By Georgi Bomb
Let’s get straight down to business. You may have heard the name but to explain what three-piece act, Coilguns, is all about; let’s leave it to the axegrinder, and head of the whole operation, Jona Nido.
“Coilguns is three dudes who hang out and have played together for more than ten years and, after acquiring a certain maturity, decided to start a heavy band; a real one, with the same motivation and excitement as when they were 14.”
Plans to aim for a full length album and touring vigoursly are outweighed by the band’s emphasis on being themselves and above all, to have fun.
“Don’t get me wrong,” Nido reveals, “I’m working my ass off to get this band somewhere but things happen more to us than us pushing things to happen. As long as stuff keeps happening to us, I’ll just go with the flow and see where it is going to lead us.”
Essentially, they are a live band. They record live, sound live and when you go to see them play, guess what? It’s most definitely live.“Everything is about the feeling we have together and eye contact when we play.” Nido says.
Supporting The Dillinger Escape Plan was their first ever show and five weeks before this, Nido confesses to their severe lack of material at this point – about ten minutes to be exact.
“Luc [Hess] and me spent the entire summer in the room, six hours a day. A week before the show we had a total set time of 40 minutes.”
“Since we are frenetic we thought why not record all these new songs live together at Steve’s studio in a few hours,” he says, “have it mixed and mastered by our friend Julien Felhmann (The Ocean) in four hours and manufacture ourselves 150 copies with a nice hand-made, silk-screen print artwork the day before the show? So we did!”
A fierce and savage attack designed to melt your brain, and that of your mothers, the Coilguns sound overflows with persistance and energy.
Thrashing, punk-inspired riffs mixed in with deep throated rasps make up a distintive sound that is raw, organic, and each track progresses naturally on a journey of its own.
A far cry from what you would expect members of The Ocean to create; no computers or visual technology, no lighting shows or orchestral accompaniment and no high production value.
As said before: this is raw, organic and a complete polar sound in comparison.
“To me, Coilguns sounds really dark, intense, oppressive, violent and also really negative. We all are really happy and funny people, but we love to install a really doomy and heavy atmosphere on record and live.
“It is not what I wasn’t able to do with The Ocean. It’s more ‘what I wanted to do myself NOT with The Ocean’.
One noticeable difference between Coilguns and other bands is the lack of a bass player. Nido explains how in The Ocean, the guitars act as layers and they add colour to the music.
With his new project, the main focus is noise. The aim of the game is to play as loud as you can.
This is a way for Nido to get back to his roots and play riffs with his close friend,Hess, and despite the music being more technical, he admits, there is something more natural for him when playing.
“ I’ve always been a guitar-riffer you know? not the sweepy, tapping, wanky guitar playing that all kids are doing nowadays, but real riffs played with balls.
“We didn’t want a bass player so we need to accept the downside as well. I had to come up with this whole system. I’m not a geek, but I had to become one and it opened my mind and the possibilities you have when you are alone.
“I built myself this huge pedal board that allows me to control 2 different guitar amps and a bass amp. Thanks to the magic effects I bought, I have a real bass sound and I can control all of this separately.
“Louis [Jucker] choosing to not play bass anymore is the best thing that could have happened. I’m happy the way it is and super comfortable with this band.”
With only two people writing, it gives the opportunity to create a tighter atmosphere. Nido reveals how he thinks they are able to create the kind of music other bands would need five musicians to achieve.
Of course, throw into the mix a ten year friendship and you have one harmonious relationship for writing.
That only encouraged the band to get working on the EP, Stadia Rods, that was originally self-released, and is out now via Scottish DIY label, Dead Dead Dead Music.
DIY shows, labels and music has grown in recent years; Nido recalls his involvement in the scene for as long as he can remember.
His first band signed to German label, Dead Serious Records, when he was just 17 years old and since then, has always remained firmly in the DIY circle.
“Of course, some are more organised than others,” he chats, “but in the end we’re all doing the same thing. Meeting people, shaking hands, feeling the connection and working together!
“The main reason I like this scene – or at least some of the people working in it – is that it’s only ‘heart’ people. Dedicated music fans for whom that’s their passion to ‘make it happen’, you know?
“This is priceless to me. Going to a venue, spending the day with the promoter, checking out his record collection, I don’t know, it’s hard to explain. It’s just like a international bro-community somehow.
“Everybody does his thing because of the passion without any goal of success. Surviving in this scene as a band, record label, booking agency or musician is a lot of work and effort for no real material or financial compensation.”
What are the forseeable plans for Coilguns then? Currently, they are finishing a European tourwith Earthship before performing at the polish festival, Asymmetry next month. Not a group to rest on their laurels because after that, it is knuckling down to write their first full length.
Confidence is definitely key in this band, despite Nido’s final words confirming this, one live show will only agree it’s much deserved: “Come check us out live, have a beer or a chat, ticket will be cheap and we’ll destroy you.”
Still not convinced by Coilguns? Well let the creator of this destructive noise give you his personal take on the band, it’s sure to change your mind.
“I think the following metaphor fits our concept: it’s like a good rough fuck. While you’re doing it, you slap, spit, choke but when it’s over, everybody’s happy and had a good time.
“There you go, THIS is Coilguns”