Following in the footsteps of breakout indie stars Wet Leg, the quartet hails from the UK’s Isle of Wight – home to one legendary festival and, according to the band, just “one-and-a-half” music venues.
Over the last 18 months, they’ve been gigging relentlessly to bring their brand of cheerfully nihilistic rock to a slew of stages across the UK and Europe, earning high-profile support slots for Queens Of The Stone Age and We Are Scientists along the way.
Guitar duties are handled by Steph Norris and Joe Perry (no, not that Joe Perry) and together, they’ve poured gallons of fuzzy, scuzzy goodness into infectious 10-track debut, Killjoy. According to Steph, their MO is to “scream, thrash guitars and put the heaviest overdrive on”.
In her case, that means tearing it up on a Fender Telecaster – acquired several years ago in the unusual setting of a London KFC – and running it through a Redbeard Effects Hairy Squid Colossal Fuzz en route to a scorching pair of Hot Rod Deluxe amps. Three other signal-distorting effects, “going from soft to heavy,” give her a full spectrum of crunchy, gritty, and downright gnarly tones to play with.
Doing most of the dirty work for Joe is a Hudson Electronics/Regent Sounds Broadcast, coupled with everybody’s favourite little green viral sensation, the DigiTech Bad Monkey.
Amp-wise, a spread of clean-to-filthy tones comes from the canny pairing of a Roland JC-120 with a ’70s Fender Champ. “I always see them as siblings, like a big brother and a little brother sat next to each other,” he smiles. “There’s this little tiny thing and a big brute next to it!”
The “unexpected” hero of his rig is a highly affordable and surprisingly durable Fender Player Mustang 90, which he swears is “going to be my number one for the rest of my life,” provided it survives getting “beat up to fuck” on a nightly basis. “It’s changed the way I play,” he enthuses. “I kind of smash it more. It gets thrown around a lot and somehow has survived.”
Beyond seemingly indestructible gear, the experience of watching audiences go wild for their most untamed moments is what’s driven Coach Party to raucous heights on Killjoy. “Touring has definitely opened up the door to being a bit more confident,” says Steph. “When you listen back to our first recording, it’s very young and naive: two guitars, bass and drums. Now, we push it a bit more!”
- Killjoy is out now via Universal.