The Isle of Wight band’s debut LP arrives on Sept. 8 via Chess Club Records
There’s a certain feeling you get when you’re talking with someone on the verge of some massive change. The potential is tangible. Departure feels imminent. It seems as though Coach Party’s Jess Eastwood (vocalist/bassist) and Joe Perry (guitarist) understand that they are on their precipice, preparing to jump into their new roles as international rock stars. With their new ripper of a record KILLJOY (purchase HERE), which drops on Friday, the band seems to have pecked the past on the cheek: the future is finally here.
It’s no accident, though. Coach Party’s teeth are cut. KILLJOY comes only after Jess, Joe, Steph Norris (guitarist), and Guy Page (producer/drummer) spent the past three years touring extensively with the likes of Wet Leg, The Amazons, We Are Scientists, and most recently Queens of the Stone Age – while producing three solid EPs (2020’s Party Food, 2021’s After Party, and 2022’s Nothing Is Real). The band comes from Isle of Wight, a small, rural island community, but the music comes from everywhere and it comes at you fast with heavy drums, fuzzy guitars, and a vocalist that has maybe never been called “shy” in her life.
It’s a beautiful thing when a few punks who aren’t afraid of a pop song get together. In this debut, there’s melody, there’s grit, and there’s humor. There’s also a chance this will be your Album Of The Year. The hooks will stick in your head. The riffs will excite you. The lyrics will inspire self-reflection…and maybe a fight, too. “What’s The Point In Life” leads the way with playful nihilism that speaks for a disillusioned generation. Be careful driving to “Parasite” because you might blow the speed limit away. I’ve personally caught myself humming “Born Leader” over my laundry. And there’s not a single ounce of fat on the entire record. This lean and mean collection of 10 tunes clocks in at just over 27 minutes. It’s a lightning strike. Somehow, they unapologetically pack that flash with a spectrum of colors and feelings.
“Be That Girl” is the final teaser before the record’s official release on September 8. It’s a sweetie pie of a tune that comes accompanied by an intimate look at the band in its music video.
I had the opportunity to meet with Jess and Joe over Zoom to gab a bit about it all. We talked about the album, secret crushes, and, of course, Taylor Swift.
How are you feeling right now?
Jess: Energized. Inspired. (Laughs) No, don’t put any of that. I feel fortunate that we’re here in this position, and it feels amazing to be sat here and say that we’re about to put an album out. There are people waiting for it, and that’s just a dream come true.
Joe: It’s exciting. It’s a big moment for us.
I imagine it’s massive. Cool. Nerve-wracking. What’s bringing y’all comfort right now at this point in the process?
Joe: We just got back from a long tour, so we all had a nice bit of time at home. I’m very comforted by just being at home for a nice extended period of time. Slipping back into normal routine stuff. Friends and family. They don’t really give a s*** that there’s an album ready to come out. They just want to know about the mundane stuff. It’s kinda nice – takes the pressure off.
Jess: Definitely my surroundings. I moved to London in March. It’s been a real teller to come back and have it feel like home now after being away for so long. But also, we’re having some billboards in London, so I’m trying to keep it cool, but I can’t. I’m just going to stand by it all the time. See these skeletons? I’m meant to be one of them.
Absolutely just soak that up. That reminds me, the special edition Blood Records vinyl you have coming out – how stoked are you for that? It looks incredible.
Jess: Yeah, it’s crazy. It sold out within like 30 minutes.
Amazing. Did you expect that?
Jess: No! I didn’t expect to sell really any at first. I expected it to be just a slow burner.
I’m not sure if you’re in the realm of the “slow burn” anymore. It seems like you guys are poised for something big. Personally, I was stoked to see you guys were opening for Queens of the Stone Age. What was that like?
Joe: That was crazy. Crazy, crazy, crazy. If you would have told us that we’d do something like that, even like six months ago, you just wouldn’t believe it. It was so great, and they are so great, and even just getting to watch them do their thing every night was as good as playing the gigs. It was mind-blowing.
Jess: Have you ever seen those Tik Toks of people making fun of Taylor Swift for introducing songs? Doing the whole dialogue before casually dropping the song title? Like a conversation? Her and Josh Homme do the same thing. He’ll talk about something before he just slips in the album title. It was nice to see a little pop world cross.
Does that mean you’re gonna mix that into your show now?
Jess: Oh yeah, that’s definitely gonna be my thing now.
Excellent. Tell me about this new album. What does KILLJOY mean to you?
Jess: I always felt like the songs were great, but now I can see now that it sort of feels like a journey. Basically, everything we’ve done, and every step we’ve taken, feels like it’s on this album. It’s a personal thing, for sure. We were talking the other day about how everything has been a prologue, and this is the first chapter. It feels like we’re going to embark on something way bigger.
Joe: It’s the most varied body of work we’ve put out so far. It makes me feel nostalgic, and excited for the next chapter in this funny little story.
It’s cool to hear you guys say that it is a journey. It seems like it hits on all sorts of feelings. Challenges. Confidence. Helplessness. It’s all there. But tell me, if you had to scrap the whole record, start over fresh, but you could keep just one moment…which moment would you keep? It could be a lyric, a riff, anything that sticks out.
Jess: The Blood Records record drop.
Joe: I’ll keep Jess saying “drums” on “Microaggression.”
Yeah! I just listened to that part and that bit really hit me, too.
Jess: I don’t know, I feel like the lyrics, “Come on and fight me, uh huh!” are kind of strange to say out loud, but when you sing it, it’s funny, so I’d probably keep that.
Is there anything you guys want people to know about this record?
Jess: Yes! Joe, you tell them (laughs). I feel what I want people to know is that this record was done in such a small amount of time. Our hearts and souls went into it, but we toured all year up until December and then got a last minute tour surrey before the holidays when we were supposed to start the record, and were just exhausted. We did something stupid like 200 shows last year, and then we had January and February to record the whole album. That was a huge challenge. Guy smashed it out of the park.
Damn. Incredible. What do you think, Joe?
Joe: It was definitely a struggle, but I think we’re all really happy with what we came up with, and I think that played a big part in how the album feels and sounds and what it’s about. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Just so excellent. Are there any questions you’ve been hoping to be asked or any questions you’ve had in mind?
Jess: Where is the most rogue place to play in America? Like where would we play and get kicked out because we’re not from there?
Oh, man (laughs). I think the South may not take to Coach Party right away, maybe Alabama?
Jess: Well then my goal is to make it to Alabama, see the people of that beautiful state, and tell them, “Don’t be scared, honey’s. It’s gonna be okay.”
Wow, I think y’all have to make it down there now.
Jess: “It’s okay, baby, dont worry!”
Don’t be scared, honeys – Coach Party will be touring on KILLJOY’s behalf for the foreseeable future. Do what you can to find them in a city near you.