Interview with Beauty School

I sat down at The Key Club on a Saturday that promised endless April showers, with Beauty School. Their frontman, Joe Cabrera, was in good spirits and chatted to me about the band’s seemingly sudden, very exciting rise to the spotlight, just hours before their headline gig [on 9th April]…


Hi Joe, thank you for this. I wanted to catch up with you about how it’s all going for the band. When did it all begin for Beauty School then?

Do you know what? I can’t actually give a specific time around when it all started, because we’ve been in bands together for the last ten years. But me and Dan, in about 2019, first made Beauty School into a proper band. Before then, we were writing songs for almost no reason; it was just a creative outlet.

So, yeah, we started writing and then obviously the pandemic came in 2020. It only just feels like we’re becoming a band now for that reason.

Absolutely. So, how was it during that time? Do you feel like it spurred you on? Everyone seemed to be realising they were stuck and in need of a reset. Did you figure at that point you wanted to make a go of it or did it simply develop?

No, so, we basically never intended for this band to kind of be anything. We’d tried it all in previous bands before and we’d started going places, but then a member would leave, or it would just fall apart or fizzle out.

This was like, let’s write some songs — Dan and I — then we thought we’d see about getting a drummer, going into a practice room and working on some tracks. We then went, let’s play a couple of gigs. And we did. But when the pandemic hit, we couldn’t do any of that stuff anymore. We couldn’t gig, we couldn’t even get into a practice room after a point [due to restrictions]; all we could do was write. So that’s what we did.

We then sent what we’d worked on to Slam Dunk Records, just because we could…

Ah, I was going to ask about that part!

Yeah, so, Ben, the director at Slam Dunk, had agreed to give us a boost by putting out a single for us. When lockdown ended, we were going to do a show and release that single, and Slam Dunk were going to release it as a favour. We know them and have a good relationship with them, as I’ve worked for Slam Dunk Festival for many years.

Oh right, I see. That connection makes a lot of sense now.

We said we’d send them all the demos and they could just pick a single, and then they turned around and decided they wanted to sign us!

No way. That’s beyond exciting!

Yeah haha, we were like, “what?!”.

Haha I bet!

It all happened and turned on its head in the space of about a couple of months. We had to have a conversation together about how we’d started this as a hobby, because we’ve all got full-time jobs, so we needed to be sure we wanted to pursue it and go down the proper band route. It wasn’t much of a decision though really haha.

Surely a no-brainer, yeah, haha.

Haha exactly. I think I answered about four questions there…

Aw no, I wanted to get into these details, so it’s great to sit down and learn more about the ins and outs of Beauty School.

Let’s talk album next then — it’s September that your debut, ‘Happiness’, is out, isn’t it?

Yes, 9th September. It’s quite far off, to say that we’ve announced it already. But I think the plan is to get some more singles out before then. With us being kind of unheard of at the moment, we’re trying to put out as much music in the build-up as we can, to just get people to hear us and be on their radars.

You’ve got Slam Dunk Festival lined up for [4th and 5th] June as part of that run-up, too, but what about other gigs?

We were supposed to play three dates in March with Trash Boat but Tobi [their singer] contracted COVID, so they had to be rearranged. Two of those gigs are now happening on 26th and 27th May [in York and Hull], before Slam Dunk Festival.

Ah, that’s a nice little precursor then.

Yep, then in July, we’ve got Make A Scene Festival [on 2nd July], which we’re headlining. That’s pretty exciting.

Ooh, it’s all go!

We don’t have anything specifically announced for the summer yet, but the album will land in September. We’ll then have a tour with The Dangerous Summer [in September and October], which is going to be fun.

It’s definitely all shaping up to be really fantastic for the rest of the year.

There are some other things in the works that we can’t share just yet though, too…

I’m sure there’ll be plenty more announced then. It must be nice to know you’ve got all this in the pipeline, at the very least, with loads of potential for even more to come?

It does feel really good, yeah. It’s like the beginning of a journey, but it’s also a strange time, because things are still changing at the drop of a hat. We just want all the gigs at this point haha. But yeah, very exciting.

It’s weirdly like an anxious time, too. I don’t know what it is, but no matter how many people will be there or where the venue is, I always get almost apprehensive. More so like butterflies or I’m on a rollercoaster. Especially in Leeds, as I know friends and family are going to be there. I’m always trying to keep it together haha.

You look very composed.

I’m glad I look like that! Inside it’s turmoil haha.

Haha aw no. So, is there anything else you want to plug while we’re here? Or just want to shout about?

Haha not really, but I guess just keep an eye out for the songs coming out. There’ll be another dropping towards the start of May. Otherwise, watch this space. And you can, of course, pre-order the album and get a t-shirt and vinyl bundle, too.

Amazing, that sounds great!

Joe Cabrera of Beauty School,
live at The Key Club, Leeds, 09/04/22.

It was fab to meet Joe before the band’s buoyant, energetic performance at The Key Club. The place was suitably packed and the crowd gave Beauty School the super-warm welcome that they so deserved.


A huge thanks to Siobhan Connor of Public City PR for the interview, access to the band and press entry to the show.

Setlist via Siobhan Connor, 09/04/22

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