Ryan Knowles (Coarse)
SPB: A goal with this band was to be distinct from previous projects. To follow-through on this, did you change your overall approach or mostly just the musical style elements?
Ryan: We did change our entire approach to this project, in all aspects really. We quite literally forced ourselves into this small room that felt like a cage and forced ourselves to make something completely out of the box. It’s ironic in a sense. Everything that I had done prior to this personally was so controlled by other people. A lot of ideas I was passionate about got snipped in the bud early on because it didn’t fit the mold for what someone else desired. With Coarse, we had no boundaries for what it could be, outside of the fact that we wanted it to be extremely aggressive and chaotic. I truly think the instrumentation and vocal cadences, as well as the lyrics Brandon wrote truly brought out those desires we had.
We may joke about it a lot, but lock boxes of weed delivered by bike, Bud Light Lime, and way too many trips to the local bodega was a huge element of the creative process. We didn’t have money for anything -- I mean we literally bought studio monitors and returned them so we could record the demos in the first place. It’s gritty and rough around the edges, but extremely calculated at the same time. We would mouth riffs and drum beats out loud to each other that sounded like nonsense in some lackluster attempt to convey an idea, and somehow we understood each other. It was crazy: like I would hear a riff in my head and basically speak it out loud to Brandon and he’d be looking at me like, “What the fuck are you saying?” Then I would go track it and that would be the next part of the song.
The most ridiculous part about the writing of it was if we got stuck on what to do next we would look at each other and be like, “Blast beat?” and then just continue on from there. There are elements of Brandon and I’s prior bands in this EP, but that’s because we are channeling ourselves, and those nuances that may feel familiar were our personal inputs on those bands. So yeah, I guess you could say we did change our approach just a little bit. Haha.
(Photo by Angela Owens)