PB: How do you feel about the Coastal album now?

JG: Today I’m really happy with it since I’ve just read an extremely positive review forwarded from the label. In fact, I’ve hardly read any negative press - I’m just waiting for the bomb to drop! I think for a first release we’re all pretty happy with it. If we’d had the funds to begin with we could have done a spit n’ polish job, but people have made the comment that they like the human element to the album and that its not too refined. Our label actually really liked that aspect of the recording. In retrospect, I’m glad that we didn’t polish it too much and that it’s just us in front of a microphone. What you hear is what you get!

PB: Is that what you intended it to sound like?

JG: I don’t know. That’s just what it came out like really. We’re not a band that does a lot of mapping out of our sound. We rely mainly on our initial ideas and emotions that go into a song. I’ve met bands that spend weeks on lyrics. They’re so calculated in every aspect of their music. We’re so not that way! In a way it’s kind of embarrassing. But really, that’s the way we enjoy making music.

PB: How do Coastal songs usually come about?

JG: They tend to come together the same way. Usually just messing around in practice. If we can come up with stuff we all agree on we usually stick with it. We tend to be very diplomatic and there aren’t any hard feelings if someone wants to change something. We just make music. There’s no explanation. We don’t sit around and say, “Well, this one’s gonna be in the key of A.” Luisa is the only one in the band who is musically trained. In fact she has a degree in music and has been playing piano all her life, so Coastal is almost too easy for her. Josh and I don’t even know what notes we’re playing or what key we’re in. But I like it that way because everything’s up to chance and we do it by heart and by ear. There isn’t a scientific approach to it. A trained professional would probably think, “What are you doing?” But some of our biggest fans are other musicians, so I don’t know what to make of that. I guess I’m flattered.

PB: How important are lyrics? Do you spend ages knocking them together?

JG: Generally, the lyrics I put down when we first write a song I’ll stick to. Sometimes I’ll change a few things in the studio so they actually make sense, but I like going with my initial lyrical response to the music that I hear. I don’t have any regrets about lyrics and I consider going with our first instincts a real strength. I think our lyrics are very open to interpretation for a lot of people.

PB: The album definitely sounds very natural.

JG: Yeah, that’s probably the word I’ve been looking for this whole time!

PB: Do you have any plans for a second album?

JG: Our label would like us to do another one, but at this point I’m not really sure. We have the ‘Winter’ e.p. coming out next month, and then this Lorna e.p. We also have a few ideas for split 7”s with a couple of other bands as well. That’s enough to keep us busy for at least another year. We are also contributing an original Christmas song for a holiday themed compilation CD that Mark from Lorna is putting together this year with a lot of other UK bands (Silverman, Sufferkiss, and possibly Echoboy). All proceeds are going to charity. After that, we’ll see about another album. Our priority is promoting the first one - at least for the next year or so. I think we have enough in us to do another album, but if we didn’t I’d be okay with what we’ve done up to now. I’d be fine with having my name on it.

PB: How different is the live sound to what you do on record?

JG: Not much. We were very concerned about not doing anything in the studio we wouldn’t do live. Apparently, people seem to think we’re a good live band (laughs). I’m not sure how I feel about that, since I’m always criticising myself when we get offstage. But when we get in front of a crowd that’s receptive to what we’re doing it’s a cool experience. I really enjoy playing live and that’s the refreshing thing because in my other band playing live was fun, but a struggle at such a loud volume. The other Coastal band members had similar experiences in their previous bands as well. It was frustrating at times. I couldn’t hear myself sing. But with Coastal, when the crowd is quiet, you can hear every note, whether it’s a small show or one to 300 people. In comparison to my previous projects I’ve really enjoyed playing live with Coastal. If you can’t pull music off live then you’re not being true to yourself. What’s the point?

PB: Do you ever develop songs through playing them live?

JG: Well, we’ve played songs live differently and we’ve done acoustic sets which were quite different, but usually we stick to the program, so not really. We do have a song, ‘Her Reflection In Chrome’ - that’s on the CD - and when we play it live its not uncommon for us to play it for twelve to fifteen minutes. There is a version floating around on the Internet that’s more in the realm of My Bloody Valentine than Coastal, which shocks a few people, but it appeals to my shoegaze element. I can have fun being a guitar hero with loads of feedback, which is part of my nature. All the restraint goes out the window during that song and we can end the set with that. But generally we play songs as they are on the CD.

PB: How often do you actually play live, not being able to tour?

JG: For the last couple of years, about once a month, but as of late, I’m not sure how much we’re going to be playing out live. We can’t tour and we wouldn’t want to actually have the life of a true musician. It doesn’t appeal to us. We want to have a family, but we do have a wanting to be in the spotlight side to us. We just play here in Provo and in Salt Lake City, which is about 45 minutes away. We want to concentrate on getting our stuff released and now that we know there is an audience and people taking an interest that’s more important to us than playing a lot of live gigs. It’s hard to turn down gigs but we have to. I guess we’re gonna become a studio band, which is somewhat unfortunate. My previous band played live three times a week and after two and a half years we had nothing recorded. I have tremendous regret for that. I don’t even know those songs anymore.

PB: Where did you get the name Coastal from? Is there any importance behind it?

JG: I suppose it was a combination of a number of things. I’d be lying if I said it had nothing to do with the Field Mice album ‘Coastal.’ I’m a huge fan of the Field Mice and consider them a big influence. I suppose I initially got the name from that reference, but I also like the idea of the coast and the ocean and how soothing and calm it can be. I lived in France in a Coastal town and it was like nothing I’d ever experienced before. I’m from Canada, a prairie town up in Alberta where it’s flat and there’s no water, so France was amazing in comparison. So along with the Field Mice thing I like the imagery that Coastal conjures up.

PB: It does fit with the music.

JG: Yes, and we tried to reflect that in the artwork. We tried to be subtle about it, but I don’t know if we achieved our goal.

PB: Who actually does the artwork?

JG: Josh and Jim are graphic design majors so we pretty much do our own artwork. For the Winter e.p. another person is doing it. I just got a copy of the artwork today. It’s gonna be a bit different, but not a huge change. Our lack of variety has been pretty much our only complaint from critics, but that is purely intentional on our part. We wanted the Coastal album to have a flow to it. We didn’t want any one song to jump out at you and disrupt your mood and the same goes for the artwork. We like to keep with the minimal theme at all times.

PB: Thanks

JG: Okay, cheers!.

















Related Links:


http://www.coastalrock.com/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Coastal-Band/138639642863701


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