03 July 2011

interview : Coate

Would it be through his solo project Arroes or as a member of Coate (both highly recommended, reviews here and here), Will Roud is becoming a familiar name of my usual shuffle playlist. On the heels of the superb debut EP of Coate a few questions quietly explored:

- What’s the origin and history of Coate (and the relation with the side project Arroes)?

Before the four of us started Coate, we were all in a band called Ghostwork which was cool for a while but we eventually got over it. Arroes on the other hand was essentially Will’s irrational one-time response to being dumped (haha). We basically started Coate because we were really into 90s emo, and were discovering some of the emo resurgence bands too. Since we weren’t really familiar with playing in the genre, the first couple songs we wrote were pretty much attempts at mimicking American Football. After we got used to it, we were able to break away from that and just write songs.

- Where do you come from and is it you first musical project for all of you?

Geographically, we’re all from Christchurch, New Zealand. First and Second-year university students. We’ve been in a number of other bands but Ghostwork was the only one that we were all in. Coate is the only project that’s got to... wherever it is we are.

- Are you part of a local “indie” scene, what’s the importance of this scene for your band?

I guess so. I mean we have lots of friends in other bands who we play with, and the people who come to shows are people that almost always come. But its difficult to know whether we have a music scene or not. I think we do. Its difficult because all the bands are different, shows are often pretty diverse which means everything is fluid, and everything changes every couple of months. I think we have one and I think we’re a part of it. The scene is important to me especially because playing to people you don’t know is good, but shows are way more fun if there’s at least 10 friends there.

- Your area has been through heavy times with the earthquake, how does this have impact on you?

We didn’t do much for about a month after the one in February, but overall I don’t think its made much of a difference. One AA venue is still standing, and we play there a lot now. We never really liked R18 shows anyway. Some people who were in bands have moved away, but at the same time others have gone out of there way to make sure shows keep happening - starting new venues etc..

- What’s the creation process behind your songs?

Typically, one of us will come to practice with a guitar part, and we’ll try and build on that. Then we’ll add a second part to the song, and once we’re happy we’ll do vocals - or not. The songs are always subject to change, we play ‘The One With the Trumpet’ a little different now. Will writes all the lyrics in unreliable bursts because most of the time, things aren’t all that emo.
- Coate is considered as highly influenced by certain 90’s emocore bands such as American Football, could you describe your relation and history to this “genre”, as listener and as musician. Are you coming to this from noisier “hardcore” music or is it mostly a kind of obvious resonance which imposed itself?

We all really like American Football, and all the other projects that Mike and Tim Kinsella have been a part of. But most of the time we listen to the recent resurgence bands like Algernon Cadwallader, CSTVT, Empire! Empire!, Grown Ups, Penpal, Bicycle Sunday, and Joie de Vivre.
When we write we think about these bands, but I don’t think we could ever escape our ties with the other bands we listen to like Jeniferever, Bright Eyes, The Velvet Teen, Toe. Its all there in varied degree I hope.

- I’ve read that you mostly play shows at different homes, does this fact influence the quietness of most of your music?

I think the quietness is due to the constraints of our method of recording. The bass isn’t as loud as it could be, and even though Will’s voice is soft, its loud in the overall mix. But I’m okay with it being a quiet album. When we play house shows we play pretty loud, I think on our next release it’ll be more driving maybe.

- Six months after the recording, how do you look backwards at these songs?

We still feel good about the whole thing. Despite the mistakes and the unconventional mixing, there’s enough content in the album that justifies its differences. I think we can all stand back and say “it is what it is”, and in the future we’ll probably do it differently - just for the fun of it. 

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