Interview & words by Stephanie Smith
Alt-pop quartet COIN recently kicked off the second leg of their How Will You Know If You Never Try Tour, in support of their sophomore album of the same name. With new material slated to transcend this summer’s soundtrack and their first U.S. headliner underway, we caught up with lead vocalist Chase Lawrence to talk musical influences, aesthetic inspirations, and the band’s relationship with their fans.
Chase Lawrence is just like us. He’s been trying to put his phone down more. He thinks about death. He admits Justin Bieber’s latest, “Despacito,” has definitely been on repeat.
“It’s so silly, but I can’t stop,” he said amusingly.
But in between radio-pop fixes, Lawrence jumps from alt artist to alt artist. Lately, he’s been listening to The Strokes and newcomers Sure Sure. So, it makes perfect sense that COIN’s sophomore effort, How Will You Know If You Never Try via Columbia Records, is a perfect blend of danceable hooks and eccentric, conscientious themes. The headstone from the HWYKIYNT album art, bearing the YOLO-esque title, is on track to take over for Obey’s “Andre the Giant” or The X-Files’ “I Want to Believe.” Its dissemination is for more than just marketing purposes.
“We shouldn’t be scared of death,” Lawrence said. “I would rather let it inspire us.”
Lawrence himself is fascinated by the dash between a headstone’s birth year and death year–that which, though encapsulating a lifetime, speaks to the true breadth of a person’s tens of years in the grand scheme of time.
The color red, clearly the official album aura is “an extremely personal color,” Lawrence said.
“This whole album [is]if you’re sad, it can keep you sad,” he said. “If you’re happy, it can make you that much happier. I think the color red is the same way.”
For the sake of his own happiness, Lawrence has reevaluated his relationship with technology. He’s realized that social media can distract from being “totally enveloped in the moment,” but it’s also allowed artists like COIN to connect with their fans unlike ever before.
Leading up to the release of the first HWYKIYNT single, “Talk Too Much,” the band set up a hotline through which fans could call and leave messages.
Along with many a “yo, what’s up!” the line was overwhelmed by lengthy, sincere gushes.
“We tried to turn the phone line on a couple times, and my phone just completely broke,” Lawrence said, laughing.
Halfway through COIN’s first headlining tour, the vocalist is overwhelmed still. It’s “wild,” he said, taking in city blocks lined with people, knowing this time they’re there for them. Lawrence sees red; it’s only up from here.