Savannah-based COEDS will play a release show at The Jinx on Sept. 10th at The Jinx, with Starbenders from Atlanta and another band TBD.
Check out the new track “Too Cool for School” which was released at a show this past Saturday at The Jinx:
When you start listening to COEDS, you want more and more. Check out the video released late last year for “Do the Beast Stomp,” which will also be on the upcoming 13-track album:
We caught up with COEDS — Anna Chandler on guitar and vocals, Phillip Price on guitar and vocals, Jeremiah Stuard on bass, and Donald Moats on drums — for a q+a about their signature sound and about working with the well-established New Granada Records.
hissing lawns: Hey COEDS, congrats on the affiliation with New Granada Records! Can you share a little background on the affiliation?
Anna Chandler: Thanks! We got to know New Granada’s Keith Ulrey when he was booking some Savannah dates for New Granada bands. He invited us to come play in Tampa, where New Granada is based, and we had a fantastic time, kept in touch, and made our way back down there several times.
I know we were really struck by the dedication he and his wife and NG teammate, Susie, have to making a positive impact on not only their hometown scene but the regional and East Coast indie scene. They’ve been running New Granada for 20 years, putting out music that speaks to them and keeping a real community feel to the whole operation. We’re proud to be affiliated with their efforts.
hl: The four of you have some impressive resumes, but you come from some really varied backgrounds — folk rock, punk, heavier stuff. How have these different genres contributed to the COEDS sound?
Anna: I love telling people I didn’t know before this band that Phill and I met playing dueling accordions in a folk band (Dare Dukes & The Blackstock Collection)! I think I learned a lot about melody playing folk music, and certainly about harmonies, which I feel have come a long way in COEDS. A key reason Phill and I were drawn to Donald and Jeremiah as a rhythm section was the raw energy of their performances, whether they were performing shoegazey indie in Whaleboat or pummeling, heavy rock with Sins of Godless Men. Showmanship transcends genre and I really loved their intensity. I love that Donald hits like his drums could crumble while playing a Phil Spector type of rhythm. I love that Jeremiah thrashes to doo-wop.
When Phill and I started talking about forming a rock band, we knew we wanted to make danceable music with a highly energetic stage show, memorable melodies, and loud guitars. We all have really, really diverse taste and have played everything from grindcore to ambient folk to emo to alternative to singer-songwriter, but something I’ve come to realize recently is that, regardless of genre, I’m drawn to pop structures played raw, whether it’s soul, punk, or alt-country, and I think that’s a pretty good summary of what we do.
Phillip Price: I really count that as a strength for us. I feel like it means nothing is off limits for us–if there needs to be a little yelling, that’s fine. If something needs to sound pretty, that’s fine too. If a part calls for a little extra vocal twang, a surfy guitar, doo-wop backups or a blastbeat, I feel like it’s all fair game.
Jeremiah Stuard: Dynamics is the one common factor between my previous groups and COEDS. I came from a metal background, which I think explains my stage presence, but I don’t treat the styles any differently. I have been and will always be for a tight and heavy rhythm section (let the record show) and if you choose COEDS to be your new favorite band, I will stand by that in the years to come. COEDS 2016!
Donald Moats: Yeah, at first, I never thought I would be in a band like this. I have always been involved in more alt/grunge rock bands. We really didn’t have a direction, so to speak. I think Anna and Phill had more of an idea of what they wanted, but Jer and I just kinda found our spots and started creating our space in the music. After about a year, I think we were all comfortable and now we just rock it out and see what happens.
hl: So give us more details on the record. What can we expect from it?
Anna: I think it’s a solid representation of our first 2+ years as a band. The first song we ever wrote, “I Wanna Dance With You (All Night Long)” is on there, as are some newer tracks like “Mr. Know-It-All” – while it’s cohesive, I think you can definitely see the way the band grew as we kind of fell in together. There are some noisy, rowdy moments, and even a quieter acoustic number.
Donald did an amazing job recording the whole thing; we are really, really lucky to have a band member who’s a great producer with his own space so we could just go into the studio and experiment without time constraints.
