April Artist of the month by WWSC Music Writer: Georgina Crowther.
A chin-wag with Jess and Steph from Coach Party, chatting about everything from how they started up as a band, self-care tips, to the genius of Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’ album.
Coach Party are a four-piece indie-pop/rock band hailing from the Isle of Wight comprised of Jess, Steph, Guy and Joe. They have gone from strength to strength during the lockdown days, releasing their debut EP -' Party Food' - a single that made it to the BBC6 Music List (a very big deal!) and another EP is on the way!
With all too relatable lyrics and pop guitar riffs that demand you dance around your bedroom, Coach Party are in session - that's why they're Women Who Self Care's 'Artist Of The Month'.
We managed to catch up with Jess (vocalist, bassist) and Steph (guitarist) and get the low down on the world of Coach Party.
First off, how are you lot doing?
Steph: It’s alright. Bit sad not being able to gig and stuff, but I’ve been working the whole time and been doing loads of music so it’s alright!
Jess: Yeah, all these amazing things that are happening at the minute but the ultimate doubt is: ‘is it gonna go ahead?’
This is six months into the future where everything is meant to be going back to normal and meant to be just the world again, or England for that - just trying to keep a positive mindset. If we send out all these positive vibes it’s gonna come through!
Congrats on the BBC 6 Music List addition with ‘Everybody Hates Me’ - how does that feel and how did you celebrate?
Jess: We had to bloody rehearse! We celebrated by only rehearsing the songs once - ‘sounds good, let’s go!’
For those who may not have heard of your band, how would you describe Coach Party and its sound?
Jess: I don’t want to undersell us AT ALL, but we are the four most normal people; yeah, we’re ‘cool and quirky’, but we love playing the music we do and to sum us up under anything specific is hard, as indie is such a massive term now.
Anything not in the charts is essentially indie - indie pop, indie rock, indie lo-fi, indie garage.
We’re trying to find the sound, but ultimately we fall under the indie pop/indie rock, and we’ll be doing this for a long time as we love doing it so much - only gonna get better, and we’ll keep writing, keep recording and playing live when we can play live!
Along those lines, how did you startup as a band?
Steph: Because the Isle of Wight is so small you kind of meet everybody that's into the same thing. I used to go and watch Guy in his band before I knew him, then Joe and Guy met each other, and they started a band together.
Joe and Jess had mutual friends, and they met - you all meet each other through mutual things.
It was Jess’s idea to start a band and yeah, then Coach Party came along and here we are!
Jess: It happened fast; COVID made it feel like it happened slowly, but it happened fast - we’ve only played live five times as Coach Party.
We were on track to play live and at as many shows as we could, and then we couldn’t.
We were hopeful and weren’t convinced and then put out the EP and thank our stars it worked out in our favour! Because of lockdown, we’re going to play as many shows as possible when we can. We’re announcing the tour today, and it’s a pretty big tour for us, so it’s an intense time.
*Tour dates here!!
I think 'Everybody Hates Me', has been my soundtrack to the latest lockdown and tackles big topics such as self-doubt and lack of confidence, which I'm sure many have felt throughout 2020/2021. Can you tell us a bit more about the track and the inspiration for it?
Steph: we tend to write about real-life stuff, and it's one of those songs that everyone can relate to at one point in their life.
People don't talk about how they feel that much. We usually tend to write really sad; real lyrics to a cool upbeat sound to mirror it - it's basically about self-loathing and thinking everyone hates you when really that's not true, but it goes around your head all the time - it's important to talk about it and just let it go!
Jess: Joe wrote all the guitar riffs. And I remember Joe and Guy did a day in the studio and did a demo of the instrumental of it, and when that happens, it'll work out and be cool or just won't work at all.
I wrote the lyrics around two weeks after turning 23. I'm 24 now, so thinking about just shifting the number up*. It was loads of fun to write and loads of fun to play live!
*The first line of 'Everybody Hates Me' is 'I'm sad, I'm 23 / I've not learnt my lesson, I'm not any different'.
Your latest EP 'After Party,' is out soon, and you released 'Party Food' last year. How has it been creating new music in lockdown?
Steph: It's been okay; we've managed to write a huge amount of songs, so creative wise we've done really well.
Releasing music we haven't known anything other than releasing in lockdown. So it's worked in our favour as people are tuning in to our social media, so people are discovering new music in a different way than going to watch a band and discovering new music by watching the support acts.
Jess: Playing live is going to be like a foreign body to us!!
