Name a band––any band––that got signed to a label before playing a single concert.
Used up all your lifelines yet?
Well, in the Bandcamp Era––a time when labels rely as much on search results as they do concert-scouting––that’s now a thing.
A few years back, a +1 Records rep searched for “#indiepop” on Bandcamp and stumbled across some tunes written and produced by guitarist Luke Atlas and drummer Coleman Trapp.
“We weren’t really a band at all and weren’t planning to be one, we were just producers and songwriters working in L.A. and getting burned out on the pop scene,” Atlas says.
Trapp’s hopes of making it big had shrunk so small, in fact, that he had returned to his Denver hometown and “written off the music industry entirely,” according to Atlas.
“Our label has told us to ‘embrace the chaos’”
Nonetheless, the working relationship between the two endured. Then, for the hell of it, the duo posted a couple of the songs on Bandcamp.
Within a month, they received an email from the +1 rep, asking if the duo had other material. They didn’t, but thanks to some BS’ing and a week’s worth of time, the pair cobbled together more songs.
One of them, 2015’s “Hollow Life,” was a game-changer. It reached #2 on The Hype Machine in its first week, garnering 10,000 plays.
Atlas, Trapp and +1, all unsure of what lie ahead, initially agreed to a deal stipulating four singles, with the option for an album. Atlas and Trapp had a wrinkle to iron out: They had never performed live together, and Coleman, tasked with handling vocals, had never sung onstage.
“Our first show as Coast Modern was at South by Southwest, and it was completely chaotic,” Atlas recalls. But Coast Modern persevered, releasing seven singles before dropping a mixtape on 4/20 and finally issuing their first album in late July 2017. They were recently upstreamed to 300 Entertainment and inked a two-album deal.
“We’ve had a quick learning curve,” Atlas says. “But our label has told us to ‘embrace the chaos,’ and that’s become our motto.”
Date Signed: May 2016
Label: 300 Entertainment
Band Members: Coleman Trapp, Luke Atlas
Type of Music: Pop
Management: Elyse Rogers at SVP Global Touring
Publicity: Lily Golightly at No Big Deal PR, Lily@NoBigDealPR.com