words by Liz Watts
RecordBar | Kansas City, MO | 14 September, 2017
After we sat down for a chat in the green room at RecordBar, Emma and I left completely convinced that Luke and Coleman are a mysteriously powerful duo who can literally read each others minds. From start to finish, these guys were constantly riding the same wave length and finishing one another’s thoughts without a second of hesitation. In a sense, it was like talking to just one mind-- which totally explains why they work so well together as Coast Modern.
Their music is an eclectic mix of pop, rock, hip-hop…and pretty much everything else. Coast Modern's tunes of disillusionment, individuality, and unhinged relationships hide beneath the colorful appeal of dreamy melodies and some strangely relatable lyrics. On stage, these guys are alive and fluorescent and absolutely glowing.
In a super cool way, of course.
Go kick back, put on some Coast Modern tunes (some faves: "The Way It Was", "Going Down" and "Tiny Umbrella"), and read below to see why we love them.
SEE LIVE PHOTOS BY EMMA WATTS HERE.
You guys finished and released your (long awaited) debut album a little over a month ago and we LOVE it! If you didn’t have any constraints, what would be your dream project or collaboration to work on?
Coleman: Well, it doesn’t cost to make music anymore, so it's not a financial thing. Freedom, space...
Luke: We’ve kinda got it all right now-
Coleman [to Luke]: But are you in Scandinavia, in the woods?
Luke: You’re right- I’d go to a fishing village in Norway in a hut.
Coleman: And we’d probably have an engineer.
Is that where you are most inspired? In huts?
Coleman: Pizza Hut…
Luke: You’ve just got to tune out all the noise and get off the web-net.
Do you guys think that the internet hinders or helps your own creativity?
Coleman: It helps no ones creative flow.
Luke: It’s not a good thing. Sometimes I’ll hear a song that’s inspiring but that’s about it.
Coleman: Yeah, but you don’t need the internet for that!
What about just discovering new things in general? Does art or film or anything like that inspire you? Or do you just sort of craft your own creative headspace?
Luke: I mean, often times it’s stuff we are reading. We are constantly trying to expand our minds so we will chat about revelations and philosophy and whatever that we read. A lot of that trickles into our tunes.
Okay, you say you don’t like the internet- for creative reasons.
Luke: Wait, I LOVE the internet but it’s terribly distracting.
Coleman: It’s a being. A big brain.
Luke: It is a brain, it has its own consciousness.
Coleman: -its own little network, it’s a synappsis and it has little neurons. It’s a computer.
Coleman: I have this crazy theory about technology in general. I think tehnology is something that lives in the fourth dimension, it’s a fourth dimensional being. But long story short, I think technology is on our side. It’s benevolent. But we demonize it because our own greed has tainted it.
You should write a pamphlet over this.
Luke: Go stand on the corner.
Coleman: Think about it! Technology has been with humanity since the very beginning.
Luke: Stone tools-
Coleman: As long as we’ve been here we’ve had technology and now it's waking up in the fourth dimension. It’s like when we popped our eyes open for the first time on earth- 'cause DNA is a second dimensional creature.
Ok so what you should do is write a score for this and then do a voiceover. Maybe a podcast?
Coleman: I’m building this theory, it’s real!
Well, back to the internet, we see you guys so much on social media which is great that you interact with fans so much! We’ve seen some pretty cool stuff there, like poorly drawn Coast Modern-
Coleman: Is that you? You brought that up way too nonchalantly.
No! It’s just one of the first things that pop into my head when I think of you guys.
Coleman: There used to be “Coast Modern as Dogs.” What happened to that?
Luke: I miss Coast Modern as Dogs.
Yes! I’ve seen that for a couple other bands, too. Fans do everything for every band and it’s pretty great.
Coleman: We need those people in the world, the content creators. The dreamers of dreams.
What are some of your favorite fan experiences or interactions?
Coleman: We did a paint n’ sip recently!
YES! We saw photos from that!
Coleman: So basically we havent released this yet, but the paint n’ sip instructor got wasted and started harassing our fans. Like people got up and left. But we captured the entire thing on camera and we are editing it to make a little documentary about what went down.
