Coast Modern Interview

Last night, Coast Modern took the Brighton Music Hall stage to fill a series of Bostonian heads with summer vibes and good feelings for the warm weather approaching.  I got to sit down with the indie duo to talk a bit about their new releases and their current tour. Check it out!

Dylan: Hey guys, so we’re looking forwards to your Boston date tomorrow, but I just wanted to ask you guys a couple questions about how things have been going and about the band itself. So how’s the tour itself been going? Do you guys have any highlights from the previous dates? 

CM: The tour has been really amazing.  Touring with our friends in 888 and Missio has been really cool, but also the crowds have been really enthusiastic.  Like last night, we were in New York, and we’re used to New York being a bit more stoic than other states, but the crowd was jumping and really felt the songs which was awesome to see.

So then if that went well, I’m sure there must be a city you’re looking forwards to playing in. 

Dallas has always been really good to us, but honestly we just really love exploring. Seeing new places, meeting and playing for new people. Half the fun of the whole thing is getting lost. We just kind of like to post up at a venue and survey the food and coffee. And kind of just wander.

The food is pretty crucial to the tour energy.  I think you’ll enjoy Boston then. So what is the main story behind Coast Modern? How’d you guys form up?

Luke: So I moved to LA about like four years ago, and didn’t know anyone really expect for a few people.  But I knew I wanted to get involved with songwriting pretty heavily and a mutual friend of ours introduced me to Coleman and we started making some music pretty casually for other people.  The band wasn’t even really a thought for us.  After a quite a few years of making weird songs and trying to pitch them to people, Coleman moved away for a bit to kind of clear his head of this whole LA music scene, and when he came back we both decided we should start a full project.  We felt that it was important to be able to do our own weird thing, and now really worry about someone else trying to pick up our song.  It could really be for us and give us a lot of freedom and let it shine in all it’s beautiful glory. 

So then what is the formation of the band, is it just you two or do you have a full set up?

Coleman: We have a full set up.  Luke and I write and produce it all, but we have an amazing drummer and bass player that travel with us. 

Luke: It’s a different experience live, it’s a lot beefy-er. 
So then you two are the creative minds behind Coast. Can you tell me a little about the writing process you guys have for the music? 

Coleman: I really want to say it’s the same in that’s it’s different every time.  We both have so much experience producing, like I have 12 years of music producing under my belt, that we just have learned a lot from using different programs and different writing methods.  Weather it’s something like recording primarily on guitar or directly to cassette, which may have an appearance on the album, or simply using Reason has really just taught us a lot.  We used Reason the most for this upcoming record. 

Luke: Yeah I think the goal for us is to keep it fun and different every time so that we do get in a rut.  We like to surprise ourselves.  It usually just starts with us hanging out in a room, talking about what we’re thinking of, or just playing guitar. 

Coleman: Or joking about memes. Memes are the money of the future so we’re trying to fill our pockets now. We just want to be an internet. 

Well I can’t argue with that. Memes are going to be the future of all things. But in terms of the music, it all feels very organic in terms of the sound and image you’re going for. But I wanted to ask if you guys really had someone you look to for inspiration? Any idols that have inspired you to create?

Luke: Honestly, people that really like to do their own thing, and constantly evolve and change to be their own person I think is a really beautiful thing and makes me want to create. Also I would say the whole ethos of modern hip-hop, and how it’s like an anything goes environment is a really powerful thing. 

Coleman: I don’t think we have as many musical influences now.  We did growing up, but now I would really say a lot more of our influence comes from culture rather than other musicians. 

It seems like then every song can kind of come from a different place and has a different standing in your own repertoire. 

Coleman: Yeah, every song is different, and also the timeline of when we produce a song and when it comes out is very different.  Like “The Way it Was” came out right after we made it, but “Comb My Hair” is something we wrote two years ago. So at the time it was really listening to what was popping off.  Back then, we really loved psychedelic music, so it’s a wink at that kind of psychedelic style. Lyrics like “Wavy designs and ripples in time, It’s a feelin of emotion that I just can’t describe” we’re not really saying anything but it’s an imprint of psychedelia. And because we were thinking more loosely, we wrote that entire song without a narrative. But by the end, we kind of realized that the narrative created itself. 

Luke: There is a big aspect to just kind of turning off your conscious brain and letting what’s in it just flow out and there’s a massive influence of that in our music.  So it’s hard to pinpoint an influence when I can hear like Steve Miller and Pixies and just a lot of different individual sounds but not direct inspiration. 

Coleman: It’s like 90’s people doing 60’s music. 

Well hearing from you guys, and how it’s all made, I can say that as a listener you get that raw emotion and feeling from the music itself.  It’s very genuine, which isn’t always found nowadays. 

Coleman: It may come across as more tongue in cheek than others, but it does come from a deep place. 

So then last question, kind of unrelated, but what has been the weirdest thing that’s happened on the tour?

Coleman: Over the whole process of the Coast Modern thing, so much weird shit has happened so it’s tough just to pick one. Smashmouth tweeted at us so that’s definitely something. 


Coleman: Yeah, Smashmouth tweeted at us “Yo, Comb My Hair is a smash” but they like hashtagged “#SMASH” ‘cause they were being koy. And then they DM’d us about “Guru” asking like “Hey can we cover Guru” and it’s funny because Smashmouth is like jokingly our idols. Cause they are so cheeky. But we always say like “Smashmouth is our idol!” So it was just like the universe smiling back when they asked us to cover “Guru.”

That’s insane. Talk about memes. But then you take that step back and realize that those are the guys that did All Star. 

Luke: I was pretty into Smashmouth, and now they're hitting us up, which is super cool and weird.