To tie in the last question of our various musical backgrounds, after we sat with the tracks for a while, it was so fun to go back and add textural elements that we used to rely on heavily in former projects (I broke out my glockenspiel, which I haven’t really played since my time in General Oglethorpe & The Panhandlers and Dare Dukes, and Phill restored his theremin that was a key element in An Albatross’s whirlwind of sound).
Thematically, there’s plenty of education-inspired wordplay riffing on the band name, shiny Buddy Holly-style love songs, ghosts, nerdy stuff, and moments of resilience.
Phillip: You should expect a recording that pretty much mirrors our live sound — just with an occasional (not many) overdub. The majority of the tracks were recorded live, with all of us playing together. Partly that’s because we wanted to capture the raw energy of early rock and roll, playing together in a room and tracking to analog tape. But it was also because it was way more fun. We’d pile into Anna’s car after work and head out to Donald’s house on the island to play songs and hang out together, so for me this record feels wonderful because it reminds me of good times. Recording is not generally a process I enjoy; it’s usually pretty stressful. This was relaxed and fun and I think that comes out in the finished product.
Jeremiah: There are a few extra elements on the album that we are not able to incorporate live, but I believe we captured the playful and raw attitude we have onstage. This is the first recording I have been a part of where I am excited to say, “It sounds like a real band.” It’s like we are The Jukebox Band from Shining Time Station playing in my…
Donald: Since we were committed to doing the whole album on an 8-track Otari reel-to-reel, the most terrifying part of the recording process was that I had to commit my drums to a stereo tape track. It’s not tracked one track at a time like most modern recordings. I think the rest of the band hit all the main points…it sounds like a real band playing real music … and it was very FUN!
hl: Since you’ve recorded this album, have you done more writing? Are you constantly writing? If so, what’s the newest material like?
Anna: For sure. We started tracking Thrill Me! last February or so and are compiling songs for our next release. We’re constantly writing on our own, and we’ll typically bring new songs to the table when we’re in a live show lull so we can really focus and develop them as a band.
Phill’s been breaking out some killer swingy, vintage material. We’ve both written a few more “traditional” rapid-fire punk tunes. Recently, it seems everything I’m writing has some kind of blues element to it, and I’m enjoying pulling garagier, less bright tones out of my guitar. I feel like I’m writing with less intention of making a COEDS-sounding song and just writing what comes because I know we’ll develop it together and it’ll sound like us. That’s a great point of trust to come to with a band.
Phillip: We’re always writing, so by now we’re well on the way to having enough material for another record. It’s really only limited by the time we have to learn the new songs. I’d say the new songs are a little more bittersweet — but when I think about it there are still some pretty silly ones in the works!
hl: So how does the songwriting go? Does one of you bring more or less fully formed songs to the band? Or is the process more collaborative?
Anna: It varies, but typically, Phill and/or I will bring a sketch of a song to practice, teach it to everyone, then we’ll play through it and work on structure together. Jeremiah’s really, really great at figuring out breaks and transitions; as a very melody-oriented writer, I really value that. It really depends on the song; some, it takes two, three practices and we’re done; others, we’re working on for months until it feels right.
Phillip: For the most part, Anna or I will bring a song to the table fully written. We teach it to the rest of the band and then everyone contributes at that point. Each person tweaks their part and we work on the arrangement as a whole — sometimes something is a little too repetitive when you get a full band playing it, or sometimes I’ll write something in a key that just doesn’t work for Anna’s voice, so we have to fix it. We try our best to take turns with our submissions so we can keep a good mix.
Jeremiah: Every song receives its own treatment. Sometimes, Phill or Anna will come in with a flushed outline of a song or just one riff idea. Donald and I will add our own flair and usually try to develop a way to mess it all up somehow.
hl: Touring plans?
Anna: We love our weekenders! We’ll be heading to Atlanta to play Drunken Unicorn with Starbenders on June 17 and Athens the following day. Stay tuned for fall show announcements.
Phillip: I work for the school district, so I get a good amount of time off — but for the most part, our Big Kid jobs keep us from getting any huge chunks of availability — but we’ll keep our fingers crossed for stars to align once the record comes out!
Tom took some shots of COEDS’ typically high-energy set at Saturday’s single release party: