Interview: The Coits
Libby | Jul 25, 2008 | 12:30PM |
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Perhaps you’ve seen The Coits smashing computer monitors in a basement or throwing plates at Dahlak, but if you haven’t I highly suggest checking them out tonight at one (or both) of TWO shows tonight. Perhaps their lead singer “Seth” can persuade you….

Who are The Coits?

Prescoit Martinez III: Drums
Seth Finebergoldmanstein: Throat
The Tyranny: Keys
John Albaneasy: ‘Tar
Shintaro: Bass

Everyone in the first incarnation of the Coits went to Georgetown. We were all friends and pretty much all met in 2002. I think John and I wrote our first song together in 2003. Our drummer didn’t really play drums, our guitarist didn’t really play guitar and I didn’t really sing. Our bassist, Greg Mortensen, was pretty good. We later added a second bassist, Helmicide, for variety. And then the Tyranny joined the band, adding the keys and upping the ante. Prescoit, a childhood friend of the Tyranny’s, was our third drummer. It was nice to have a drummer who played drums. He fit in well. We went from a lark to legit pretty quick.

Your band has had a rotating cast of characters, is there any
character trait common to all past and present members of the coits?

There are no squares in the Coits. They are not welcome. Coits are rockers, ragers, quirky-new-wavers, long-haired Indian aristocratic assholes, activists, politicos, drug-dealers, coitus-fiends, twanksters, Christians, Satanists and Democrats, but notChristian-Scientists or Christian-Democrats. We like Pantera. We are also the best basketball players of any band in the D.C.-region.

Where does the name “the coits” come from?

We were originally called Coitus Maximus, on the basis of John’s girlfriend’s ecstatic suggestion. We decided to shorten it to “The Coits” after a few lineup changes. I’ve never liked it when bands carry on with different personnel, and we’ve tried to keep it fresh. We’ve also gigged as “Coitus Detritus” “Fuckin’ Coits,” The Jazz Coits” and “The Management.” Technically, we are now The Coits of The Future, cause the Tyranny isn’t around.

What kind of band are you guys in terms of genre and performance and give a description of what the average coits experience is like for people who have never seen you guys perform.

We are hardcore punk, but play other styles of music, too, including funk, punk, and rock ‘n’ roll. We’ve played all different types of venues and had all different types of shows. I mean, we’ve played houses, lawns, study-spaces, bars, a swank restaurant in Adams Morgan and a talent show. I don’t know if there is a typical one.

An ideal one – like the shows we used to play at Bulldog Alley – would involve a lot of destruction and desecration. People would have a lot of fun. There would be a sense of freedom and excitement in the air. The music would be well-presented. People who feel so inclined could let their rage out in a variety of manners. But as for our show at the Chill Factory, I hope it is chill and fun. We hope to do some recording at this show.

Tell me about your first show?

Our first show was just John and I at the Notasquat, a punk house in Petworth, on October 12, 2003. We played some originals and covers for our friends. This evening was particularly memorable because John subsequently pulled Megan and they are still dating today. In fact, John’s about to leave D.C. because Megan is attending law school at the University of Oakland.

Tell me bout your last show?

Our last show was Wednesday night. There were like 30 people at the Chill Factory listening to us practice. I feel we turned in a good performance. I was really happy about it, because my sister was in town and she hadn’t seen me play since 2001. Two acoustic acts played after us. For real. They were good.

Describe your ideal venue:
The (sadly) now defunct D.C.-punk oasis that was the U-Turn was a dream-come-true. Ethiopian food, plus my friends Mookie, Johnny Bones, Flora, Brain Damaged and a million other people too numerous to
recount here. The best pits, week-after-week, that I’ve seen in my life. It is a shame that the Coits never played the U-Turn.

Bulldog Alley was almost always ideal. I ran the spot, so it was anarchic. We destroyed acres of computers, monitors, televisions, mirrors, printers, plates, glassware and so on and so forth at the Alley. My friends could get drunk for a low, low price. Underage drinking was encouraged and bales of twank were twacked. There was free food and clothing. There was free love. I gave it away. It was ideal.

The Corpse Fortress, my friend’s house in Silver Spring, is pretty ideal, except you can’t smoke inside. Of course, the Bobby Fisher Memorial Building approached perfection. The first time I stepped in the Barclay House, in Baltimore – to see A Warm Gun, Magrudergrind and Downside Risk – it kinda blew my mind. It is a very large space covered in art and blight and all types of hardcore punks. It’s not so different from a house show in D.C., now that I think about it – I guess what impressed me was the scale. It seemed like 300 people were there – raging. Fight Club seems pretty ideal. I’ve only been there once, but I was very impressed.

I want to play the Hall of Nations at Georgetown, where Ian MacKaye saw the Cramps circa 1979.

What pisses you off about the DC music scene?

That more people don’t listen to/support go-go. The Coits are a house divided on the go-go issue, but I love it. I wish there were more mixed bills. I don’t often covet going to a hot basement to see 5 hardcore bands anymore. I’d rather see 3 hardcore bands, a riot-girl band, a go-go band and a girl playing the banjo. I recently learned that Minor Threat’s last show was with Trouble Funk, which I think is impressive.

What do you love about the DC music scene?

In 2008, punk in D.C is far more active than people who aren’t a part of it realize. It gets far more press than go-go, but far less than it deserves. I love Positive Force. I love the Velvet Lounge and Fort Reno. I love Head-Roc and the Head-Roc War Machine and the dudes from Brain Damaged and the Max Levine Ensemble.

There are many great and good bands in the D.C.-area right now. Please let me tell you about some of them, in no particular order: The Guilt, Turboslut, the Screws, Babies with Rabies, A Warm Gun, Ryan Harvey, Spooboy, Magrudergrind, Nose Leech, Exit Clov, Usuario, The Black Powder, Starve, Edie Sedgwick, Coke Bust, Equinox, Set to Explode, Sick Fix, Drugs of Faith and the Ultimate Vag. I’m sure I’m forgetting a bunch.

Why do The Coits play music?

For the kids!

What are you trying to achieve with your band?

A million things.
I am trying to let the rage out. I am trying to have a good time. I am trying to write good songs with good lyrics and perform them well for friends and curious passerby. I am trying to attract the attention of Jodie Foster.

Who would be your ideal tourmates?

Any of the bands listed above, plus Leftover Crack, NOFX, Pennywise, Murphy’s Law, Bad Religion, Billy
Bragg, Ani DiFranco, Kimya Dawson, the Germs, Pete Seeger, Willie Nelson, the Dwarves, Refused, Instant Asshole, Mudhoney, the Stooges, Black Sabbath … But ideal? Leftover Crack, I reckon.

If you could kill one famous person who would it be?

I would love to torture numerous high-level Republicans.

Is there an ethos, logos, and pathos for the Coits?

If there is pathos, it is unwitting.

What bands do you admire?

All the bands listed above, plus some of us really like GWAR, Sepultura, Megadeth, Municipal Waste, Minor Threat, Fugazi, the Sex Pistols, Devo, Nirvana, John Frusciante, Jim…, Roy Shivers and Party on Mars. I really admire artists who repeatedly choose to remain independent. I admire Johnny Bones.

If you could declare a national holiday, to what/whom would you
dedicate that day to celebrating/remembering?
John Brown.

How will The Coits break up:

With tentative plans/hopes for a reunion.