After earning the #7 spot in our Top 50 South Florida Songs of 2011 with a track off of their 7″ debut release, Lake Worth trio New Coke — comprising singer/guitarist Danny Morales, guitarist Gabe Schnirnan, and drummer Steve McKeane — spent last year working on a new record and playing a few shows around Florida. Well, the near silence was worth the wait, as New Coke’s second release proves from its very first strum. Recorded with Torche’s Johnathan Nuñez and mastered by Carl Saff (who has also worked with Unsane and Guided By voices), the three-track 7″ makes its digital premiere (under a working title) here on Beached Miami ahead of a possible hard-copy release via Slovenly Records, whose owner invited New Coke to play in the label’s SXSW showcase on March 14. In the meantime, you can stream all the tracks from New Coke’s bandcamp after the jump.
To learn more about New Coke and the band’s new record, check out this brief Q&A with Morales.
How did the collaborations with Johnathan Nuñez and Carl Saff come about?
Morales: Johnathan recommended a couple of people to do the mastering, and Carl has mastered or has been involved with a slew of records that I enjoyed. He also worked on material in all sorts of genres, and I felt someone like that would bring fresh ears to what we are doing.
What’s New Coke’s relationship with Slovenly Records and how did the SXSW showcase come about?
Morales: Our relationship with Slovenly happened by accident in a way. We self-released our first record in the winter of 2011, and the response was very slow. Just word of mouth and a couple local record stores carried it. We put a lot of time into making it, so I spent some time sending it to friends out of state and just trying to increase distribution. I was a big fan of the Magnetix and the Fatals and that drew me into that label’s roster. They had their own distribution on their site, and I wrote to them to see if they were interested in buying a few copies, nothing more, nothing less. I received an email back from a guy named Joe Almeida (label manager at Slovenly) [who] said he was interested in a few copies. I was so excited that someone actually responded that I overnighted the records to get them to him faster.
When he got it, he was so into the music and packaging that he then called me on the phone a couple days later and said, “Forget sending me three records — I want them all, and we want to work with New Coke.” He sent one to Pete Menchetti (owner of Slovenly) and kept one, and they were both interested, and that was that.
Since we released it ourselves, they couldn’t put it on their label officially, but they distributed and marketed it like one of their own releases. It was a huge accomplishment for us being a small local band with no reach and then having someone buying your music in a record store in Europe and your songs being played on college radio around the country. Totally unexpected turn of events.
After doing a small Florida tour with Slovenly bands Paint Fumes and Bazooka, we were given the opportunity to play on the Slovenly Records stage in SXSW. We are also playing a couple satellite events that week, one being in Houston put together by Get Bent. We all work full time, and we are not getting any younger, so if we have a chance to play out of state we will do everything we can to make that happen. All three of us are dedicated to this group. New Coke is like raising a kid (who likes to dance and curse)
Why did you choose the name New Coke? Is the band a bad idea?
Morales: Steve [McKeane, drummer] thought of the name, and it just stuck well. It was attractive to name your band after something that caused such a stir of emotions in the general public. People going to great lengths opposing something so trivial. The “garage” scene doesn’t want much change either, kids feel threatened when you come in through the window instead of the door. New Coke as a band is a horrible idea. I’m petrified to be on stage, and I scream because I’m uncomfortable being up there. The set feels like one big argument, and when it’s over it’s like winning a fight.