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Tom Coyne of FEAST Interview

17 July 2020 No Comment

1926656_10202443307501355_2125767733_nFEAST is the new exciting brainchild of 45 Grave drummer Tom Coyne.  The project is completely different than 45 Grave with an exceptional sound and vibe that needs to be experienced. Here is our interview with Tom Coyne.

What is FEAST all about?

The original idea was to do a drum/vocal duet along the lines of The Creatures, but with Terry Bozzio style drumming. Melodic, ostinado based drumming. Back in 1995 I did a single gig as FEAST. It was just me on drums and Terri Kennedy on vocals. It was very tribal, minimal and exciting.

Over the years I had recorded various ‘drum pieces’ which were planned for other projects but were never used. In 2019 some new tracks were recorded specifically for the FEAST! project.

When the Covid 19 shutdown started I thought it would be interesting to send the drum tracks to different musicians who, suddenly, were stuck at home and had time to spare. It has morphed into a situation similar to what PIGFACE did in the 1990’s. A mutating amalgam of players, personalities and styles.

As a drummer it is difficult to lead a band like Bill Bruford or Jojo Meyer have done. But nobody wants to listen to drum solos other than other drummers! This way I can showcase some of the drumming ideas I am interested in and put them in a more musical context.

Tell us about the musicians?

My idea was to mix it up and use as many of my musician friends as possible.

So far I’ve got tracks being worked on by several artists around the country. The first one to get released, “Melech Malchei Hamelechim”, has music by Mario and Heather Macias.  They are a very talented couple in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I was in a goth band with Heather in the early 1990’s so I knew I wanted her voice. I had no idea what a great musician Mario is! Finding him has been a real gift.

My friends from the Seattle Steam Punk scene, Mel and Paul Mayden, are working on the next release, a tribal 5/4 track called “Cleansing “. Paul was in the popular Steam Punk band Abney Park, along with multi-instrumentalist Nathaniel Johnstone. He added some great violin from his new base in Rhode Island.

I’m also working on a really moody track of a 12 year old drum track with Mario and Heather. This one will pair Heather’s ethereal voice with a real rock singer from LA named Chris Strompolos. He is in the Steve Perry mold. Really powerful. He is actual known as the kid who reshot “Raiders of the Lost Ark” with his friends in the 80’s. There is a book and movie about it.

Another track is being worked on by the musical mad scientist known as Andrew Benajamin, the genius behind the art/circus/vaudeville/punk band HELLBLNKI.

FEAST-album-artWhat does Melech Malchei Hamelechim mean??

It translates into “King of Kings”.

Heather and Mario have a music project called “Winter of Our Faith” which does Jewish spiritual music. The lyrics come out of that.

What inspires the drum beats and the music?

Just things I come across in practice. Working on rudiments around the kit, or sticking ideas that come from books like “Stick Control”. Some things just come out as soon as you sit down at the kit, the the 5/4 groove in “Cleansing “. Other things take more work to be able to play. Sometimes it sounds like music and implies a melody, other times not so much!

Once my collaborators get the trax they have freedom to play whatever they want. The drums will suggest things to them, rhythms, textures, feelings and colors.

Will this be a live act? Who would be in it?

Hopefully it will. I can see FEAST! working at cons like DragonCon , belly dance events or Goth themed cons. Since there is not set line up I can play music with whoever is available. There are always musicians jamming and playing in each other’s bands at these events. That is how I’ve met most of my collaborators.

What other projects are you involved in?

Most people know me as the drummer in 45 Grave, the legendary Goth Rock band of “Night of the Living Dead” fame. I’ve been with Dinah Cancer for 12 years now. We put out a record in 2012 and have played a lot of great shows all over from LA to Germany, Mexico City and Santiago, Chile.

Before that I played in The Last Dance, a Goth band I toured with for about 10 years.

This past June a new band I play in, PENDEJOS OF DOOM, put out a 6 song EP. It sounds like DEVO mixed with YES!

I have been the touring drummer with another legendary LA Death rock band, Kommunity FK, since 2018.

I’ve also played with the pop punk band Down By Law, Virigina Goth Rockers Bella Morte and Steam Punk/Folk artist Nathaniel Johnstone, onstage and on record.

What else do you have planned?

My hope is to release a new song every 3 to 5 months, with different people on each one. Eventually I will have a full album! I would like to do some shows…either solo or with various musicians and dancers.

_MG_0829How does the recording work when you have collaborators all around the country?

I have many hours of recorded drums. These are multi track recordings, unmixed. Some are from as far back as 2009, some from this year. I will send a track to one or two people to see if they are inspired to write to them. Sometimes nothing happens. Sometimes they get inspired at write music that fits what I already played. For instance I worked with Paul Mayden on the bass part for “Cleansing“ for several weeks before we had Mel sing on it. She knocked it out in a weekend. On “Melech” Mario sent me back a finished song within 3 weeks of getting my track!

How would describe the drumming in FEAST?

Tribal, moody, melodic drumming. It is heavily influenced by Budgie’s playing on the first Creatures album (hence the FEAST! name) and Terry Bozzio’s melodic, ostinado based solo drum music of the early 1990’s. A lot of the ideas come from jazz and World Music along with the different drumming concepts that I’ve been interested in. Polyrythms, melody, odd time signatures, etc.

The Melech Malchei Hamelechim music video can be viewed here: 


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