to move on to the next thing. I have friends who have been working on the same song for five, six years. They just won't let the songs go.
    • Rolling Stone magazine, 1996
  • There are so many elements flying in so many different directions that you really have to go with what feels like instinctively. The nature of the universe is fairly whimsical and nonsensical. In the most somber, beatific peacefulness there's complete chaos and maniacal laughter. I think music that doesn't reflect that is boring.
    • Guitar magazine, January 1999
  • Oh, the tragedy and the anguish. You just gotta Rage Against the Appliance, man. The toast is burning and you just gotta rip it out and free it before it fills the house with smoke. Rage Against the Toaster.
    • Spin magazine, July 1994
  • We played a gig in the Swiss Alps at a snowboarding convention. Red Bull-this energy sports-fuel drink-sponsored the whole thing. It has some ingredient believed to be bull-testicle extract. We went way off our tour route, had to take two planes and missed a night's sleep. We got up there and there's no snow-it's all mud. You couldn't walk. You'd step and then be up to your knee in mud. So you had several thousand disgruntled snowboarders tanked up to the max on bull-testicle extract. Of course, for some reason, these strapping brutes were made to wait out in the mid and the rain before coming into the tent for the show. When we get up to play, I see this forty-foot gap between us and the audience-they still managed to nail us with empty cans of Red Bull. After a few songs, I wasn't really playing my guitar, I was using it to bay cans back into the crowd of disgruntled sports enthusiasts. It felt like we were A Flock of Seagulls opening for Napalm Death.
    • Rolling Stone magazine, 1996
  • I remember being really shocked after Mellow Gold came out and going on tour, and all these kids were there. It totally disturbed me. Who are all these young people? I'd been playing Mississippi John Hurt covers in coffee shops to a bunch of thirty-, forty-, fifty-year olds. Then all of a sudden there were these teenagers.
    • Rolling Stone magazine, 1997
  • I recently saw The Last American Virgin, one of those early-'80s coming-of-age movies. And the actors, they look like kids you grew up with! Today's teen movies, I didn't know anybody who looked like that. The standards now are so unbelievably high.
    • Spin magazine, December 1999
  • One of the reasons I'm a musician is because music isn't divisive. It's a medium where you don't have to abide by divisions. The whole idea is anarchy and the best music just doesn't give a fuck. And too much music is just so conservative these days. So I really don't want to be careful about anything. And there's so much music that's trying to be offensive these days, trying to be aggressive and abrasive. But it's just cheap and manipulative. So if I can offend someone in a good way and challenge their belief system, then I think that's positive. I mean, I wonder what their problem with it is? I don't have a problem. Wanda Coleman doesn't have a problem with me singing like that.
    • The Boston Phoenix, 25 November 1999
  • But people like to say, Oh, it's in the blood. But art comes from nowhere. It comes from a vague, scary place. It's scary because you don't know when it's coming or if it will ever come again. It's this Other.
    • Q magazine, April 2000
  • There were definitely lyrics and they were very meaningful. I think.
    • Rolling Stone magazine, February 2008, on the song .000.000
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