Hailing from Guernsey, Channel Islands, Coastal Fire Dept. is an alt-rock meets grunge foursome. Following the release of the mini-album Control in 2019, the group have been honing their sound and are about to release their EP Radio (due for release 4th December). We speak with vocals and rhythm guitarist Ollie Goddard about the new EP, great achievements and much more.
OSR: A cliche question, but how did Coastal Fire Dept. come about?
Goddard: Coastal Fire Dept. came about when Bob (guitarist) and I weren’t in bands and realised we loved the same sort of music (alt-rock, grunge, a bit of shoegaze, etc.)
OSR: What is the backstory to the EP Radio?
Goddard: This year when promoting our singles we were getting various feedback about what radio stations would prefer to play – the length of songs, the format of verse chorus verse chorus, no swearing, etc. A lot of our songs didn’t meet the radio-friendly format and so when recording our album Connected we polished four of our songs to fit the format. Songs were shortened, swear words changed or omitted, a mate with a really cool voice for pop songs sang on one song, etc. The unedited dirty versions will appear on the album.
OSR: Are any of the tracks particularly significant and if so, how so?
Goddard: The standout for me is ‘Fight The Scene’. It’s a song for all those people who feel marginalised or don’t fit in or looked down upon or bullied by those cliques that appear in our lives from time to time. It’s a “fuck off” song for those that just need to be themselves and ignore the idiots!
OSR: If you could change anything about Radio what would it be?
Goddard: Well, I don’t always listen much to our music but only yesterday I had a quick listen and heard some minor tweaks I would do to the mix, but that’s always the way. We do take our time with the mix and there is always more that could be done.
OSR: Where do you want to be this time next year?
Goddard: This time next year… We’d want to look back and hope to have played some gigs on the mainland. We have some pencilled in but would really like to play some gigs outside of Guernsey. We do actually have some new singles planned for the next summer and hope those go well.
OSR: What is your greatest achievement to date?
Goddard: Greatest achievement to date has to be having Ken Andrews (Failure, Stone Temple Pilots, Paramore, Chris Cornell, etc.) mix our single ‘You Are Stuck’. He’s a musical hero of ours.
OSR: Describe Coastal Fire Dept. in one sentence.
Goddard: Dirty grunge alt-rock with a sprinkling of other influences from time to time.
OSR: If you could change any law, what would you change?
Goddard: I wouldn’t change any laws. I’d introduce a law that makes everyone go to a live music event once a week!
OSR: What professions do you think are overpaid and underpaid?
Goddard: Well, I think there are a lot of top civil servant jobs that are overpaid. As for underpaid…got to be nurses! I am sure there are plenty more deserving of some additional pay.
OSR: What do you hope people take away from Radio and your music in general?
Goddard: I just hope they give Radio a spin and like one song or can relate to the music a bit. We try to write grungy songs with catchy choruses.