Interview: The River Coasters | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Tynemouth-based two piece The River Coasters write electric-acoustic indie pop inspired by the sea. The duo of  Sam (vocals, percussion) and Jon (guitar, additional percussion) are releasing their Drifting Sands EP, on 20th July at The Exchange in North Shields, so we caught up with them to find out a little more about what is going on.

How would you describe your sound?
Sam:  I’d describe us as acoustic folk with a touch of rock.  It honestly depends on what combination of instruments that we are using during our practices and song writing.  Quite frankly we’re limited with the chords that we taught ourselves.

Jon: Like Sam says we basically don’t understand our own genre. I think we have made music which can be played as easily with a ukulele as it can be on a synth keyboard.

Where did the name ‘The River Coasters’ come from?
Sam: We had agreed to start a two-piece in the Magnesia Bank pub and were looking at anything for inspiration.  We noticed that there was a picture of the Tyne bridge and river on the back of one of the beer mats and we settled on The River Coasters

Jon: But the story we like to tell people is that we live on the Coast near the River. It sounds better thought out. I think our songwriting kind of reflects that too, our songs feature the sea.

How did you two meet? What made you start The River Coasters?
Sam: We know each other from sixth form.  Originally we had a four piece band called Jacques et les Rouges which unfortunately had a member drop out due to lack of interest. We became a three piece, rebranded as LA Hotel, but also failed to go anywhere.

Jon: Both Sam and I are drummers, so when our LA Hotel three piece fell apart we couldn’t just be a drumming duo (we tried, it gave me a bongo-induced headache). So Sam took up the mantle of lead singer, and I took over guitar. It seems to work, somehow.

Where does your musical inspiration come from?
Sam: I mostly listen to heavy metal music, which doesn’t translate all that well to the acoustic guitar/ukulele style.  I do however listen to quite a lot of Frank Turner and George Ezra, their style I really admire.

Jon: I love all kinds of music, but as inspiration I would say bands from the 80s like The Cars and The Police stand out. I also really like the way Kurt Cobain works as a guitarist, there’s something simple but effective in his riffs.

What’s next for The River Coasters?
Sam: We’re releasing our new EP with a free gig at The Exchange on July 20th. After that it would be good to rerecord all of our current tracks and hopefully do a full album. Either that or someone buys us both a pint after our gig. Hopefully both.

Jon:  We’re looking forward to people hearing our new EP, Drifting Sands. It’s a follow up to our debut EP which we recorded and produced ourselves last year. Our setup is really quite basic, but if it gets our songs out into the world then we’re happy.

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