With their much-anticipated first full-length imminent, for Coach Party it’s 100% or nothing. Check out new track ‘All I Wanna Do Is Hate’ and read our latest Dork Playlist cover feature now.
Words: Neive McCarthy.
Photos: Patrick Gunning.
Name a festival, and the likelihood is that Coach Party have played it. Look at any of their line-ups, and you’ll find the Isle of Wight four-piece lingering somewhere. Back-to-back sets, ripping about on tour with every band under the sun and a stream of packs-a-punch singles, Coach Party have quickly cemented themselves as one of the most hotly-tipped bands around. Rightly so, too.
They’ve well and truly honed their craft on the live circuit, but as all bands need to, it was time to enter a new chapter. Jess, Steph, Joe and Guy dropped ‘Micro-Aggression’ in February, a roaring beast of a track that, unbeknownst to all of us at the time, signified a new era for the band. At long last, it was debut album time.
It has no doubt been a long time coming, but finding that time proved difficult. Sandwiched in between unmissable support slots and racing against the clock, the beginning of this year saw the band bunker down and get to work. Enter ‘KILLJOY’.
“We gigged so much last year that there was physically no time,” Jess, the band’s figurehead, sits cross-legged over Zoom. “The time we did have, we got confirmed for this Wet Leg tour. We knew we had to take this tour that eats massively into our album time and just blood, sweat and tears it in January and February. We were all feeling intense. We all felt differently, but we all felt the pressure. At the end of it, it was in a good way. Thank the lord, it’s done. The label even were probably like, thank god – we couldn’t do with the trauma of it being pushed back any more.”
‘Micro-Aggression’ was ultimately the first introduction to ‘KILLJOY’, but is now joined by brand new single ‘All I Wanna Do Is Hate’. Together, the two introduce a side to Coach Party we have perhaps never seen blaze so ferociously. Between the two, there’s a pattern emerging for what we might expect from the band’s debut album. Wildly fierce guitars, equally biting lyrics, an incendiary attitude – both singles have it all and had to have it all from their very conception.
“Me and Guy were in the house, doing a vocal take,” Jess recalls about the making of ‘All I Wanna Do Is Hate’. “I did one, and it just wasn’t hitting. I was like, ‘Let me do it again; let me do the whole song again’. I did, and I was dancing about throughout the whole vocal take, and that was immediately just the one. This was the energy for it – bratty and super energetic. Those two songs, in particular, although probably all of them, they have to be 100% or nothing. You’re not getting away with even doing 95% – you have to pound it in the face.”
That particular vibe has definitely lingered at the edges of Coach Party’s earlier releases, but on their latest, it is dialled up to the max. There’s no room for anything lacklustre, nor is there room to keep anything bottled up. It’s a pure exorcism of emotions in every shade and hue. This was a project Coach Party had to attack with everything they had.
“Even the label were like: ‘You guys need to put out a fucking album and do it so well’,” Jess laughs. “What helps us and what motivates us to make sure we’re doing it right is our live shows. They are going well, and we have some great shows coming up this year. It feels like we’re doing 100 on the live side, so we need to make sure the album reflects that. Half-arsing just wasn’t an option. People will remember your debut album forever. Two, three albums in, they’ll be saying it wasn’t as good as the first. You need to make sure that when they do that, it’s because it’s such a good album.”
From the word go, Coach Party have committed to making this an era. From the skeletal bones of the artwork to the grungy cheerleader video for ‘All I Wanna Do Is Hate’, there’s a real rock star world at play for the band. “We didn’t want it to look cringey,” says Jess. “But rock music, with dancers, isn’t visited that much. Dan Broadley has always been our director, and he knows how to make you look good. I know videos aren’t too important these days; they’re not as watched as they once were. But I think having the visual side to a song is still so powerful and important.”
The video sees them smash and shred their way through the track, bristling with fury and abandoning any cares with each brandishing of a baseball bat. They throw their all into their anger, letting it all out, as the track ultimately invites them to.
“The lyrics for ‘All I Wanna Do Is Hate’ just fell out,” explains Jess. “I was freestyling in the rehearsal room; the melody and the structure of it were there. In the chorus, I sang, ‘All I wanna do is hate’, and then the verses just wrote themselves. That lends from the chorus being so angry – it was like, cool, what else are we angry about?”
Letting themselves feel the full extent of their feelings, whether pleasant or otherwise, proved crucial. They needed to open themselves up and pour everything into ‘KILLJOY’ – as Jess assures, you only get one debut album. This had to be levels above all that had come before, and achieving that without being open and true to themselves would’ve proved an impossible mission.
“We were like, we’re making a fucking album. We have to make this album with the mindset that millions of people are going to hear it. It’s going to be nominated for all these things, and it’s going to reach its highest potential. Guy especially really embodied that, and I feel that from the finished product. I feel very proud of it, and every song is so cool.”
“Half-arsing just wasn’t an option. People will remember your debut album forever”Jess Eastwood
With the knowledge that this needed to be a step up, the best thing they’d ever made, Coach Party looked to their much-celebrated live sets and sought to capture the angsty, insatiable energy of those on record. ‘All I Wanna Do Is Hate’ simmers with a need to be shouted at the top of your lungs, which is seemingly exactly what the band were aiming for.
“We definitely consider what we’re putting in the studio into our live things. Sometimes, we’ll restrict ourselves on track because we can’t recreate it live. Most of the time, though, we’re like, ‘Fuck it, no, let’s put it in the track because it sounds good’. We’ll find ways to put it in the track live. Lyrically, you write from the heart, but you still write it with the intention that you want people to hear it and be screaming it back at you.”
Before those songs are unleashed into the world in September, however, the band have a big summer ahead. Packed with immense support slots, stadium shows and their own headline tour to look forward to in the autumn, the present is the epitome of the calm before the storm for Coach Party.
“We’re all really ready for it. We’ve had two months off, and I am getting used to this normal life, and that’s not good. When I start having three meals a day, going to bed at 9… It isn’t a bad thing; I’ve been loving it. But god, I need to start gigging. Sometimes I think I’d love a 9 to 5, cooking dinner every night and watching my favourite programmes and going out for walks. But when I’m doing that, I know I want to be out doing gigs.”
Thankfully, there will be no shortage of those for Coach Party. As ‘All I Wanna Do Is Hate’ brings its fiery descent unto the universe, Coach Party prepare to gear up for what might be the craziest year of their musical careers yet. This can only be the beginning. ■
Coach Party’s debut album ‘KILLJOY’ is out 8th September. Their new single ‘Amoeba’ is out now. Follow Dork Playlist on Spotify here.