Described as “America’s New Band” on their Facebook Page, Coleman Trapp and Luke Atlas of Coast Modern could also throw in “your new reason to miss summer.” It may be fall already, but that doesn’t mean we have to let go of the summer vibes just yet. The Los Angeles-based duo allows you to reminisce your carefree summer—a pretty cool feat considering they only have about four tracks out now, but it looks like we’re not the only ones wowed by them. Just recently, they were featured on a trending Spotify playlist. Pretty soon you’ll be hearing the name Coast Modern everywhere. Until then, you can thank us for this introduction.
Cliché: For our readers who are hearing the name Coast Modern for the first time, can you tell them a little bit about who you are and what kind of music you create?
Coast Modern: Coast Modern is an amazing outlet for us to share our musings on philosophy and art. We explore concepts and feelings and come out of it with more questions than we had before we started…and we share those questions in the form of songs.
How was music introduced in your life? How did the idea of pursuing a career in music ever cross your mind?
When you’re a child and hear a song, you accept it for what it is. I remember hearing “Yellow Submarine” when I was 7 or 8 years old and imagining a whole world that I thought the song came out of. Looking at music that way is accurate in a sense; music can represent another world. It’s like a sheet draped over a landscape, but we lose track of that as we get older. When you start dabbling with music and picking it apart, you realize that it’s an endless well, and drinking from it is perpetually fulfilling. So a career in music never crossed my mind—I just couldn’t imagine it any other way!
When you two met and collaborated for the first time, how did you go about finding out how you wanted your music to sound?
I don’t think we ever did find out how we wanted our music to sound. Our sound has evolved so much and hopefully it’ll keep evolving. Humans are all so different that they’re like little universes. Collaboration is great because when you work with someone, you blend these worlds and get something wholly unique, that one person wouldn’t achieve on their own. Our sound is the sound of two very strange people making what they want to hear in the moment, and that will keep changing.
I briefly caught you guys playing a gig back in June in San Francisco! You guys seemed to command the stage pretty well. How did you go about getting comfortable performing your music in front of complete strangers?
The best way to get comfortable with something is to take the leap and just start doing it. The worst case scenario for awkward stage experiences is still more fun than not performing at all…so we just go out there and do our thing!
We explore concepts and feelings and come out of it with more questions than we had before we started…and we share those questions in the form of songs.
I’ve read that you have an album in the works. Can you tell us a little bit about how that’s going and what the process has been like?
We’ve been working on an album over the last year, recording songs here and there as inspiration strikes. The process swings between fun and intense. Sitting at the drawing board takes patience, but when a song starts to materialize, that’s when the real fun and excitement comes through and carries the song to 85 percent completion. The most difficult part of the whole process may be the smallest details that listeners won’t even notice, but we focus on them because we want the music to be the best it can be.
For some artists, it takes them a long time to release new music, but for the two of you, it seemed like it happened pretty quickly. How do you guys know when you’re absolutely positive a song is completed?
The only way to know FOR SURE that a song is complete is to release it to the world. Before that, really anything can happen, and changes happen all along the way until we say “Fin.” Then we are left to think about the changes we would make if we could. Art can always be manipulated because it’s so subjective. I know a painter who has a piece that he continues to work on, changing it constantly and sometimes painting over the whole thing with a solid coat. He plans to continue to paint it until the day he dies. It will never be completed, but arguably it always has been.
What are your goals for 2017?
We’re shooting for a couple world tours, a Coast Modern movie, a book deal, hopefully cure Zika, and maybe we project our logo onto the moon? Just spitballing. But in all seriousness, we’re just riding the waves right now and hoping that next year is as good as the last one has been.
Lastly, you already have fan accounts for you like ‘Coast Modern As Dogs’! What would you like to say to the genius behind this account?
“Don’t. Ever. Stop. Memes are the new concerto, and the genius behind CMAD is the Mozart of Coast Modern dog memes, so THANK YOU for existing.” Can you help us deliver the message?
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Coast Modern: Your New Reason To Miss Summer: Photographed by Anna Lee