As preparation for the up and coming release of their new EP “Drifting Sands”, The River Coasters, Jon (guitar) and Sam (Vocals and percussion) share the crucial parts of their background leading to their current status in the music industry, in an interview to let us all know what to expect in the near future. The conversation varies from growing up in the North East to Nirvana and even beer mats. The indie two-piece has a free gig at The Exchange in North Shields on July 20th so if you are looking for a taste of the electric-acoustic indie pop band don’t hesitate to show up.
Where you are both from? And what are your ages?
Jon: I was born in South Shields but grew up in Tynemouth. I’ve always lived near the sea. I’m 27.
Sam: I was born in North Shields 27 years ago. Currently, I live down by the marina with my partner.
How did you two first meet?
Jon: We both went to the same sixth form in Whitley Bay. We didn’t actually study the same subjects so I suppose we met through mutual friends. We started a four-piece cover band called Jacques et les Rouges (Sam sang and I was the drummer), which then became the three-piece LA Hotel, and finally became The River Coasters.
Sam: As Jon said we have mutual friends from 6th form. We ended up chatting and found out we both have a shared love of music and the Simpsons.
What made you want to be part of the music industry?
Jon: I was always surrounded by music growing up, so for me playing music is just second-nature. My first instrument was the clarinet, but now I can only just about remember the keys. Even though I’m now the guitarist in The River Coasters, I love playing the drums and just trying new instruments. For me, I’m happy to just make music for fun.
Sam: By an extremely weird coincidence I also first learned to play the clarinet, which I decided wasn’t for me. I then taught myself the drums and was involved in many different heavy metal bands. The River Coasters definitely isn’t a heavy metal band though!
Who are your biggest inspirations and how do you take inspiration from them?
Jon: I look at bands like The Police and Nirvana, and try to take some inspiration from their small setups. Because we’re a two piece it’s sometimes a challenge to create a bigger sound, so I like to see how others have worked in the past.
Sam: I’ve always been a huge fan of hard rock, metal and punk. However, in the context of the music that we play, I would say more folky types have inspired me, such as Frank Turner and Charlie Simpson’s solo albums.
What are your plans for the future?
Jon: We’re releasing our new EP, Drifting Sands, with a free gig at The Exchange in North Shields on July 20th. It’s a nice venue that we really like. Our new EP has had airplay already on a number of independent radio stations, but I’d love to get our music out to a much wider audience. We’ll also be playing at the Crossing the Tyne Festival on August 24th, it’s a local music festival that helps the RNLI. That should be fun.
Sam: In the long term, what I’d like to do is re-record both EPs and restructure it into an album. Take a lot more time to really get a much more polished sound. Alternatively, headline Leeds festival.
How did you come up with the band name “ River Coasters”?
Sam: It was the product of a lot of brainstorming at the Magnesia Bank pub where we were looking at anything for inspiration. We saw that one of the beer mats had a picture of the Tyne on it. Tyne, River, beer mat, Coaster.
Jon: We live in North Shields. It’s on the coast, near the river. There’s two of us. River Coasters.
You can follow The River Coasters on twitter @RiverCoasters and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rivercoasters
Drifting Sands EP is available on iTunes and Spotify on July 20th.