In The Courtneys, the musicianship is tight, the hooks are sharp and the song craft is dynamic. The band consists of Jen Twynn Payne... (Drums/Lead Vocals), Sydney Koke (Bass/Vocals) and Courtney Loove (Guitar/Vocals). The Courtneys exude sun drenched flying nun influenced pop with sweet licks that'll stick with you for days. The debut album, 90210 is on its third pressing since its release. One of the breakout hits, “Lost Boys” is quickly gaining traction.
The Courtneys are currently on an extensive tour with Tegan and Sara and are stopping here on Thursday May 8th. I caught up with the whole band prior to the show!
I may be biased, but the name of your band is amazing. How did you decide how to name the band?
SYDNEY: Well, naming a band is very tough. I suspect that it is harder than naming a child, although I've never had to do that. We were joking around and "The Courtneys" just sounded way better than "The Jens" or "The Sydneys". When I was in elementary school all the cool girls were named Courtney and they were in a clique called The Courtneys and I totally wanted to get invited to their legendary parties. So I guess this is a nice way to compensate for being the school weirdo.
Any advice for local musicians trying to make their mark?
SYDNEY: Be real! Be as real as possible about what kind of music feels fun and interesting to make. People will be able to hear that you are being genuine when they listen to your music. Technical skill does not matter at all, in my opinion - I'm into experimental and no wave, and a lot of that stuff features instruments being played in very unconventional ways. Being in a band can be tough- musical collaboration is like another language, one that everyone learns differently. When the people in a band are diverse and have unique musical interests and backgrounds, it can create artistic tension that pushes the music in new directions. My advice is to value and respect the different elements that everyone brings to a band, and use these to your advantage!
Give us some background on The Courtneys...
JEN: After I moved to Vancouver Courtney and I tried to start a Depeche Mode inspired synth pop duo, but I don't know how to play a drum machine, and also there was a guy smoking crack in the jam space, so it didn't work out. Then Sydney dropped out of Duke University and drove across North America to play music with me, and the three of us have been together ever since.
Tell us a bit about the writing process for your hit, “Lost Boys”...
JEN: “Lost Boys” was written really organically. I'm probably going to tell this all wrong, but I think it started with a bass line? And then we had some sort of Spanish joke that was really funny and kept coming up. Anyway, instrumentally, we banged that one out pretty quickly - it came easily, and we were all really stoked on it. As for the vocals, I had been watching a lot of 24 so I started throwing around some lines about Kiefer Sutherland, and I think I made a vine about it in the early stages - oh yep, here it is: https://vine.co/v/hMPQqjqv0jw - and then the "vampire teenage boyfriend" line/melody came to me one day while I was walking to the bus.
Speaking of “Lost Boys”...Corey Haim, Jason Patric, or Kiefer Sutherland? Who was your favorite?
SYDNEY: I don't know which is which!
JEN: Kiefer, hands down.
COURTNEY: Jason Patric
What can one expect at The Courtneys show?
COURTNEY: We play a short but sugar sweet set of hard hitters only. Dancing, moshing and stage diving are strongly encouraged and massively appreciated. We play quite loud, so attendees can expect to be deaf the next day if they don't bring earplugs. Jens drum kit will need adjusting 3 times, and Sydney’s hair will get stuck in her bass at least twice. We love hanging out and making friends at shows so come and say hi!
What is next for The Courtneys? After touring with Tegan and Sara... Plans?
COURTNEY: Our plans this summer are to chill at the beach, play some softball, cruise around in Courtneys convertible, play some shows in Vancouver, and write some new jams. Summer is music video season, so we want to make a couple of music videos for some new songs, and we will have a 7" coming out on Hockey Dad Records in July sometime for our single Mars Attacks which is gonna feature our rapper pal Young Braised as well as a remix by Bobby Draino.
Enter to win tickets to the show HERE!
w/ Tegan and Sara & Lucius
Thursday, May 8th
7p Doors / 8p Show