In December 2011, a newly-formed Coasts announced the release of their first track with a single Facebook status. Four years on and the Bristol five-piece have just returned from a tour of America, allowing themselves just a few weeks’ rest before hitting the road again. This time it’s to promote their debut album on the more familiar soil of the UK.
But on the morning after the band’s return from LA, frontman Chris Caines insists that despite all the jetsetting and the major label deal, the band are just the same bunch of mates who met at university and formed their fresh-faced band back in the day.
“Dynamic wise it hasn’t really changed, we’re all still just five best friends playing music, and we are still making music that we want to make and that makes us happy.
“We’ve got a big fan base to look after and take care of and communicate with, that’s the main thing that’s changed really, but band wise and playing live we still put 100% into everything so nothing’s changed in that sense.”
But let’s be honest, Coasts are not the band they were four years ago. Sharing Soundcloud links on social media and playing at tiny venues around the country must seem like a distant memory now that the band have ticked off international festival appearances and support slots with giants such as Weezer. But that’s not to say that early slog didn’t pay off.
“I guess what’s changed is that the internet kind of took hold of our music and that first EP spread through things like Tumblr and Soundcloud with people just sharing it, so naturally we’ve reached a hell of a lot more people.”
And now their new single, Oceans, is reaching significantly more people, namely Radio 1 listeners across the nation thanks to a slot on the station’s playlist. DJs such as Huw Stevens and Zane Lowe have championed Coasts since the early years, but this latest step could be what the band needs to push them over the brink of stardom.
“The radio still has a huge listenership, for general people not just young people that are going out and searching for music. It’s people that get in the car on the way to work and they’ll just switch on the radio and hear our song, so I think that’s key to jumping up the next level to getting your music out there to millions of people instead of thousands.”
And Oceans is just the right track to make this happen. A ‘straight-up love song about the eccentricities of falling in love’, the single was produced at rapid speed during the recording of the band’s first EP. “We were in the studio practicing and our guitarist came with the chorus to Oceans and the riff and everything.” Chris tells me, still emanating excitement. “We immediately knew that it was really cool and it had something, so that night and the next day I went home and wrote the lyrics and they came really quickly, and we got into the studio and in a couple of hours it was up on its feet and it was where it is pretty much now.
“It was a really organic song to write really, it just came out and it’s a cliché but it’s just one of those songs that was already written, it was already there and that’s maybe one of the reasons why that did so well with so many people.”
So Oceans is bound to be a crowd favourite when the boys embark on their UK tour this October. “It’s gearing up for our album really so it’s playing in all the major cities, all the places we’ve played before just in bigger venues. We’re playing Shepherd’s Bush in London, which I absolutely can’t wait for, it’s one of my favourite venues.”
The hometown of guitarist Liam, Brighton will be one of the band’s ports of call on Fri 30 Oct, when they will play Concorde 2. This is yet another step up for the band, who are climbing the venue ladder after their last two Brighton gigs at The Green Door Store and The Haunt.
“We haven’t been there for a little while so hopefully the crowd will have grown since the last time we were there. We had really good turnouts the last few times we were there like when we played The Great Escape, so I think it should be good.”
But despite getting bigger and bigger, the band are still pleasingly grounded, which they show by taking time to reply to fans on Twitter.
“I think it’s nice to have that communication with fans. You can go about it in different ways, there’s different ends of the spectrum so some people don’t reply to anyone and they keep stuff quite cryptic and then there’s the other end where people reply to everything and they’re really active on Twitter. Replying to people on Twitter is such a small thing but it means so much to your fans. I think it’s really important to give them that attention.
“These are the people that come to our shows so we’re really thankful for them for getting us to where we are now. Without them we wouldn’t be here.”
As well as having the tour to look forward to, there’s a little thing called a debut album on the horizon for Coasts, and Chris can’t wait to get his hands on it.
“It’s just one of those things when you’re a band starting out, you’re like, I really want to be able to make an album and get it finished and then get it pressed on vinyl and then listen to it on my own vinyl player, that’s a bit of a dream that.”
And speaking of dreams, I leave Chris to catch up on some well-needed sleep.