Yes In My Backyard is a semiweekly column showcasing MP3s from new and emerging local talent.
Brooklyn duo Coasting have accidentally boogie-boarded their way into a not-so-chill wave of ecstatic local surf-punk, adding their own distorto-crunchy twist. Less bubblegum than Beachniks, more lo-fi than Real Estate, and more jaded than Best Coast, the two gals in Coasting are more mature, more unhinged and more demented. They were raised on a steady diet of Cramps records, kiwi punk deep cuts, and Todd P shows–in fact, drummer Fiona Cambell and guitarist Madison Farmer met while they were building and managing stages and for various Todd P events. Campbell, a New Zealand native who had logged time in NZ rockers the Coolies, had been in Brooklyn for four years but was hesitant to form a new band until just recently. “I was so scared to play music with anyone because things can get serious so quickly,” says Campbell. “Madison has such an awesome attitude about it: ‘Lets just mess around and see what happens.'” Their de facto theme song “Coasting” is a great example of this serendipitous motto. Recorded a laptop the duo had perched on a couch, “Coasting” showcases everything this band is great at in one spontaneous burst–barbaric drum pound, playful shore-licking surf riffs, skuzzy waves of static, and an anarchic joy somewhere between vintage NYC scumfuckery and the bear hugs of contemporary nu-fi. Stay tuned for their debut 7″, set to be the second release on promising, brand-spankin-new noize-surf label Group Tightener.
What is “Coasting” about?
Madison Farmer, guitar/vocals: I have no idea what it’s about. Its fun to play and just became our theme song because everyone should have a theme song.
Fiona Campbell, drums: For me it was about playing a really fun, tough, loud drum beat that felt like I was dancing. It was the very first song we wrote at the very first jam we had at Market Hotel. That place is an inspiration in itself.
Farmer: It actually pre-dates you, Fiona! Earlier this year, a friend gave me this 11-volume Lux and Ivy of the Cramps comp with all this amazing music that inspired them as a band. Its pretty much all I listened to this summer and so, so many of those tracks were the inspiration. When Fiona started playing it with me, it turned into this cool repetitive thing for me, much more driving because of her drumming.
There’s definitely some surf influences. What’s your connection to surfing and/or surf music?
Campbell: Growing up in New Zealand, surf-influenced music was always there; it’s what I’m naturally drawn to. I grew up listening to a lot of bands from the Flying Nun label: The Clean, Look Blue Go Purple, The Bats, The 3D’s, The Verlaines etc.–that jangly driving guitar sound makes me happy. It blows my mind how a lot of music here in America right now is reflecting that sound again.
Farmer: I’ve never surfed in my life but definitely love summertime the most. That whole heyday of surf music draws me in, it’s so loose and doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is very important to us. It has a very freeing sound–just listening to the Stingrays, The Gamblers, Charlie Gracie, the Deadly Ones. If we can make music that just scrapes the surface of that vibe then… I don’t know, I just hope we kinda do someday.
What’s your most memorable New York show you’ve played? Or put on with Todd?
Campbell: We’ve only played out in New York a few times, but the most memorable for me was probably at Vassar College with Grooms and Grass Widow. I pulled my hamstring muscle doing cartwheels while Grass Widow was playing. Some of the best shows I’ve been involved in working were over the summer at the Brooklyn Backyard under the JMZ train. We built a stage from scratch, I remember showing up in a nice dress and Todd handing me a drill and a hammer and pointing to a pile of wood. I can never have nice clothes, they always get fucked from carrying gear around or rolling around in the dirt building stages.
What’s your favorite place to eat in Brooklyn?
Campbell: At our friend Patty’s place. She’s a sick cook and just started a blog called Redheads Gotta Eat. She always involves Prosecco in there somewhere, so that makes me happy. La Superior on South 2nd and Berry is always the jam though: Mexican food like I’ve never had, lots of ricotta; it’s Mexico City-style I think. But the best place I usually get good food from is the deli on Madison’s corner–swiss cheese sandwich on a hero, then I stick sweet chili Doritos in it. Crunchy deliciousness.
Farmer: Gotta second Patty. She’s moving in with me in February, so I look forward to trying anything and everything she whips up. She brought these savory bread pudding muffins to our show once and I could have just died right then they were so good. I just ate at the Brooklyn Star on Havemeyer last week. Really great soul food from a former partner in Momofuku. There are quite a few deli sandwiches in my diet as well. Fiona, remember when you brought that sandwich from my deli to the airport in Houston and you bought a hashbrown from McDonalds and put it on the sandwich and ate it?