Ross Beach – Bio
[ short bio ]
Ross Beach is a songwriter and producer/engineer living in Portland, Oregon. He’s a co-founder and former President of the Portland-based 501(c)(3) non-profit group PDX Pop Now!, and he was an early collaborator with the group of musicians later known as the Elephant 6 collective. He has recorded twelve albums.
[ full bio ]
Born in a New Orleans hospital that was since been converted into a psychiatric facility and is probably now a Katrina casualty, Ross began his musical career in Baton Rouge by participating in various choirs, jazz improv combos, and ultra lo-fi, DIY recording sessions with friends involving boom boxes with built-in microphones.
In 1991, Ross relocated to the town of Ruston, Louisiana to attend Louisiana Tech University. There, he quickly fell in with what was commonly referred to as the “KLPI crowd”, a colorful and talented group of college radio DJs and art students. Life in a small southern town helped to nurture a communal bond between many of its like-minded inhabitants. Also, since day to day entertainment was very much a do-it-yourself proposition, art and the art of self amusement were allowed to flourish.
Among Ross’ college friends were Scott Spillane, John D’azzo and John Fernandes, who Ross joined in the indie-rock cover band, Smilin’ Joe Fission, which later metamorphosed into The Gerbils (with Will Westbrook) and The Clay Bears (with Jeff Mangum). In 1994, Ross filled in as a member of Neutral Milk Hotel and, in 1996, he served as Jeff Mangum’s replacement as drummer of the band Midget & Hairs. All told, Ross played with eleven separate bands in north Louisiana, memorizing a long stretch of Interstate 20 in the process.
Eventually, most of the revolving musical cast relocated to Athens, Georgia forming the Elephant 6 Collective, which essentially became a new arm of the Elephant 6 Recording Company founded by Ruston expatriate (and Apples in Stereo frontman) Robert Schneider in Denver, Colorado.
Taking the unpopular option of finishing college, Ross remained in north Louisiana until 1996. He now resides in Portland, Oregon where he continues to write and record pop songs, produce records and perform with his band, The Hellpets. Ross also helped to co-found PDX Pop Now!, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that puts on free, all-ages events of Portland music with the help of local sponsors. PDX Pop Now! also brings musicians and musical mentors into public schools to provide live music to kids who hadn’t previously had the opportunity to experience it.