It’s always a good idea to get people talking about you when you have a new release out, and that’s the position that Coast Fire Dept are in right now. “What Do I” dropped recently (scroll down to see the video) and we had a few words with singer/guitarist Ollie…
Vale, Guernsey…a small parish on the island of Guernsey in the Channel Islands.
How did you meet?
I met Bob through a friend and then met Saad a few years later via work. We all knew Ozzy as he’s a very well known drummer on our island!
How long have you been playing as a band?
Eight years but we have had a few changes over the years.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
Ha ha ha! Yeah don’t worry! I was walking home from work one evening and looked across the sea to the coastline of France and it was all red like it was on fire! I wondered if they had a fire brigade to sort out coastal fires. When I got home I checked it out and there is no such thing as a Coastal Fire Dept.! So it’s a something and nothing name!
What are your influences?
We all have a varied taste in music but for this band we are heavily influenced by 90s grunge bands like Nirvana & Pixies plus later bands like Violent Soho & Superheaven.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Well we call it “Grunge from the Vale” which to us means an undercurrent of grungy alt rock with a few other influences thrown in…oh and we defo try and squeeze some catchy choruses in!
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Well there is a lot of focus on observations and feelings! Occasionally there’ll be a story already told…like a film, tv, real life story etc.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
Well we pick the set for the venue or theme. If we play a biker festival, we’ll play a harder heavier set! Generally we always try and end our set on a crescendo of songs getting bigger and heavier and catchier as we run to the end. Oh and we like to give 100% nothing less!
Not sure how many gigs we’ve done probably around 40.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
I wish I could say I’d seen or done something totally off the scale but I haven’t! Sorry! I promise at our next gig we’ll do something totally insane!
What kit do you use / guitars do you play?
Guitar wise Saad uses Fender basses sometime a Mustang shortscale or Jazz. Bob and I use some custom guitars. Violent Soho had some guitars that are part tele part SG jr made and so we had some similar versions built by Grizzly Guitars (local guitar luthier). Ozzy has so many drumkits and snare drums, it’s hard to keep up!
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
We are plugging our ep ‘What Do I’ and in particular the lead track of the same name.
What are your plans for the next 6 months or so?
We have a London gig to prepare for in November and we’re also working on new material. Oh and we have something unannounced we can’t talk about just yet!
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
Well we would all love to support Violent Soho. And third on the bill would be a young grungy band called Honeycub (go check them out!).