Former Glasswerk.co.uk Featured Artists Stagecoach are a band from various villages in the Surrey hills that wanted to make country music until they rediscovered their tape collections from 1993 and they were inspired to make music about more important things like hot dogs, chess leagues and Buffy. Lauren Felton caught up with them to see what they're up to this summer and they're thoughts on their music.
1) How are you enjoying the summer so far?
This summer has been ace, we’ve packed in a lot already, released our new record, made a few festival appearances and been touring quite hard, it's been really sweet!
2) You're playing the Introducing stage at Reading and Leeds festival later this month. Are you excited and/or nervous? Do you think it'll help expand your existing fanbase?
We’re turbo excited! It's crazy the first time we’ll be playing in Reading is at the festival, I used to go to Reading every year when in my teens, so has always been a dream to play there. We’ll be nervous before we go on stage but, I think we’re all so pumped about it, the nerves will be transformed into adrenaline to tear the place apart. It's a golden opportunity to reach new fans.
3) You're based in Surrey, are you looking forward to your slot Down South in Reading more than the one Up North? Do you think you'll be better received at one than the other?
No way! We love Leeds, the crowds have always been so welcoming. It will be our third gig in Leeds in about 6 months, Live at Leeds and The Pulled Apart By Horses album launch at the Brudenell Social Club have been two of our favourite shows this year. But we’ll put our all into both shows, if we make some new fans at each festival then job done.
4) Originally you set out to be a country band, how did you settle on the sound you actually make? Any regrets with not taking the Dolly Parton route?
Yeah the band's naturally evolved over the years, it started out with Luke and Nick making lovely folky country tunes, but every time a member has been added they put a new spin on things, drawing in more influences and backgrounds, I was the last member to join and had only been in punk/hardcore and metal bands, so together we’ve created a monster that genre-hops all over the place but pleases everyone in the band. I think we’ve found our own sound and it's not every day you see a mandolin player climbing the walls and crowd surfing. And Dolly?? I lurve the Dolly!
5) The EP is very unique – Tom plays the mandolin. How did you become involved with such eclectic instruments?
Tom originally turned up with a banjo, and Nick used to play lapsteel and slide guitar. Then Nick went electric and Tom bought a mandolin so really they've both betrayed themselves in pursuit of commercial success. Judases.
6) Do you feel 'Crash My Ride' is your best recording to date? Would you happy for future releases to be on a par with it, or do you think you're still progressing with your sound and will have something new to offer with subsequent records?
Crash My Ride is definitely the best thing we’ve recorded to date, I think we’re all proud of what we made. Producer James Kenosha has managed to really capture the spirit of the band, it's been so nice reading so many reviews that are really getting it, saying it sounds like we had lots of fun in the studio, that it sounds like a mix of The Coral and Megdeath, it really kicks in and sounds meaty when it needs too but it also has a delicate side. It's not afraid to give you a gentle hug after a kick in the teeth. But we’re just getting started. We have a lot more to give, next stop the album, and faces will be melted.
7) You worked with James Kenosha, who has previously worked with names including Dinosaur Pile Up. Did he influence the record in any way? Did you clash at all along the way or was it a smooth process?
We hadn’t met James before we worked together, but was such an honour working with him. He’s cool as a cucumber, and I think he's got a golden touch. It was effortless, and his studio felt so homely, we were so relaxed working with him we got an extra track finished and recorded in the time we had. We’re all looking foward to working with him again – hopefully on the album.
8) When you sit down to write your songs, how do you decide what you're going to write about? Do all of you contribute your individual interests (from Buffy to chess) or is it a collaborative decision?
We spend so much time in each other's faces and on each other's laps driving to gigs in our tiny Ford Escort that we've basically become one person, like a five-headed megalodude. Technically Luke would argue that he writes the lyrics. But actually, all his thoughts come from the megalodude.
9) Your music's been featured in Skins and Gavin and Stacey. Do you feel this exposure attracted some new fans? If you could choose, are these the shows people would hear your music in, or is there somewhere else it'd ideally feature?
For sure it really helps, they’re both huge shows, we’ve had many people getting in touch after both shows which was ace. We’re happy to have our music used in any tv show really, we’re not fussy, although I’d love to hear some music maybe on the Inbetweeners, think we’d fit on that really well.
10) And finally…can you lend us a fiver???
I guess that's just one quid each…yeah OK.