by Emily Davina Carr
A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to sit down and chat with Bristol guys, Coasts, ahead of their show that evening at Gorilla in Manchester. Here’s what members Chris (vocals) and Ben (drums) had to say.
T’HUD: Hey guys, so I asked some people who saw you recently in Leeds supporting The Wombats, what they thought of your sound and one person described it as, ‘if Bastille and The 1975 had a baby’. What would you describe your sound like?
Chris: That’s a pretty good comparison to be honest. I guess we’re are an indie/pop/rock/dance band.
Ben: Yeah, I think there are elements from so many different bands and genres, as we all have such varied tastes in music. We have been cited to be similar to The 1975 and Bastille, but I don’t think that’s what we ever set out to particularly sound like.
C: We just set out to make the music that we like and I guess the music you listen to informs the music you write. Like earlier on we got compared to Two Door Cinema Club which is awesome as they’re quite dancey and with our band, dance music brings it way in. There are also little elements of The Neighbourhood coming into our sound now.
T’HUD: How hyped are you for the release of your debut album, ‘Coasts’, after having the release date pushed back to early next year?
C: It’s actually a really positive thing. At first we were a bit gutted that it got put back because we just want it to be out there, but people are getting on board now, so our album will be opened up to so more people.
T’HUD: What did it feel like playing in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge?
B: It was nerve-wracking. It was an amazing experience, but it happens right there and live, and all of a sudden the DJ turns and say’s, ‘Go’ and you know there’s millions of people just waiting.
C: Afterwards there was a massive buzz though.
B: Yeah. I wouldn’t say ‘in the moment’ it was my favourite experience, as I think when you play festivals, they are so much more wild and there’s energy from the crowd.
T’HUD: That brings me to you guys playing American festival, Coachella, that must have been an awesome experience?
C: Yeah, it was absolutely incredible. I think our music is at home at festivals. It always feels really good to play to crowds as everyone’s always really up for it. Our music is very euphoric so well suited for festival season.
T’HUD: What are your three must haves for playing a festival?
B: If you’re playing a festival then that changes things, as the backstage area is nice hospitality wise. You don’t have to worry about those breakfast bars in the morning, all your fruit and food is there available. But I would say that you would need, a good rain mac, especially if it’s an English festival. Probably a little set of plastic shot glasses, because you’ll want to celebrate afterwards. And band aids.
C: Band aids?
B: Haha I meant plasters. I’m so American… Diapers!
T’HUD: There’s a lot of musicians out there, I’m sure they’d love to know how you guys structure a typical rehearsal?
C: I guess that in the conventional sense, we do things slightly differently as we write on computers. The way we write is all on loops and it comes together outside the practice room, then when we get into the rehearsal room, that’s when we build it from the ground up. When we first started the band we used to jam, and learnt how each person plays, and our vibe.
B: Yeah, I think it’s a natural progression to go from all slugging away in a studio trying to get some piece of an idea together, to moving towards somewhere where there’s already a blueprint. It’s a much stress-free way of writing.
C: So when we’re all together in the practice room, it’s more like recreating and expanding on what’s been done in the demo. Obviously it works differently for other bands, like some love jamming, but this is just the way we’ve decided to do it.
T’HUD: Do you have any pre-gig rituals?
C: Not really, um –
B: We do a lot of stretches.
C: Oh yeah, stretches and fist bumps!
T’HUD: What are your band influences?
C: It’s so broad, it’s hard to pin down music that influences us. As a group collective, one thing that crosses over in all our music tastes is hip-hop.
B: Yeah, big fans of older hip-hop like 2Pac and newer stuff like ASAP Rocky and Schoolboy. I mean the hip-hop movement is huge.
C: But we also listen to bands, like one of my favourite bands is an 80s band called, Echo and the Bunnymen.
B: Big fans of The Police. We like a bit of anything.
T’HUD: Who’s the most famous contact in your phone?
B: Haha, yeah I’ve got Chris from Coasts. I must have a couple. I’ve got the drummer from The Wombats. I have a few other weird people, like there’s a guy called Marcus Healey who’s a videographer and worked with people like Elton John and Ellie Goulding.
T’HUD: So who’s the most famous person you have met?
C: Jake Gyllenhaal.
B: Yeah, he came to one of our gigs.
C: Basically, he knows the band that we were supporting in America and is friends with their manager, so he came to the show and we spoke to him really briefly.
B: He seemed a nice guy.
T’HUD: Who’s the most rebellious band member?
C (to B): Probably you.
B: Yeah probably me, but compared to the past I’m a lot calmer now.
C: I guess it’s because you’re the most free-spirited out of us all.
T’HUD: What’s the best gig you have ever had and was it a festival, or a venue?
B: Probably KOKO, our last London show, it was pretty special.
C: That and Glastonbury for me. Playing that was massive as it’s one of the biggest festivals in the world and I grew up only down the road from it. It’s just got the best festival vibe, and to play on such an iconic stage was just amazing.
B: Yeah, it was a milestone for the band I think.
T’HUD: Where would be your dream venue to play?
C: I’d say Madison Square Garden. We want to play stadiums, so MSG would be massive.
B: I’d like to play a coliseum.
T’HUD: How excited are you for tonight’s gig here at Gorilla in Manchester?
C: Buzzing, I can’t wait. Whenever we play in Manchester it’s always wicked. The last two times we played at Soundcontrol and the first time we played there we played in the small room and had a mini stage invasion. It was only about 150 people and it was sold out, and the crowd just went absolutely mental, which is what we’re hoping for tonight. We’ve heard Gorilla’s amazing and it looks really cool inside so we are super excited.
T’HUD: What going to be your favourite song to play live?
C: ‘Stones’ is a really fun one to play, it’s one of the songs off the deluxe album. That’s super fun for me because I can just weird out to it in the chorus.
B: Probably for me, I quite like ‘You’, which is one of our new tracks. Just drum wise, it’s full on and quite punk-y at the end.
C: It’s probably our punkiest song.
B: Yeah, I’d say there’s a little bit of punk in our live set, definitely. A lot of people come and say we’re heavier live than they thought we were, which I think is a compliment.
Big thanks to the guys from Coasts for hanging with us and putting on a phenomenal show at Gorilla. Keep an eye out for their debut self-titled album Coasts out January 22, 2016.