You know those weirdos who pack up their hemp pants and tie-dye everything into a multi-colored Guatemalan backpack and leave their whole lives to follow Phish around the country? I never understood those people (partly because I left hemp accessories behind in the 6th grade, partly because I have a nagging attachment to responsibility, but mostly because man, does that band suck). That is, not until I first saw The Coathangers play, and decided that I would have no problem ditching out on reality to follow them around the globe (but like, not in a stalkery way, okay?). The Atlanta-based all-girl punk outfit has been touring and playing shows for just shy of a decade, never slowing or losing any of the hell-raising energy that make each and every single one of their performances one to remember.
Guitarist Julia Kugel, drummer Stephanie Lukic, and bassist Meredith Franco have come a long way since they formed on a whim in 2006 “to hang out and play parties”. The fact that they didn’t entirely actually know how to play their instruments didn’t hinder their pure dedication to the good-time cause, and now all these years later while they have mastered their instruments, they’re still bringing that devil-may-care attitude to stages around the world. Their most recent record Suck My Shirt came out via Suicide Squeeze in March of this year, and the girls have pretty much been on the road since. Here’s how these tireless (and gorgeous) road warriors stay sane on tour:
What are your tour essentials?
1. Socks and lots of them! No one wants to smell yer skanky feets.
2. A pillow/sleeping bag/teddy bear/pillow pet because you never know where you’ll be sleeping at the end of the night and it’s always nice to have something of comfort from home on those 7 week tours.
3. Tampons, ’nuff said.
4. Good pair of sunglasses, those long drives headed west are like driving into the sun itself so protect yer eyeballs.
5. Phone chargers! Bring ALL the chargers for home and van of course because not being able to reach out to your people sucks.
I know some bands have banned certain food places on tour or always look out for certain ones. What are your guys’ no-go and go-to eating spots on tour?
Okay, so no-gos include such hit jams as Taco Bell, McDonalds, anything attached to a gas station, Burger King, etc.
Go-tos include Cracker Barrel, In N Out, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, etc…We like to get a buncha snacks for the van just in case we get stranded somewhere and eating healthy whenever you get the chance on tour really helps.
What are your favorite cities to play and why?
Every city is our favorite city to play! Every town has its own pros and cons, but to be specific we do enjoy San Fran, LA, NYC, Chicago, Austin, and Pioneertown.
Who is in charge of the music in the van? What would you say gets put on the most?
Whoever is driving usually gets to pick the music however we are all very respectful of each other, so like if a song comes on while I’m driving and I know Meredith hates it I’ll skip it and so on…For the most part though we all like each other’s taste in music so this is usually not a problem. We play a lot of Black Lips, The Growlers, a lotta shitty radio, NPR, new country ha!
What’s the weirdest thing on your show rider?
Weirdest thing on the rider would be, huh I dunno I guess peanut M&Ms? We don’t really have anything crazy on there. The two most important things on there are Jäger and tequila.
What’s coming up next for you guys?
A whole buncha fun stuff! We are on the last leg of this tour then we play Meltasia (a three day fest in north Georgia) in September, then we’re doing a local Atlanta show in October, then November through December we will be touring Europe! In 2015 we plan on more touring and we will start writing some new stuff to prepare for our upcoming album (in like a year). Planning ahead!
photos by Jayne Min