Interview: Coach Party

Meet the indie four-piece playing fast and loose with everything you think you know about pop, grunge and deadpan wit

“Our first really great show was in Hamburg in January 2020. I remember thinking, wow, this is the start of the best year ever…!” Guy Page laughs, but only slightly. Breaking out at exactly the wrong time, Coach Party first hit two years ago – and then had to hit all over again once lockdown was over. 

Now riding a flurry of singles and EPs into a major UK tour, including a place on the Revive Live roster), the band are back to play all the shows they should have played the first time around. “It’s been worth waiting to get back out there and pick up where we left off,” grins Page, drummer alongside Jess Eastwood, Steph Norris and Joe Perry. “It feels like this is our turn now…”

Coach Party - Everybody Hates Me (Official Video)

How hard did it get for you all when everything stopped? It must have been so frustrating to lose the momentum you’d just built up? 

We were terrified. We’d just signed our first record deal. And then we couldn’t go out and do anything about it. But I guess we kind of played it the right way for us. We wrote a lot of music, and we probably managed to release more music than we would have done, I guess, in a normal couple of years. So looking at where we are now, we wouldn’t change how we’ve done it. But yeah, we were worried big time.

Where did you all first meet? 

We all just through being in bands really. I engineered a demo that Joe did, and then we started a band quite a few years ago and met Jess and Steph at different times. They’re big music fans, and one day they just decided to start writing music together. They showed me and Joe and we just like thought, ‘oh wow, this is really cool. Also can we be in your band, please?’

You’re all from Isle Of Wight. Has that sense of community been important to you, starting out?

I think it really has, yeah. There’s something about being on the Isle of Wight in particular that just feels unique. And that’s partly why we’re doing this tour. It’s a chance to get around and see everyone else’s small towns and all the rest of it. But yeah, where we are has a huge influence on our music.

Coach Party - Can't Talk, Won't (Official Video)

The question everyone hates… how would you describe your sound?

I guess stylistically I hear the grunge in it. But I think to go deeper than just naming styles, I think one of the things that defines us this kind of mature naivety about the lyrical and melodic side of it. And I think, if we do have a sound, that’s kind of what influences it the most.

You mean a deliberate naivety in the songwriting? The sense of humour is really wry in a lot of your music.

Yeah, exactly. Most songwriters would not put these words together in the way Jess and Steph do, or say things as bluntly. We’re not trying to be funny, but we don’t shy away from our lyrics either. We appreciate a bit of dark humour for sure.

Which comparisons annoy yo the most when you read your bios?

People like to cite Pixies. I mean, that one comes up all the time. The nice thing though is that a lot of people do say we sound unique. And that’s probably the about the biggest compliment we can get.

I guess being compared to the Pixies isn’t too bad either though! Who were your biggest influences when you were younger?

I’d have to say Rage Against the Machine. Beastie Boys. Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles. Limp Bizkit. Was that five?! That’s my whole musical upbringing right there.

You mentioned the gig in Germany at the start of 2020. Was that the first time that the band really felt like the band you wanted it to be?

Yeah, for sure. It was kind of like festival meets a new music show kind of thing, and we were on second, quite early. We were all upstairs having a nice time and it got to about eight o’clock in the evening which, y’know, isn’t the best time to play a gig, and we started heading down to what had to be an empty room. We opened the doors and the heat from the crowd just floored us. At this point we’d only put out one or two songs, but when we played them people started singing them back straightaway. It was amazing. And this was a load of German people remember. They knew who we were and they came out early to see us. That was our first time thinking ‘wow, this is actually pretty cool’.

Coach Party - Shit TV (Tour Video)

Which song are you proudest of?

There’s a couple on the new record. ‘Shit TV’ is one that we really enjoy playing the most I think. I love that track just for how much of a strong flavour it has compared to all our other stuff, and for how we somehow still got away with it. I’m proud of that. And on the same record, ‘Nothing Is Real’, the last track, just because of it was so much more of a challenge to bring that together in the studio. To the point where we were like, ‘oh, we’ve got day left to finish this up… we really need figure this song out’. And we did it. And now I listen back to that song remembering just how frustrated we were at the time – frustrated with how we couldn’t get it to feel like we wanted it to feel. And now it’s like, ‘oh, yeah, we’re happy with that’.

What’s next for Coach Party after the tour?

We’re not sure about the format our next record is going to be, but I’d love to say album. But I won’t say album. We’ve been writing loads since since we started touring last September, which is when we were writing for the Nothing Is Real EP. There was so much more that we wrote at the time. Some of it we finished, and some of it we kind of left on the back-burner. But there are songs in there that we’re more excited about than anything we’ve ever done. Whatever we’re going to do next, it’s in good shape. I can’t wait.

Coach Party are playing UK dates in September, October and November. Find tickets here.