ABOVE: (LEFT TO RIGHT) JOE MEMMEL, CHASE LAWRENCE, RYAN WINNEN, AND ZACHARY DYKE. PHOTO COURTESY OF ROBBY KLEIN.
Children of the ’90s, the four boys behind Nashville-based band COIN just want to have some fun. Everything they were listening to seemed far too serious, so the musicians decided to solve the problem themselves and create a record of swirly indie party-pop, 1992. In keeping with the title of the EP, we spoke with lead singer Chase Lawrence about all things ’90s—from Y2K to growing up watching Saved by the Bell. We are pleased to premiere the band’s first video, “Honey,” below.
BAND MEMBERS: Zach Dyke (bass), Chase Lawrence (vocals), Joe Memmel (guitar), Ryan Winnen (drums)
AGE(s): 21 (Lawrence and Dyke), 20 (Memmel and Winnen)
HOMETOWN(s): Huntington, WV (Lawrence); Morrison, IL (Dyke); Annapolis, MD (Memmel); Cleveland, Ohio (Winnen)
FILMING THE MUSIC VIDEO: It started with so many different concepts, and we just pieced them all together, and it ended up being the strangest thing. I have a really bad fear of bees. When I was a kid I got stung so much, so it was pretty scary to overcome that. There were bees swarming all over. You can’t really see them on the camera sometimes, but they were all over us. Nobody got stung! The beekeepers really wanted to make it out to be really bad. They were like, [in a Southern accent] “Man, it’s horrible. I got stung 37 times yesterday.” But none of us got stung. I feel like if we don’t bother their world, they won’t bother ours. Then again, we were playing drums and moving around a whole lot, but it seemed fine.
HOW THEY MET: I met Joe—he was coming through West Virginia in a band, and I was going to another school called Marshall in Huntington, West Virginia —and he came through and we just randomly talked. We never really thought we’d see each other again and didn’t really pay much attention to it, and then a year and a half later, we ended up sitting next to each other in a class at Belmont. It was really funny, because we didn’t realize we knew each other until probably a month into us writing together. I said, “I think this is providence. Maybe we should start a band together?” It was music theory, actually. I got an A. I don’t know what Joe got, though…
THEIR SOUND: When people hear our music I want their brains to spin in circles—I want [them] to see visuals along with it. Just spinning and moving and having a good time while listening to our music is really huge for us. Even with the ballad we’ve written on this record, it was really important to let the emotions show through but at the same time keep the good vibes going that the rest of the record has. It’s like the morning after a party.
HAVING FUN IN NASHVILLE: You know Nashville’s a weird place. We bee-keep. No, just kidding. There’s this coffee shop called Frothy Monkey that we all hang out at constantly. It’s like the Central Perk on Friends. We play catch a lot. There’s nothing really specific to Nashville that’s really fun. There’s no nightlife that we really enjoy or any specific hobbies that we really enjoy. We just play catch and a lot of music.
FAVORITE THING FROM THE ’90s: Saved by the Bell. Definitely.
LEAST FAVORITE THING FROM THE ’90s: There are just so many things… The year 1996. All of it. There’s just nothing good to show from that year. My friends and I have gone over this extensively. We can’t even think of one good thing that came out of that year. Maybe, like, a Pearl Jam record or something.
WHERE HE WAS ON Y2K: I was actually in a church, which is really strange—to be at church at midnight when the world is going to end. I had a G.I. Joe in my hand and I was ready to defend myself for when the zombies came or whatever I thought was going to happen when I was 9 years old.
GROWING PAINS: I just wanted to make the record seem like what I wanted my childhood to be. In the sense of Saved by the Bell or Boy Meets World and all the people I wanted to be like. I think that’s what we thought growing up would be like when we were children. My childhood was nothing like Boy Meets World, unfortunately. West Virginia is not like John Adams High. West Virginia is very rural. It’s really green, really boring and really, really dull. Where I live was actually listed as the second most miserable city in America. It’s also the unhealthiest city in America.
THEIR NAME: We wanted this four-letter word that wasn’t a swear word, and we thought it was hopeless. We kind of gave up on the whole thing. We were going to call ourselves “Titan and the Predators” or “The Casual Fridays.” They all sounded like Christian pop-punk bands. They were terrible! Then, I was looking through this book at an antique store and the name of this Kentucky Derby horse was “Lucky Coin,” and I thought, “Woah!” And I looked it up and nothing had ever been done with it except for this band from Albania and this country guy and it didn’t seem like they had any lasting success with it. It seemed like a brand and something we could attach ourselves to and they all dug it.
THE FANS: Where we live in Nashville, it’s kind of a clique-y town, so I’d say definitely half of our fan base is from there. And it’s not so much fan base as it is friend base at this point, because we’re growing and they’re telling their friends. It just started with about 50 of our friends and they’re the crux of the COIN community. But we just sold out our release show in Nashville at a 300-cap room by, like, over 100 tickets. But I could literally say I knew like every single person in there. Except for a guy in the back corner in a turban who knew every lyric.
COIN’S NEW EP, 1992, IS NOW AVAILABLE ON ITUNES. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT COIN’S WEBSITE.