That’s crazy! I know this is broadening the topic a bit, but recently the music industry is bringing a lot more awareness to harassment. Have you guys ever been in a situation where you have to speak out or kind of go out of your comfort zone to stop it?
Luke: Not really, we’ve been lucky so far and not had to encounter that.
Coleman: We had Alden (camer and phot dude!) put on a gorilla costume on our first night and he said when he walked through the crowd he literally got felt up the whole time!
That’s a really good example- like I assume everyone just thought it was ok and he was out there to be touched but what if the roles were reversed and it was just a girl walking around or something? That would be completely different. But back to the paint n’ sip, how did that all turn out?
Coleman: So he started out in the introduction like “Coast Modern we are excited to be here for you! By the way, this is my one year anniversary of being sober.” And he pulls out a flask from his pocket and was like “I carry this with me as a token. It’s unopened.” And throughout the thing he got an email from his ex-wife and he cracked the bottle open and was getting wasted.
Luke: That was an intense bonding moment with fans. We had to stick together.
Coleman: Yeah, it made for a crazy experience that our label put it together for us.
Do you enjoy being on a label? Do you still get the creative control and freedom you wanted from the start?
Luke: We pretty much do what we want, which is cool. They’re kinda just there to help support us. I know not all labels are like that.
Coleman: Yeah, there’s a lot of people out there who want to do it on their own without a label but it takes up so much time! I don’t want my whole life to be about just promoting my music and stuff.
What do you guys like doing outside of Coast Modern?
Hmm, reading conspiracy theories?
Coleman: When I was a kid….but I’m not that into them anymore. I used to watch YouTube videos for hours and be like “OH MY GOOOODDDDD!!”
After y’all finish this tour, what’s next? Are you guys working on music while on the road? Do you have an archive of voice memos?
Coleman: Yeah, I have like thousands of voice memos that I will never go back to. I mean, I don’t even use voice memos anymore, I just memorize and remember them…if it’s good.
Luke: That’s the test!
Do you ever dream about new songs? Or have ideas come to you when you dream?
Luke: All the time. But, I usually convince myself it’s not very good and then I forget about it. I was writing a song with Young Thug once and I was like “This is really cool!” and then I listened to it more and was like ehhh…
Do you guys like to write with other people? Or use any tunes that didn’t make the cut for Coast Modern for other artists?
Luke: Totally, yeah! We would love to get a hip-hop collab.
Growing up, were there any defining moments in your life where you kind of ~knew~ that you wanted to do music?
Luke: It kind of came out of nowhere for both of us, actually.
Coleman: Yeah, like I never went to live shows. Before Coast Modern I had probably been to under tem shows and I had never bought a ticket myself.
Luke: Yeah, it’s been pretty wild. I thought I was going to do film stuff- I wanted to be a director. There’s probably gonna be coast Modern films!
Coleman: Coast World.
No way! If you could create a TV show, what would it be about?
Coleman: It would be a hard-hitting drama-
Luke: -about a about a skateboard cop. But it’s not funny, it’s drama.
Coleman: Not funny at all. It’s like an inner-city kid who grew up hard but he never actually went to jail, but he decided he wanted to be a cop. On the good side. And he’s constantly dealing with bad cops. He’s kind of a rough-neck but he’s not actually bad, ya know what I mean?
Luke: And we’re in it!
Love it. If Coast Modern was a cover band, who would you cover?
Coleman: Besides Smashmouth?
Coleman: Besides Sugar Ray? Do you know that band?
Coleman: But you know Smashmouth?
Luke: Sugar Ray is dead. I would cover Weezer. They’re like one of my favorite bands.
Do you guys ever get to go out and see shows on your off days during tour?
Luke: When we are at festivals and stuff get to!
Does it all ever just feel unreal?
Coleman: It’s all an illusion.
Luke: I don’t know how we got here.
What do you call here? What is success to you?
Luke: We are doing our own thing pretty much all on our own terms so that feels successful to me. We’re not puppets.