Are you nervous about playing live next time?
Steph: I'm so excited now, but the moment before we go on, I'll be a bag of nerves! We all have to keep ourselves really calm and say 'it'll be fine, it'll be great'
Jess: The last time we played live was in Hamburg - what an amazing last gig! Sold out room to 200 people in Germany and it was overflowing - I felt 'what have we done to deserve this?'. I remember looking at Steph onstage like 'I'm gonna puke', and she said, 'no you're not, don't be silly!'.
It's the weirdest thing; it's mad - I believe one day I'm actually gonna puke before going on stage!
What are you most looking forward to once lockdown is essentially over/no restrictions?
Steph: Eating out! Gonna go to every vegan restaurant that ever lived!
Jess: Going on holiday - I wanna just book a villa with some Spanish beer by the pool and some burgers cooking on a barbecue with loads of friends!
Who are some of your musical inspirations and icons?
Jess: Miley Cyrus. I love the pants off of her. I'm going through this phase of popstars at the moment. Dua Lipa's performance at the Grammy's, I was like, 'wow what a woman!'.
I dig Clairo; she's cool. I love Tame Impala, Mac De Marco - my music taste personally is massive; it doesn't really have an end. I'm getting into jazz too, so watch this space!
Steph: The Beatles are a big influence. Weezer is huge in our household - their songwriting and production is amazing. I go from like 60's, 70's and Jazz - Miles Davis we love. Wolf Alice, The Skegs too!
Jess: Really love Alvvays - they're the Weezer of our household. We share a lot of common interests in the big bands we like/listen to.
Steph: Yeah, if any album was put on in the car, we'd all collectively like it. Except maybe Beyonce's Lemonade' which I don't think Joe and Guy would like.
Jess: I've always been a Beyoncé fan, but never a BEYONCÉ fan, but that album was just wow. The lengths to which that women (Beyoncé) goes to to give us stuff is unbelievable!
Steph: I was watching how she makes her videos - the fashion and brands she wears for her music video - the designers alone! Wow.
Your music videos are amazing too; how do you find shooting them?
Jess: our director we always use, Dan Broadley, you could give him a seed, and he would plant the most beautiful tree in a day. He makes you feel so comfortable and has the most amazing ideas
Steph: yeah, he's able to listen to the song and has these visions and delivers it.
Jess: At the same time, he won't sit there and film something, where, if you're nervous and giving 50%, he won't film and make sure you're comfortable enough to give 100%.
We're so lucky to work with him and have him as a friend. We shot 'Everybody Hates Me' with him just after he shot with Tom Jones. He's shot with Nick Jonas too!
Dream artist to collab with?
Steph: Guy's would be Rivers from Weezer 100%
Jess: Miley Cyrus. Lizzo's album ‘Cuz I love You' has really helped me. I'd have Lizzo and Miley. I'd be deceased* anyway, so I wouldn't be able to perform, but between them both, that's fine.
*WWSC cool gal translator: Die and go to heaven - for being so overwhelmed and in awe
I feel that one of your major trademarks as a band is your relatable but witty lyrics. Almost anybody can identify with your lyrics - 'really ok on my own, don't wanna be alone' - I felt that. Do you have a process when writing the lyrics to your songs? Are they based on anything in particular? Or a general array of experiences?
Steph: In the beginning, Jess would come in with a song and we'd build on it. Recently it's been all four of us writing and having one small idea that we create into a song together.
We've managed to be so productive and writing loads. It's always about real-life stuff. We'd never write something that isn't real or that one of us or someone we know hasn't experienced.
Jess: If you wanna feel heard, wait till we release a song that is on our next EP!
As a Self-care/ empowerment brand, could you tell our readers any self-care tips (new or old) that have helped you individually or as a group?
Steph: Always speak up if you feel uncomfortable - for any walk-in life - even recording music; if someone doesn't like something, it's important to say, or it'll eat you up inside. Never be afraid to speak your mind and tell people how you feel.
Jess: That's similar for me definitely in the band. Personally, being on furlough, I've got into self-care. It's cliche but spending time with yourself is the best type of self-care. I started meditating for the first time last week, and I actually enjoy being alone now, whereas before, I'd be more 'let's go do this, or this'.
Now I'm happy to be sat by the sea alone - in touch with nature is always good. It all starts with the foundations.
Coach Party's next EP 'After Party' will be released by Chess Club Records on 13th April 2021! Check it out on all streaming platforms!