Indiana alternative rock band looks to take music to next level
The Appalachian Folk Festival is just one of several bookings in the next few weeks that is generating excitement for an up-and-coming local band.
Coastal Remedy is one of the nine bands that will be featured at the festival Sept. 6 and 7 in Indiana. The success of their self-titled first album has gotten the group of four young men from Indiana attention that is rapidly taking them beyond the local music scene.
On Aug. 23, the band will be featured on Randy Baumann's morning show on WDVE-FM. They will play live at 9 a.m., followed by a 15-minute interview and possibly another performance at the end of the show.
The group plans to use the exposure on WDVE to promote a free show it will perform later the same day at Zander's Sports Bar, 951 Old Frankstown Road, Plum.
Max Bizousky, 20; Matt Snyder, 19; Adam Hess, 19, and Matt Magill, 22, are Coastal Remedy. They write and perform soft alternative rock. “We try to appeal to a wide audience,” Bizousky said.
Bizousky is the only full-time musician in the group. He plays rhythm guitar and sings lead on the vocals.
Snyder plays bass and provides backing vocals. He is also a business management student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Hess plays lead guitar and is studying psychology at IUP. Magill, who is studying geology at the university, joined the group as its drummer four month ago, replacing Stefan Petrigas.
The group doesn't have a leader. “We all step up and do what we have to do,” Snyder said. “Max is the leader on stage because he sings lead, but we are all equal off stage. We aren't about egos. We're about creating the best product we can.”
The group members also stress equality when it comes to writing their music. They wrote all the songs on their self-titled debut album and are working on the music for their second effort.
“One of us might get an idea for a song and start writing it, but by the time he brings it to the group and we all make changes and have opinions, it becomes everyone's song,” Snyder said. “No matter who got the idea for a song, when we list the credits, all four names go on it.”
“It isn't hard to stay fresh,” Bizousky said of the band's songwriting approach. “We get one idea and, before we have it finished, it leads to another idea. If anything, it's hard to stay focused enough to get a song done before we start another one.”
All four members of Coastal Remedy played in other groups before they started playing together. Bizousky started a group in high school, but the members went their separate ways after graduation. Magill played with Bizousky in a previous group. Snyder has been playing guitar in groups since ninth grade. They formed Coastal Remedy in September 2011.
“We get along really well,” Snyder said. It's important that we are all on the same page musically and professionally. The band is a first priority for all four of us. We work hard in school and do well, but we all agree that the band comes first in any decisions we make.”
Snyder and Bizousky both give much of the credit for their success so far to Klint Macro, the owner and recording engineer at Cobblesound Studio in New Kensington.
“He had taken us under his wing,” Snyder said. “We did our first album there and he let us pay for our studio time a little at a time because he knew we didn't have any money. He has given us advice on what we should be doing and who we should be talking to. He's our mentor.”
Bizousky and Snyder acknowledge they didn't make a lot of money on the first album, which was released in December.
“It was good to have the CDs to sell at shows, though, and it opened a lot of doors for us. We gave it to people we talked to about bookings to show them what we can do,” Bizousky said.
Recording an album is a very lengthy process, according to Bizousky and Snyder. The songs are written, then rewritten over and over before they are satisfied with them. “What you hear on an album is nothing like the way they start out,” Snyder said.
“We like to play our new songs in front of live audiences before we record them so we can see what works and change them if we need to,” Bizousky noted.
When they are satisfied with the songs, they create a “scratch track,” a working recording of a song. It is taken into the studio and the drummer uses it while he records his track.
When the drummer is done, the bass is added, then guitars, then vocals. Each part might be recorded numerous times, and the sound engineer will pick out the best one while he is completing digital editing of the song.
“The good thing about recording that way,” Snyder said, “is that we can go in and change or redo any one part we want to without re-recording the whole thing.
The negative thing about all that separate recording is the cost. It takes about two weeks of studio time to record an entire album. “It takes a lot of live shows to pay for all that studio time,” Bizousky said. “Right now we are looking for investors for the second album. We have some interest, but no firm commitments yet.”
Both Bizousky and Snyder view the studio time as something necessary, but what they really love is playing live shows. They acknowledge that their songs generally differ in a live show from the way they recorded them.
“We like our live shows to be a bit different,” Bizousky said. “There is a spontaneous energy when you are live that keeps you improvising.”
In discussing their live shows, Snyder said, “It warms you to know that you are doing what you love and people appreciate it.”
The group's hope for the future is to take their music on the road and push their next album into radio play and commercials.
“We want to travel the world, play our music and, in turn, support ourselves on our music,” Bizousky said. “And, of course, we want to keep writing.”
For more information about the band, visit its pages at www.reverbnation.com/coastalremedy and on Twitter and Facebook.
Jeanette Wolff is a freelance writer.