Two quirky friends based in LA are scoring on a bonus round in life and cashing in all the way. Coast Modern is a sun drenched surf duo currently on their first headlining tour and I had a chance to catch up with them on the road.
In their prior lives, the friends were producing music for other artists with a random sprinkle of producing educational videos for NASA. Having figured out they were actually pretty good, they decided to make a go of it and start a band. A few years and a self-titled debut album later, they’re scooping up fans left and right and riding the wave as far as it’ll take them. Each song is a stop in another world and a rollercoaster ride through a musical spectrum that spans from introspective acoustic streams of consciousness to psychedelic jams to relaxed dancehall vibes.
When asked, Luke confirms that “not trying too hard” is what makes the magic in their sound. When writing and recording the album, “it felt like true flow; when you don’t realize what you’re creating, you put it out into the ether and it takes on a life of its own.”
The duo wrote and recorded many of their songs in real time, often in single takes and completely produced in their LA apartment. You get the feeling it’s organic. Sounds of traffic and birds might be picked up in the background; interludes of random moments are all caught on tape. It’s the fact that they didn’t take it too seriously that allowed them freedom to be truly artistic and creative without the pressure of “doing it right”.
What does the audience have to gain from this authentic and spontaneous approach to music?
“We’re capturing the initial excitement which is rare and can dissipate very quickly. It’s closer to the source; the origin of the original idea is expressed in the final product. We like that’s it rough around the edges because it shows the process it takes, which is inspired by music from growing up.”
“Technology puts a weird filter on everything; it’s nice to have no filter and studios make me nervous, says Luke. Our songs come from playing around in between writing and being laid back.” The desire is that their future work will evolve but continue to have this same sense of innocence. When asked who their dream collaboration would be, Brian Wilson pops up without hesitation. “He’s a genius in the studio. I think we could pull a lot of weird things out. Also, Prince….because….Prince.”
Luke and Coleman are often inspired by nature and liberal arts as it pulls creativity out of them. Both are currently reading Walt Whitman and Jack Kerouac, listening to podcasts, grabbing at anything that will challenge perceptions on reality and although they are eager to get back to writing and creating more music, they are trying to be present and relish in the current release and tour.
What would you both be if you weren’t musicians? Luke first says, a Director but if it weren’t in the arts, then definitely a Park Ranger, a wildfire watcher. Coleman? Well he’d be a Craftsman building fine tables out of reclaimed wood: Tables by Coleman.
See Coast Modern Live, remaining tour dates: