Interview with Coast Modern: Advice for Musicians Touring for the First Time and the Importance of Meeting Fans

All photos by Heather Zalabak

Los Angeles based indie pop duo, Coleman Trapp (guitars) and Luke Atlas (vocals), sat down with Teal Magazine to talk about how it feels to open for artists like BORNS and The Wombats, to headline their first ever tour and their songwriting process. 

Teal Magazine: Your debut album has just released this summer. How was the songwriting/music production for this album like for the last two years since the release of Hollow Life in 2015, especially with being on the road constantly?

Coleman: It was all very homogenous, or should I say dynamic, the opposite of homogenous. We didn’t have an album creation process, we just made music. That’s how we did Hollow Life and that’s how we did the last song Run It Up

Luke: Yeah, we just go song by song, trying to craft little worlds and really the album as a whole was kind of an afterthought. It was more like, "Let’s make great songs".

Teal Magazine: I mean, it turned out well if all of the songs were free flowing. 

Luke: I mean all the songs were free flowing like they’re just a part of our growing up process. 

Coleman: There was no point where we were like, "Okay now we’re making the album." We were just being creative and it turned into an album. 

Teal Magazine: Opening for bands such as The Wombats and The Temper Trap in the past two years to just recently doing your first headline tour earlier this summer. How did feel to finally have your first headline tour? What were your memorable experiences from your first headline tour?

Luke: It’s pretty amazing being able to do whatever we want on stage. If we want to bust into an inspirational speech-

Coleman: Not that we’ve ever done that-

Luke: Yeah, not that we’ve ever done that-

Teal Magazine: But now you have the option.

Luke: Yeah! 

Coleman: There’s been so much love coming at us, and the fact that people know the songs now and everybody sings along.

Luke: Yeah, that’s been a huge difference because people didn’t know the tunes when we were opening for bands.

Coleman: And most of the tour has been sold out, so that felt great because we had no idea what the turnout was gonna be. There was no way of knowing. 

Teal Magazine: With being on the road these last few years, is there something you can tell to younger musicians or those just starting out as musicians touring for the first time?

Coleman: Believe in yourself.

Luke: I don’t know you can’t make music for anybody else. That sounds selfish but it needs to blow your brain before it’ll blow anybody else’s mind. So yeah, it’s gotta be true, and it’s gotta feel like you’re not pandering or doing what somebody else wants you to do. But on tour, eat healthy. Follow your heart! 

Coleman: Ha! Follow your heart. 

Teal Magazine: Would you say there are specific artists/musicians or even life experiences that heavily influenced this album and the direction it ended up going?

Coleman: Yes. Life heavily influences our music because we don’t usually get inspired by other music. We usually are inspired by life. I think with me moving away to Denver and we both had time to work with other people and explore life. We both did a lot of exploring during that time, so by the time we got back together we were like “Fuck it!”. We listen to a podcast called The Duncan Trussell Family Hour. He interviews all kinds of weird, psychedelic thinkers. Yeah, we’re just really open minded. I read a book called Notes from the Underground. It was the first novel of its kind, like the first novel basically. It was like a disenchanted main character. Blew my mind. 

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"It needs to blow your brain before it’ll blow anybody else’s mind."

Teal Magazine: You guys seem to be very interactive on social media and in touch with your fans, how did that play a part in the Dive music video and also especially the debut party for your album? 

Luke: I think we think of ourselves as not just a band that makes music, so it’s like we can talk to our fans and interact with them. We have this amazing platform and a bunch of people that are down to make art. So we invited them to our music video shoot, and it's a lot of stuff like that. They’re sending us art, we’re making art. They’re sending us memes.

Coleman: We want Coast Modern to be a religion. So we’re working towards that, you know? And the first step is to get followers. 

Luke: A cult!

Coleman: A cult. But don’t call it a cult. I mean, you don’t have to edit that out but like it’s not a cult. 

Luke: "Coast Modern is Not A Cult" as a t shirt. 

Teal Magazine: How was it like to interact with your fans at the concert versus through social media?

Coleman: We love meeting fans and performing for fans because our fans are so cool and unique. They’re individuals. It’s funny like when we meet fans after the show they’re so polite that they even form their own line. 

Luke: We get to hear people’s personal stories or how they found us or how they got into us. And sometimes people were having a really tough time or freaking out and somebody sends them our music and it completely changes their mindset. That’s the thing that is really cool for us to hear because we’re actually having an impact on someone’s life, which is awesome.