Photo: Hattie Neate

Coach Party: “What’s new is that we’re a stadium band now!”

We catch up with the Isle of Wight indie band ahead of their set at EXIT Festival.

Serbia’s EXIT festival is - to borrow a tired sport cliche - a bit of a festival of two halves. While Calvin Harris, Iggy Azalea, Jax Jones and Joel Corry are in one corner, pumping out chart-bothering bangers, you’ve got the likes of Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Napalm Death, Sepultura and Bury Tomorrow in the darkness opposite. Quite the juxtaposion, eh?

Somewhere in the middle - the enthusiasm of the first gang, the noise of the second - sit Isle of Wight indie kids Coach Party. Ahead of their first visit to Serbia, drummer Guy Page fills us in on their recent shenanigans, from the UK’s independent venues, to one of the world’s biggest stadiums.

“Coach Party gig attendees can expect all the hits, top drawer chat and no encores.”

— Guy Page

Hello! What’s new in your world at the moment?
We’re good thanks. What’s new is that we’re a stadium band now; was a shock at first, but have now accepted it as our new identity.

Last month you released your latest EP, ‘Nothing Is Real’ - can you tell us a little bit about it?
We think of it as a parallel record to ‘After Party’ rather than a continuation, hence why we decided to leave the “party” theme behind (for now at least). If there’s anything we wanted to try or to do differently this time, I guess it was to talk a bit more seriously, lyrically. The title, as well as being the name of one of the songs, really sums up how we felt at the time of writing and recording the EP. There was so much happening throughout the process as a band and as individuals but in very polarising ways; one day we’d score the biggest achievement of our lives, and the next day could be at our absolute lowest - sometimes for an obvious reason, sometimes totally inexplicably.

You’ve also been playing a lot of live shows - how’s it been getting to perform these songs?
It’s been so great touring as much as we have over the past eight months. When we were working on the EP we were convinced that there’d only be two or maybe three of those songs that we could pull off live, but they’ve all made it into the set and we really love playing them. The Mysterines tour was super fun! The band, crew and their fans are all awesome people (special shout out to TM Hutchie) and they’re a great live band.

You also played the Stade De France with Indochine! What was that like as an experience?!
It was Indo-credible. The vibe was surreal but 100% positive - there wasn’t really a chance to overthink it and have a breakdown so we just did our thing in front of 97,000 people and have since been constantly grateful to the gods of rock for throwing us this bone; we’re not worthy.

You’ve got a load of festivals happening this summer - how do you get yourself prepped?
Can’t wait for the festivals. As we speak we’re waiting to load in for the last show on our UK headline tour which has been amazing, and it distinctly feels like the festival season is a big new thing which we’ve never really had the chance to do properly until this year. Coach Party gig attendees can expect all the hits, top drawer chat and no encores. It’s just so awkward if you don’t nail it, we don’t know how people do it.

You’re also gonna be heading out to EXIT Festival in Serbia. How are you looking forward to playing that sort of event?
It’ll be our first time there and we are so super excited. We’ve done a fair bit of travelling recently and we’ve come to realise that crowds are amazing everywhere, but they are just different. And playing to a different crowd is really energising, not just for us but for gig-goers too. And EXIT is such a well respected festival that it just makes it that bit more of a big deal. And we thrive on big deals.

Do you have any plans for after the summer?
Well, we kind of never want to stop touring, but it’ll be no shock news that we’ll be working on a new record as soon as we have the time to do so. We’ve been writing sporadically whilst on tour which is something we’ve not done before, and really buzzed with the stuff we’ve been coming up with. As always we just want to beat what we’ve done before, say what we mean, and have fun doing it.


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