We throw an abundance of questions to five-piece, Coasts, to talk Festivals, Whitney duets and band bust-ups.
Coasts are proving to be a band who are relentlessly on the rise. The quintet, who formed whilst studying at university in Bristol are comprised of members Chris Caines (Vocals), Liam Willford (Guitar), James Gamage (Bass), David Goulbourn (Keyboards) and Ben Street (Drums).
The boys have spent the best part of 2015 touring the live circuit as well as wowing the crowds at festivals including Glastonbury, Coachella and Radio 1’s Big Weekend. We caught up with them ahead of their forthcoming US tour to find out what else is in-store for the remainder of this year.
Give us an insight into your journey – where did it all begin with you guys? You guys met at Uni right?
Yeah, we all met at university in Bath. A few of us were on the same course and ended up living together and rather than actually do work for our course we decided to start a band. We used to break in to the music rehearsal rooms at our university and use them, but we’d get kicked out at least once a week.
Were there any previous projects before Coasts formed?
We’d all been in different bands and different guises before we started Coasts. Liam and David were in a band together and James, Chris and Liam were in a separate band. Neither of them really worked out though, so we decided to get everyone together and form Coasts. We had a few drummers before we found Ben, but when he came on board it all just clicked.
Are there ever any in-house bust-ups?
There used to be quite a lot when we all lived together. It was pretty tough the five of us living together and then we used to rehearse four days a week and be playing shows so we would be spending all our time together. I think it all got a bit much so we decided to move apart and it’s been much easier since then. The only things we ever argue about are just petty things like whether we think a band are good or football.
Is it ever a compromise to decide on what direction a specific track will go in? Do you ever have any creative differences?
Yeah, we do, I think everyone does. Music is so subjective that everyone is always going to have a different opinion. I think we’ve all got a pretty solid vision of what we want the band to be and what direction we want to go in though, so people are willing to be adaptable if everyone else thinks it’s for the greater good.
It seems to have been an incredible year for you guys thus far…what have been the highlights?
Yeah this year has been amazing so far, two personal highlights would probably be playing Coachella and playing Glastonbury. It always seemed like a massive pipe dream to play Coachella, so when we got asked it was incredible. It’s completely different to UK festivals and there’s much more of a relaxed vibe, but it was lots of fun. Then, Glastonbury a few weeks ago was obviously a special one, it’s sort of a right of passage to play Glastonbury and it was a great weekend. It was amazing to walk out on stage and see so many people when we haven’t even put our record out yet, it was quite humbling.
Are there any other achievements that you’d like to tick off your list?
We’re playing Reading and Leeds festival later in the summer, which will be a good one. I always used to go to Reading Festival when I was younger, so it’s going to be pretty cool to actually play it. I’m hoping that we get to go over to Australia and Asia next year too, I’ve never been, but it’s always been a dream to go over and play the festivals there.
Tell us more about the album – what can we all expect from it?
It’s a collection of songs that we’ve written since we formed Coasts, so it’s been influenced by everything we’ve done over the past four years together from starting out and rehearsing in the crypt of a church to touring America for the first time. I think it sums up where we are as a band really well, but also gives an indication of where we want to go. Overall I’d say it’s an uplifting album that’s perfect for the summer with an under current of angst. We’re all really proud of it and can’t wait for people to finally hear it.
Do you have any personal favourite tracks from the body of work?
There’s a song called, ‘You’, on there which is probably my favourite song on the album. It’s one of the newest songs on there and we’ve never played it live yet, but I think it’s a really good song. The verses really bubble along with this arpeggiated keyboard and then chorus is pretty euphoric, I think it’s a really cool song. It’s a little bit different to some of the other stuff on the album.
What has been the best and worst gigs that you’ve played, to date?
Our show at KOKO was probably our best show to date, it’s an amazing venue and it just looks incredible from the stage because there are people everywhere right the way up to ceiling. It was our biggest headline show ever, so it was an awesome night. I’m not sure about the worst gig; I think I’ve tried to push them out of my mind. We played a weird gig on our first American tour supporting Bad Suns, it was in Aspen which is basically a rich ski resort and there was no one there but they had a full lights wall and were really going for it on the lights. It was a strange experience. Fortunately the bad gigs seem to be getting few and far between now.
You’re heading back to the States to tour – are there any places that you’re really looking forward to going?
I’m really looking forward to going back to Chicago, it’s one of my favourite cities over there. I didn’t really have any preconceptions of what it was going to be like and it blew me away, it’s lots of fun. We’re playing our first ever headline show in LA too, at The Roxy, so that’s going to be great. We’ve spent a lot of time in LA, but we’ve never played a headline show there, so I think we’re all really looking forward to that.
How do you think that social media has affected the music industry and do you think it’s a positive platform for emerging artists?
I think it’s a positive thing, it’s a platform for fans to have direct access to their favourite bands or musicians. Also as a band you can post something online and see people’s instant reactions, whether that be good or bad. I think as a band we’d much rather be out there playing shows and meeting fans on the road rather than posting on social media. I think it helps emerging artists too, as things like Twitter and Facebook make it quite easy to gain new fans much easier than before. It does sometimes create anomalies where you’ll see a band with thousands of Twitter followers and they’ve not really played any shows or anything, but overall I think it’s a good thing.
Which social media platform do you guys use the most?
I’d say we use Twitter the most, it’s the easiest platform to interact with your fans and you can answer questions and chat to people on that.
If you had to add another member to the band, who would you love to have on-board?
I reckon we’d have to have a big female vocalist on board alongside Chris, maybe Whitney Houston. We could bang out some cracking duets with her.
If you could have written any other song by another artist / band, which would would you claim?
That’s a tough question, maybe just the whole of Rumours by Fleetwood Mac. It’s an incredible album and any song off of it could have been a single. I think as a band it’s probably jointly our favourite album of all time.
What else can we expect from you for the remainder of the year?
We’re heading back over to America in August to play a load of festivals and some of our own shows, then when we get back it’s Reading and Leeds festival. After that it’s all about our album which comes out at the end of September and we’ll be following that up with a full UK tour in October and then back over to the USA in November. It’s going to be great.
Words: Shane Hawkins