Coyote Kisses have solidified that they are a force to be reckoned with. The electronic duo of Joe Sussingham and Bryce Bresnan, both 22, released their latest project, Thundercolor EP, a week ago, and it has already climbed the charts with their original dance beats.
The college students from Washington and Lee and New College of Florida, respectively, made their debut in February 2012 with their first EP that featured the aptly-named title track of "Acid Wolfpack" and "Galactic Love Song." The pair is also known for their covers and remixed hits, including Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" and Gotye's "Somebody That I Used To Know." (Street cred: CRJ commissioned Coyote Kisses' version as the official remix, and the duo has won remix competitions for Mad Decent and OWSLA -- which are Diplo's and Skrillex's labels, respectively.)
The newest album comprises four tracks: "Diving at Night," "Stay With You," "This Is How You Know" and "Changing Guard." From the band's name to the dream-like quality of Thundercolor, the duo sets itself apart from other "anger-driven" electronic music, and this was no accident.
We have the exclusive on these up-and-comers. SNEAK PEEK: These southerners have upheld their identities within a music genre that, at initial glance, may repel them.
How did Coyote Kisses come to be?
It started as a VERY different monster. Both Joe and I were seniors in high school when we started playing music together. I played keyboards, and Joe played guitar. We tried forming a sort of lo-fi punk band, but that fell through pretty quickly. Joe and I kept playing together though, off and on. Eventually we went for electro/synth pop using my keyboards and garage band. We would record vocals and be generally embarrassing to our friends. At one point we decided we were going to try our hand at hard electronic dance music. We bought ourselves a copy of Ableton and never looked back.
Where did the name Coyote Kisses come from?
We derived our name kind of randomly. Coming up with a name is really hard, Coyote Kisses was the only thing that sounded right to us. When we first started, we wanted to be the cowboys of dance music, sort of as a joke. But we kept it 'cause it's got interesting imagery, reflects our southern roots, and it felt unique.
Describe your workflow when producing a song. What is the process you go through when working on a new track?
We exclusively use Ableton, and recently we've been focusing more on live instrumentation. Each song varies. We're writing music about 20 hours a week. But we're in school, so that's mostly during the weekends and at night. And we go to different schools, so when we get together for break we'll work hard and go on little music binges. But we're graduating this month, so that dynamic is about to change.
"Acid Wolfpack" is still one of my favorites. It has such an incredible sound, and it seems to be the song that gained you the most attention. What did that song teach you about your identity as producers, and how did it shape your approach to future projects?
"Acid Wolfpack" let people know that we had potential. That song was really a summer art project. There was something pure about it because no one knew who we were. It was entirely for us. It was the first time we've gotten real recognition, so it made us think that maybe gaining some notoriety was within reach. It gave us confidence and was a definite turning point. Also, we put so much time into that song, hopefully that's clear. So, if anything, it showed people that we were willing to put a ton of work and heartache into every track we release and hold ourselves to really high standards. That's something we've tried to carry forward with every track since.
"Dead Giveaway." Just because I literally just heard it for the first time a couple days ago, and it's still stuck in my head
Quick: Download or stream? Why?
Download. We typically will encourage people to steal a song if they're not planning on buying it. At the end of the day, we'd rather they have it and enjoy it. We've certainly stolen too much music over the years to whine about people stealing ours.
If you could put on a show anywhere in the world, with any artists by your side, where would it be and who would be a part of it?
We like small rooms, intimate shows where we can really make a connection with the crowd. So to answer your question, we'd play with Van Halen, Van Gogh and Van Wilder... in the back of a van (for consistency).
You're given the opportunity to meet anyone in history -- past or present. Who would you choose, and what would be the first thing you discuss?
Genghis Khan. But we wouldn't speak at all. It'd be more of a staring match or a battle of wills.
Have you ever kissed a coyote? If so, wow. If not, could we set that up?
No, but a Coyote has kissed me.
You just recently released your Thundercolor EP, which is a must-hear. What were you trying to accomplish with the EP, and how would you compare the contents to your past songs/projects?
We worked on getting an EP out for a year, but all of those tracks came together mostly in the last few months. We wanted to make a statement that we were more than electronic music group, that we didn't want to follow trends anymore. We wanted it to be an amalgamation of what we were listening to, what we've learned about production and how we're evolving personally. Those tracks encapsulate that. We feel like we are about to depart on a journey, so the music has a dreamy, emotional, wide-eyed feel. That's how we're feeling right now. We want to make music that makes people happy, whether they are dance music fans or not. We wanted to make music that was energetic, but not angry or scary. That feels like something that's missing from a lot of what's coming out of dance music right now.
Quick: Favorite TV show (current or past)?
Weather Channel. Past. Their new programming is too flashy.
Your sound lends itself to vocals, and the applied vocal samples are always seamless. Do you plan to work with more vocalists in the future?
We're working on our live show right now and a big part of that is vocal training. Both Joe and I sing and eventually we'd like to get back to our roots as a live rock band utilizing our own vocals.
If you could trap your worst enemy in a room and play either "Gangnam Style" or "Harlem Shake" on repeat, which one would you choose, and why?
I wouldn't wish that on anyone.
What advice would you give to aspiring artists/producers?
For anyone making music, there are a couple important things. Musical training is critical. We've been at this for years. There are lots of examples of people shortcutting to fame but they won't make a serious impact in the long-run. Being a real musician takes training; anyone can write music, but being a musician requires more of you. It's like anything else, if you put enough time into it you'll get results. Pick up a guitar; take piano lessons; learn basic music theory.
Listen to Coyote Kisses' EP here.