Chess Club signees Coach Party are one of 2020’s hottest new tips, following in the footsteps of smart guitar bands like Wolf Alice. Vocalist and bassist Jess Eastwood tells us more ahead of their performance at Homeschool this weekend.
Hi Jess! How’s it going? Are you having a fun day?
Hellooo, it’s going good. Coronavirus has us all fully locked down to our houses, so I’m making the best of the situation – which means reading conspiracy theories online and binge-watching Parks and Recreation on Netflix.
We hear you all live and work on the Isle of Wight – what’s that like? Is travelling for gigs a pain?
Firstly, yes. However, the most painful thing is 100% the price of catching the ferry, she really burns a hole in your pocket (love you ferry companies, please don’t ban us). The timings can be quite testing as well, especially if its really late. But despite all that, the ferries are worth catching for the dog deck, it can be a very wholesome hour.
Are there many opportunities for up-and-coming bands over there?
I think we all agree that for any opportunities anywhere, you do have to work hard for it yourself. The opportunities we do have over here are: a great music venue (called Strings), who regularly have some petty cool bands come over; the Isle of Wight Festival (in which you’d see a lot of local bands play amongst some really big names); and some really great recording studios with very talented engineers and producers (one of them being the best producer in the world, Guy Page, also our drummer).
How did you guys all meet and decide to form a band together then?
Living on the Isle Of Wight, everyone low-key knows each other, especially as we have such a tight-knit music scene. Guy and Joe (guitarist) used to be in this really cool band called ‘Polar Maps’, which Steph (guitarist) and myself used to really enjoy. We approached them with some songs initially just to help us out and make them sound better, and they did such a good job that it made sense for the four of us to do something all together. That’s when Coach Party was birthed.
Have you always wanted to make music and perform?
It was my second goal after becoming a princess. But I’m still working on that, so definitely a yes from me. For everyone else, they are so talented and good at what they do, that to think of them doing anything else feels wrong.
Who was your first-ever favourite band or pop star?
Myself – either Taylor Swift or Hannah Montana; Joe – The Strokes/Arctic Monkeys; Steph – No Doubt; Guy – The Beatles.
Can you recall the first song you wrote? Is it still kicking about?
Me and Steph wrote a song called ‘All I Do’ a few years ago, and it banged. It is still kicking about, but only in our private files, sorry (will show it to anyone for a crisp tenner).
What do you most enjoy writing songs about?
It’s an opportunity to say things how they are, in the comfort of sweet melodies and without the confrontational backlash of a real-world conversation… and that one step closer to making that one-hit-wonder.
Tell us about your debut EP: what songs are on it, and how did you piece it together?
What I can tell you is that we are calling our six-track EP ‘Party Food’ and it was written/recorded over the summer of 2019. We have our first three singles on there, ‘Oh Lola’, ‘Breakdown’ and ‘Space’, followed by ‘Bleach’ ‘Puke’ and ‘Red Jumper Boy’. All strong contenders, and to add to our originality, the cover of our EP is a photo of us, surprise.
How did you hook up with Chess Club Records?
Our one of a kind gift from God manager, Jonathan Morley, has such belief in us and our music. His positive and restless energy is what led us to meet Will and Pete from Chess Club, along with the rest of our amazing team. Big up Chess Club, Freetrade and They Do.
Which bands or artists do you think are doing particularly exciting things with music at the mo?
All of our bigger brothers and sisters at Chess Club are onto something, and we have them playing regularly on rotation (Alfie Templeman, Bloxx, The Wha, Sinead O’Brien, Phoebe Green, and Yaeger). I know we are ALL looking forward to what bands like Boy Azooga, Wolf Alice and The Japanese House are doing next. But currently, at the minute, The Magic Gang are releasing some cool tunes, and the new Big Moon album was pretty special. Also, Weezer, if you’re reading this, let’s collab?
Anything else we should know?
Hidden talents that aren’t talents: Steph is extremely average at skating, check out Instagram for proof. Guy ‘the rage’ Page is the former Isle of Wight, Hampshire, Surrey and Sussex (the world) schoolboy bantamweight Champion. Joe has never been photographed without a pint. And for me, I can walk into any kitchen and tell you where the cutlery draw is, based on gut feeling.