The Coathangers Return To Burger A-Go-Go

The Coathangers

THE COATHANGERS return to Burger A-Go-Go Sept. 4 Photo: Jeff Forney

With less sugar and more spice fueling their raw and commanding music, The Coathangers will head to The Observatory on Sep. 4 for the second annual Burger A-Go-Go festival. The band, comprised of Meredith Franco (bass / vocals), Julia Kugel (guitar / vocals) and Stephanie Luke (drums / vocals), will bring their punch-in-the-gut assortment of songs to the stage and deliver what is sure to be an energy-packed performance. With four albums under their belt and another soon to be in the works, the trio’s music has reached a new level of refinement while maintaining its high-intensity punk origins.

Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, The Coathangers originally formed as a quartet with the sole ambition of playing house parties and satisfying their insatiable appetite for fun. Without any previous experience playing music, the women grabbed gear, practiced a ton and started opening for bands like The Hiss and The Black Lips.

The band describes the music scene in Atlanta with a tenderness that is in juxtaposition to their hardline music. Supported by their Atlanta counterparts, their music quickly began to garner its own fanbase thanks to its raucous power. The Coathangers took the time to speak with Concert Guide Live and let us in on some of the fun that’s ensued since they first picked up their instruments.

CONCERT GUIDE LIVE: You’ve played Burger A Go-Go in the past. What is the event like as an artist? Are there any sets that you are looking forward to watching at the 2015 festival?
THE COATHANGERS: The event is always a blast, almost like a reunion of sorts because you get to see other bands you’ve played with in the past. As far as this year, we are stoked to see all of the amazing bands they lined up, really stoked for Cat Power!

CGL: What is one of the most bizarre moments that has happened at a Coathangers show?
TC: Ooof ha, well, recently when we were in Bulgaria, we played in this little square outside and the entire village came out, like grandma, grandpa, kids, homeless dudes, there were dogs and like maybe a handful of punk kids. While we were playing on this makeshift stage, they all slowly made their way up on stage with us dancing like maniacs, chanting, high fiving, it was madness but it was also one of our favorite shows of all time. There was also a shit ton of free whiskey at that show, so that probably helped.

CGL: How have your live performances evolved since you first started playing?
TC: Well they’ve gotten way better, that’s a biggie! We’ve also gotten a bit more serious, like no more balloons and cookies at shows, playing the correct amount of time, not a lot of talking between songs, we just wanna get the energy waaaaay up and try and keep it there.

CGL: Have you seen your fanbase change much over the years? If so, how is it different today than it has been in the past?
TC: I think for the most part our fanbase is pretty much the same, just bigger. Ha! We have fans that range from our friends’ moms to the kids in the “scene”. It’s really gratifying because we want everyone to dig the music and I think that’s what’s happening.

CGL: What is the Atlanta music community like?
TC: It’s great! Like one big family, everyone knows everyone and helps each other out with getting shows, merch, recording etc. Atlanta’s music scene can be looked over sometimes, but it’s really great. Everything from metal to indie to garage to soul to noise, good stuff.

CGL: Who are you currently listening to?
TC: I’m currently listening to Curtis Harding, King Tuff, CCR, Stooges, Fiend Without A Face…We listen to everything. I’m personally trying to catch up on older music I’ve missed out on, and it affects everything. I think that’s why although we are deemed “punk” or “indie”. We are a hard band to explain sonically, which I think is great. Mass confusion!

CGL: Your 2014 album Suck My Shirt definitely had a more refined feel, while maintaining the intensity of your previous three albums. Has your writing process changed at all over the years?
TC: It has. I think every album we try and step up our songwriting game, especially on the album we are about to record. We write a song then play it a billion times then go, “Well, what if we put the chorus as the intro? Or maybe shift that weird guitar part to the end?” Stuff like that.

CGL: Are you doing any recording currently? Any plans for a new album?
TC: We go into the studio to record our fifth LP Aug./Sep. and it’ll come out next spring, it’s gonna be some next level shiiiiiiit.