When we saw COIN headlining a packed Omeara in London, we knew that these 3 piece from Tennessee was going to become the next big thing and we were not wrong. From the classic “Talk Too Much” to “Chapstick” and their latest single “Brad Pitt” off the brand new album “Uncanny Valley”, the show was a warm up for their next big thing: the arena tour tour opening for 5 Seconds Of Summer, a run of shows we’ve been waiting for for so long.
Started as a fun project back in 2012, the group formed by Chase, Ryan and Joe gained success in 2016 with the lead single "Talk Too Much" from the band's second studio album, How Will You Know If You Never Try, which was released on April 21, 2017. The song was their first to chart on Billboard's Alternative Songs chart.
While the band were in London earlier this year, we had the chance to catch up to find out more about their latest album “Uncanny Valley” and some of the things which have been keeping the guys busy this past year.
How did you end up being sat with us now in London, right off the stage from an arena tour?
Joseph and I sat next to each other at Belmont University, and on the other side to Joseph there was this girl who heard us talking about starting a band and introduced to Ryan who volunteered to be our drummer. And we met up in my dorm room crammed in there, and the rest is history. And I don't think we knew what we were setting out to do. Definitely, not to take this seriously for sure. That was like 10 years ago.
We honestly chose a random name without a meaning because, you know, we thought we didn’t have anything to do with it, we thought this wasn’t going to last. It was so little care put into it. But at the same time, we had the dream.
You mentioned it’s been 10 years now, what has changed?
Nothing. It's kind of strange, because we actually didn’t change anything. I think my answer might have been different three years ago, but specifically now. After quarantine and the pandemic and just shutting down for two years. It's just it feels like, we started this band all over again. It does not feel like we've been doing this for almost a decade.
How was spending 2 years “in the cage” for COIN?
Chase: I mean, we all can speak to this, I actually found it very freeing, I think, because I don't think I would have gotten the mental and emotional break that I needed. The machine just would have kept running, you know. So it was good for me to kind of like, zoom out and get a lot of things out of my system, which was a lot of rest, and then a lot of like, creative. Like nuance that I wasn't able to kind of express fully without the time and the space and the energy to do so.
Ryan: Yeah, we didn't feel like locked down necessarily from our craft. We spent a lot of time together actually, pretty early on were like, Okay, I was safe. There's three of us. We thought “Let's meet up” and we went to Chase. There was no deadlines, no pressure. We were just making simply to make at that point.
Joseph: It's a coping mechanism to pretend you can control anything.
You’re sharing the stage with 5 Seconds Of Summer, how’s that?
Ryan: It’s been wonderful!
Chase: The guys are so nice and supportive and we sometimes get to spend time together.
Joseph: Yeah, they're super sweet. That's been great.
Wembley Arena happened last night, how was the experience?
Chase: It was a privilege. It was a honour for us to play that stage.
“Uncanny Valley” is the new album. Can you tell us everything about it?
In November 2020. The week we released our first the first EP from Rainbow Mixtape called Indigo-Violet. It was a very exploratory period of just trying on new sounds, again, we didn’t have expectations, we just wanted to see what could happen. And I felt not lost. But it just a lot of questions being asked like, what's next? I felt pretty drained. I had written 200 songs that year. I just wanted to getting feed the machine or whatever was going on.
I met up with Julian Bunetta, who ended up producing our whole album that day. We started watching this documentary called AlphaGo. And it's about this team of scientists or engineers who create an artificial intelligence to essentially play a very acutely human game called Go. It's like this Chinese games engine games, like chess times like a thousand. They had to create an algorithm for intuition, because sometimes you just make a move, and it just feels right. But you have no clue. Like there's so many permutations and that inspired us to ask new kinds of questions. And unbeknownst to me, Julian watched the documentary right before I got there as well. We both watched it.
And Ryan, watched it too so that we're all on the same page, and it just made me realise like, if science can recreate human intuition, where does the human mind go? And like writing from a more objective perspective, Julian and I wrote a song called “Learning” that day which was about learning to love and learning to trust and kind of read from our perspective, but then a more objective, just kind of going back and forth, and flipping and then that same day, we actually wrote “Chapstick”, it was a very productive day.
Thee album was our framework. We were just gonna write from an objective standpoint and just ask ourselves “what does human experience look like? If we woke up today, with no idea recollection of what it means to be human? What does it look like just to live in a human body?” And Uncanny Valley came to be.
So you’re always writing?
Ryan: Yeah, I think we can all speak to this separately, but the universal language of lyricism has been more interesting to us as we've evolved, and as we've grown as songwriters. So how can we say the most and say the least at the same time, and reach the most amount of people, which I think is everyone's goal, but we've shied away from it in the past, and now we're just trying to be more transparent.
Chase: I don't think I realised how personal they were until the album was finished. I thought I was writing from a very again, very objective standpoint. And then by the end of the album, I kind of zoomed out, we're finishing to paint the last pictures and like, colouring the lines. And I was like, “oh, no, no, like, this is about me. Like, the whole album is about me and about, like, the stuff we've gone through as a band and my relationships”.
Ryan: I would say, yes, very personal for Chase, and he's sure that was to actually make so much as it applies to his life. But I would say it's as personal as is our universal oneness, which is why we keep going back to this language and figure out how to say these things. Because it's kind of like my, your experience applies to someone else's experience. They're finding themselves in you.
Chase: But someone told us a long time ago, the most personal was the most universal. Yeah, when we started this process, I was again, I was just drained. It's kind of like going to a therapist and be like, Well, I'm not going to talk to anybody. You will fail.
What is your favourite song off “Uncanny Valley”?
Chase: It kind of varies from me. It was “I Think I Met You In A Dream” when we were making the album, I couldn't stop listening to that song. It felt like something. I have access to peace of mind beyond myself. But now that the album's finished, I've listened to just “Loving” like over and over and over and I'm like, I'm obsessed with something I made which is the never happens
Ryan: We made that song in Chase’s house in West Virginia over the pandemic and the middle of nowhere and we didn't know whether is was gonna make any album because it was meant to be on “Rainbow Mixtape” and it didn’t make it on that one. And we love it so much. So I would say at this present moment, that's all of our favourite.
Joseph: I thought Chase was going to say “I Think I Met You In A Dream” and I was going to follow up with “Loving”. I've cried listening to that song. It's very personal. But it's so little to it.
What’s next for COIN?
We are playing in the US after the UK then back to Europe for a headline tour. We have a very busy year of that. It's exciting. We can't wait. We’ll all be living in Uncanny Valley.
Follow their journey on @COIN. “Uncanny Valley” is out now.
Article by Sal Fasone - Photos by Federica Burelli