Fighting The Sounds On Tape: An Interview With Brady Custis of Coaches

Since the release of their debut single last summer, Boston based noise-gaze quartet Coaches have garnered some well deserve praise in and around the Boston music scene. We first heard the band on WZBC’s Flyweight radio program when the track amisarewaswere stopped us dead in our tracks, with its fuzz covered pop hooks and fist pumping chorus “ Massachusetts Summer Nights”, it was a formidable introduction to say the least.  It’s had clamoring for what the band will deliver next.

In advance of tonight’s Coaches and Ash Gray Proclamation collaboration, Noise For Toys we caught up with  Coaches fronter Brady Custis to discuss among other things, his bands plans to release a new EP, The Pixies, and his best Christmas present. Thanks to Brady for taking the time to answer a few question and to Jay from Clicky Clicky Music for providing the introduction that spawned tonight’s Noise For Toys benefit show.

The Ash Gray Proclmation: Last summer Coaches seemed to come out of nowhere with the AmIsAreWasWere single can you tell me how the band came together?

Brady Custis: We all just kind of met through school and got along well enough to where we had some chemistry, musically speaking. Pretty much everyone in the band has a very different musical background and while that makes it really difficult to arrange a song sometimes, it can force us all to rethink our own connotations of how a song should sound. Everyone has to make compromises and that helps us think about whats best for the song instead of what each individual person would or should typically play.

AGP: Did you have firm vision of what your were aiming for with Coaches first recordings?

Brady: I did and I didn’t. “Amisare” was the first song I wrote specifically for the band after we started playing together. We recorded it no more than 2 weeks after I brought it in and we arranged it. I think most bands will understand that you can have as much vision as possible in the studio but there’s only so much you can do because of time and money constraints. It’s a delicate balance between fighting the sounds on tape to bend to your will and embracing them for what they are.

AGP: What type of affect has playing in the Boston underground had on the bands sound?

Brady: A huge affect. Everyone is shaped by their surroundings and we’re no exception. I’m originally from just outside Washington DC and I was admittedly homesick from the scene I grew up with for a long time. Actually, The Pixies are what helped me turn that around. They we’re always one of my favorite bands growing up and when you live here, you realize just how fucking Massachusetts they sound. I hope that makes sense to anyone else. They just capture the feeling of this state perfectly. I think bands like Pile, Speedy Ortiz, and countless others I’ve seen manage to capture that same kind of feeling The Pixies did, which I can only really attribute to Massachusetts itself.

AGP: Are there any plans to release new music in the coming year?

Brady: We’ve got an EP in the works. Four songs, I’m mixing it now. One of them is a (I hope not creepy) love song called “Elizabeth Warren”. It’ll come out when people want to hear it. Hopefully soon.

AGP: Tomorrow you will play the Noise For Toys, a Toys For Tots benefit at TT The Bears Place, a show you helped organize. What motivated you to get involved with an event like that?

Brady: There are so many positive reasons to be involved with benefit shows I could talk for hours about it.
First and foremost is that Toys for Tots is an incredible organization that works extremely hard to help families who have hit hard times have a happy holiday regardless of their financial situation. It doesn’t just benefit the children, but the parents and all of their relatives also since they’re able to focus on family instead of some unnecessary disappointment or guilt over merchandise. Beyond that, benefit shows have the uncanny ability of weeding out all of the ego and machismo that goes along with so much of any music scene these days. That’s not what we’re about and I don’t want to be involved with that. Making sure everyone knows that the night is not about them, but for the good of the community instead, is an added benefit.

AGP: In spirit of the season, can you tell us your best and worst holiday gift?

Brady: Am I gonna lose some cred for this? I just have such a vivid memory of walking downstairs on Christmas morning and seeing that Santa had left me both The Blue Album and Pinkerton sitting on the couch, unwrapped, when I was about 12 or so. I had only ever heard The Blue Album (on loan from my older brother Kevin), and seeing the cover art for “Pinkerton” for the first time just blew me away. I remember wanting Christmas to be over faster just so I could go listen to it over and over again. I’ve never really stopped doing that.

For the worst, I’d have to say: A gun rack… I don’t even own a gun, let alone many guns that would necessitate an entire rack. What am I gonna do with a gun rack?

But really, any gift is a good gift, right?

You can catch Coaches tonight at T.T. The Bears Place, as they co-present Noise For Toys,  A Toys For Tots Benefit alongside The Ash Gray Proclamation and in association with Clicky Clicky Music. The evening will also feature can’t miss performances from recent Carpark Records signees, Chandos, Yonkers noise pop outfit Palehound and Western MA’s skuzz punks Worms. Noise For Toys is free with an unwrapped toy or $10, but we want all the toys.

Coaches – amiswasarewere/let it happen

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