Coastgaard’s form of neo-surf rock blends beachy harmonies with subtle hints of psych-rock. No matter the weather, the Brooklyn band’s sound is one we’ve grown quite fond of. They’re here next month with a full bill of surf rockers as part of our On The Rise series. We asked them a few questions to get to know them a bit before they take our main stage on August 20.
In describing Coastgaard, you welcome listeners to “imagine inheriting [their] parent’s old vinyls, speeding up the RPM and setting it as the soundtrack to a summer drive”. Do you feel retrospection plays a particularly large role in your music?
I think largely that’s up to the listener. We have drawn inspiration from previous eras to an extent, but, what would forward-thinking rock actually sound like? Playing “Rock” in general may be inherently nostalgic given this era’s obsession with Electronic, R&B, and Dance styles. We play music that we like, and hope there are others that share our enthusiasm.
From the band’s name to its videos, Coastgaard clearly has a strong relationship to the ocean. Can you speak to this relationship? Is it one of fascination? Admiration?
Well, when we started, all four of us had very demanding day jobs, trapped fifty to sixty hours in NYC. I suppose normal people vacation to alleviate that stress, but we got in a room together and just played what we felt a vacation might sound like.
Surf rock is a broad genre marker which is ascribed to many bands which often have different sounds but cover similar songs; take, for example, the sonic contrast between Dick Dale’s Miserlou and Agent Orange’s album, Living in Darkness. What is your band’s relationship to this term?
It’s been a departure point, but much less a destination. We certainly respect and revere all those that have trail-blazed that path before us, but we don’t consider ourselves surf-rock per-se. It’s more capturing a kind of coastal zeitgeist and arranging the songs with what fits the spirit of the song. A Well Adjusted Man is probably as clear and as close to “surf-rock” as we’ll ever venture.
When one thinks of surf rock, their imaginations are usually directed towards the West Coast; what is it like being a surf rock band on the less sunny coast?
Bands from Southern California have to imagine what cold weather is like but we don’t have to imagine. Aren’t we lucky?
You’ve said in the past that your new album, Devil On The Balcony, aspires to a live sound untouched by overproduction and electronics; this it is evident in its straightforward, raw production. Why do you feel that it is important to replicate ‘live’ sound in recording an album?
It’s definitely not as raw as it appears haha. Doing something completely reflective of four guys in a room performing with little embellishment is a dragon we’re still chasing, I’m afraid. But it all starts with getting the drums and bass right, in the studio, live.
Coastgaard plays at LPR on August 20 as part of our On The Rise series, with Surf Rock is Dead, Little Racer, and Dentist. Tickets for that show are on sale now.