An exclusive interview with Coasts

Hi guys! So to kick us off, what happened with your new album? It was due for release in September then it turned into January. Was there a reason for that?

Yeah, things were just going really well radio-wise, we were picking up good traction. It was a label decision that we just accepted. At first we were a bit gutted, but it was definitely the right thing to do for the album’s growth. It was about getting as many people to hear about us before the album comes out. It was a choice to either put the album out and grow from there, or use the exposure that we’re confident we’ll get in the next few months to actually get more people buying the album and listening to our stuff. It was just an opportunity the label felt was too good to pass up.

No, that makes perfect sense. I was just a bit gutted it didn’t come out in September!

As fans and for ourselves obviously it was a little disappointing. 

Is there a particular theme the new album’s following?

The album’s about our experiences as a band and getting to this point; there’s a lot of highs and lows but fundamentally it’s been amazing. All the songs are about being optimistic and doing something with your mates, and being positive about life. That’s the only way you’ll get anywhere.

Since you now have an album ready to be released, at what point will you start working on new stuff? Are you content to sit back or are you always writing?

Kind of always really, it’s hard. We’ve been touring so much, and you can’t write properly on tour unless you have a bus, and even then it’s still hard. We’re gigging every day so we don’t really have the time at the minute. We think that should change fairly soon. The second we’re home we start messing around and working on riffs and putting stuff together.

We were talking before about the following you hope to grow. You already seem to have that from playing Glasto and Reading and Leeds over the summer.

We do have a really strong fanbase already; we’ve been playing gigs all around the country for two or three years. The first year we came to Newcastle we played Think Tank on the outskirts of town to about 15 people. Before it was in town, it was on an industrial estate. It was barely a building, at the time that was what it was all about. The promotion was terrible though because it had just moved, so loads of people with tickets turned up to the old venue. I think about 8 people turned up in the end! It’s just about us coming back and building.

So you’ll be playing the Metro Radio Arena next time you come back then?

Hahaha, either that or we’ll be back at the other one!

Talking about festivals, you guys have very summery themes which, as you say, are all very positive. On the flipside would you ever consider doing a winter-themed album? 

The reason we picked the name Coasts was because it could be both. The coast in winter is very different to coast in the summer. I live by the sea and it can be very grim at times. So that was the whole point really, if we decided to go dark one day we could still suit that. Although we do have some songs on the album that are slightly darker.

Is there a particular reason for that? Have you been listening to darker music or did it happen naturally?

Well, tour depression really. There are low points of being in a band. It can be really tough sometimes, it’s so hard to get noticed and so hard to build up a fanbase that sometimes you wonder why you’re doing it all. So there are occasions where you feel in a dark mood and that’s what you write about. Fans only ever see the good side, you messing about on tour or on stage, so they rarely see the nitty-gritty. But it can be grim. Lots of waiting around, it’s the classic. 

Talking about fanbases, I heard that you guys are big into online discovery and found a lot of music through that. Is that true?

The browse function on Spotify is brilliant. There really is so much stuff out there. The internet has saturated the music industry. Then this tool just comes along to sift out stuff you may not have heard otherwise. Spotify have really taken us on as well and been a big help.


Would you ever consider doing a Thom Yorke and putting your stuff out there free for a day?

I think the problem with that is that it’s a privilege for the people who have already made a lot of money. The truth is you can’t do that. If you’re Thom Yorke or Nine Inch Nails and you have a huge following that are going to buy gig tickets you don’t really need to worry about it, but for us it wouldn’t work.

It’s a gimmick, they don’t care about the record sales. They’ll make more than their previous albums anyway. Nine Inch Nails did leather bound handmade vinyls and CDs that diehard fans ended up paying about 5 grand for.  

There’s enough crazy bands in the world that have that much money!

So as we’ve been saying, you had a strong summer, now a new album and even an appearance on Made in Chelsea. How was that?

It was banging mate, we absolutely loved it! It was good fun, although it was 6am in the morning so it was a bit weird. It was strange being on the other side of the camera to it all. Obviously the thing we shot was a night-time gig, and we started at 6 in the morning before these people had even woken up. It ruined the illusion a bit, because we were all fans of the show and when you find out how fake it really is, it’s very revealing. Although some of it seemed less fake than before to be honest. Different things were fake. They were arguing about something and pretending they were arguing about that, but the underlying thing they were actually arguing about, they couldn’t talk about on stage! So they were really angry with each other… but not about that scene!

They’d have a genuine off-screen argument and the director would go “OK, stop, we’ll do this again, but about scripted things”. I mean no-one wants to go and rip into them because they do great things for music. Bands can actually play on there and use it to grow and they use so many new bands which is great. We’re actually on the soundtrack to the new season as well! There are great things about it. We were also impressed by the writers. That was the real magic; they really get the best out of the actors. There was one point where a girl ran off set crying! They were also all really nice guys as well.

Did you see any direct correlation between that and growth for you?  

Yeah massively, there was a huge social media spike for us that week. We even sold more records that week. Because the people that watch it, they’re our demographic. The people that watch it like our sort of bands and that’s why they get on people like us. So it works fantastically for both parties.

Before I let you go, is there anything else you think Kettle readers should know about you guys?

That’s a hard question. I [Ben] broke my neck and my back jumping off a waterfall when I went travelling. I actually left the band for a while to go travelling, then did that. So I came back and decided that travelling wasn’t really for me and I was much more suited to a band! That’s probably the wildest story we have, other than that it’s just playing poker and monopoly! Oh, and we’re big food fans! If fans want to bring brownies, or cookies… or gift cards for good restaurants! Hahaha no, but seriously we just really love playing live, so come and see us play!

Great – thanks guys!  

Are you a fan of Coasts? Are you going to see them live? Let us know in the comments below!