I first discovered Coastals after a September trip to Southern California. The dreamy coastline where jagged cliffs meet cobalt blue ocean remind me of how small I am and how big and beautiful the world is. Not to mention, it’s a welcome change from my usual views of Midwestern cornfields and Indianapolis skyline. But, we’re getting off topic.
Upon returning from my trip, I was craving some beachy tunes as a way of mentally recreating the experience of sitting in the sand on La Jolla Beach and watching surfers take on the waves. Coincidentally, I got a Twitter follow from a band called Coastals around this time. I gave them a listen and my craving was filled. Not only that but I was instantly addicted to their song “Nervous.”
Coastals is a four-piece from Florida and consists of guitarist and lead vocalist Tyler Freeman (20), lead guitarist James Chouinard (21), bassist Jared Hanlon (20) and drummer Gabriel Martinez (23).
The band is fresh off the release of their newest song “Figure It Out.”
Here, we chat musical influences, songwriting, their Florida roots and Yik Yak.
When and how did you form Coastals?
Tyler: Coastals came together in 2015 in our apartment just off campus of USF Tampa. James and I had been writing music together since high school but had been without a full band for a couple years. We went ahead and started recording in my bedroom and promoting our music online. I posted about us on Yik Yak and Jared hit us up to jam and Gabriel came with him. Honestly it was a little random, but very fortunate that we met.
What’s your songwriting process like?
Tyler: James and I both play a lot of guitar in our rooms so we’ll start with something catchy and energetic and then add other parts. Often I’ll record a rough demo of the song and bring it to the band to critique and make improvements. We always show each other musical lines that we’ve come up with and if we catch on to one, we’ve been known to write entire songs side by side.
Who are some musical influences?
Tyler: I think we can all agree on Phoenix, Bombay Bicycle Club, and Two Door Cinema Club as influences. More Recently I’ve been interested to see what The Royal Concept, Cavaliers, and Last Dinosaurs are doing.
Jared: Definitely The Clash and The Smiths.
Gabriel: I’m mostly influenced by upbeat and bright songs by all different types of artists.
Any pump up jams you like to listen to before playing a show?
Tyler: We’ve actually never tried that.. It could be worth a shot. We seem to get pretty excited to play, regardless.
Your sound is very beachy. Do your Florida roots play a part in that?
Jared: I don’t think being in Florida impacts our sound. For a while it was a pretty metal dominated scene, but there’s a pretty good, burgeoning punk/psych scene, so that opens up room for new bands.
Tyler: I have to agree. A lot of the sounds that I treasure come from outside the United States. I love the beach though! Especially the European beaches I’ve been to with all kinds of rocks and natural structures to climb.
What are your plans as a band for 2017?
Tyler: Release a full EP; Play a bunch of shows; Inspire some happiness wherever possible.
Anything else you want people to know about Coastals?
Tyler: Our first goal is to make you feel something warm and exciting. In life it’s so important to notice the silver lining.
Jared: Florida has a wealth of good music that’s worth checking out, and it isn’t just the major hubs.
Check out Coastals on Bandcamp here.