An Interview with The Courtneys

Vancouver garage-rock / DIY-pop power trio The Courtneys are on their way to our Sunburned Country very soon, toting their latest release: a finely wrought ten-tracker simply titled II.  To get the scoop straight from the source, we got in touch with bass player, vocalist and X-Files aficionado Sydney Koke (pictured, right).

Lyndon Blue: The Courtneys are the first non-New Zealand band to sign with Flying Nun records. How does it feel to be a part of that label’s legacy, which is very synonymous with NZ underground culture in a way? It strikes me as a very 21st century moment, people finding that musical affinity on opposite sides of the world. 

Sydney Koke: It feels amazing! We've been really inspired by bands on Flying Nun for years, it's a dream come true. 

LB: From what I understand, the first Courtneys tape and album were pretty spontaneous DIY things, and the second album took a lot longer and you got a bunch of different people involved. Was either of those approaches more rewarding? Do you feel like you’re leaning one way or the other for next time around? 

SK: I think as a musician it's great to try lots of different approaches to writing and recording. You get to see what works and hopefully to be able to learn some new tricks and strategies. Next time we'll probably try something new!

LB: In your KEXP live set and interview you discussed how The Courtneys have their own softball team. That’s awesome. We have a thing in Australia called the Reclink Community Cup where bands become Aussie Rules football teams and play against radio presenters. Do you reckon you’ll have a kick of the footy while you’re here? 

SK: I'm afraid of balls flying at my face! 

LB: I know you’ve all been playing in bands for years and have performed alongside a lot of amazing artists (some of whom I imagine were an influence on your own stuff). Are there any acts that especially stand out? And anyone who’s still on the “bucket list”?

SK: Well we all love Teenage Fanclub, so I think we would be pretty stoked to open for them. Also The Clean of course!! Personally, opening for the Soft Pack was a pretty big deal for me, and recently we played a festival with the Thurston Moore group and I got to meet Debbie Googe from My Bloody Valentine!! She's so nice, I was thrilled!!

LB: Apart from playing good songs to good people what are you most psyched for during your Australia visit? 

SK: Seeing all the buddies! Last time round we made so many friends, we love the Australians! 

LB: Feel free to ignore this question but I think I remember from somewhere that you’re X-Files fans, do you have a favourite episode? None of my friends are really into the X-Files so I rarely get a chance to ask people this. 

SK: Thank you for asking this excellent question. My favourite episode of X-Files is the one where the internet takes over a trailer in the woods, and captures Mulder. And then a satellite blows everything up.

The Courtneys play Mojo's Bar on August 29, 2017. Tickets are available here:

Lyndon Blue