Beachwood Coyotes Break the "Silence" (and the Mold of Indie Bands)

Not your average indie band, but your average indie photo.
Not your average indie band, but your average indie photo.
Courtesy of Beachwood Coyotes

"If you come see us, maybe you'll get a bruise or two," jokes Jason Nott, frontman of Beachwood Coyotes. "You might get bashed around a little bit, if you like that."

Nott is referencing his performance about 20 minutes prior, during which he ran into a member of one of the other bands on the bill. The singer and guitarist apologized ("I really liked his band!") for bumping his fellow musician after climbing down from the Wayfarer's stage to perform the last few songs of the set among the audience, but it's the kind of energetic show Beachwood Coyotes have become known for around both LA and OC. That level of intensity helps to separate the quartet from many of the other local indie acts, and it might be the only difference in Nott's opinion.

"I think being a young band is harder than ever," Nott says. "I don't think we stand out from anybody, it's just about who catches us at the right moment. We just love what we do, and I think you'll see that if you see us play."

Although Beachwood Coyotes only formed about four years ago and went through frequent lineup changes until early 2015, Nott's been touring with bands since he was 16. It was when his last band broke up that Nott called upon his childhood friend and now guitarist Al Curtis to start a band, and after a Craigslist search and a little networking, drummer Bryan King and bassist Drew Smith rounded out the final Beachwood Coyotes lineup. Even as a relatively young band, Nott's near-decade of experience on the road means he knows what it takes to keep a band together, and Beachwood Coyotes aren't going anywhere.

"People will have a band for two years now, and they'll stop if it doesn't work out," Nott says. "Attention spans are short, no one has that passion, and the market is just so saturated with shit now. It's so easy to get a band together."

But among the hundreds of melody-driven indie rock bands out there, a Beachwood Coyotes show isn't exactly the head-bobbing hipster-fest you'd expect to see. Energy-wise, Nott and crew are more similar to a punk or hardcore show (hence the bruises) who just happen to prefer singing over screaming much of the time. They come by it naturally, as Nott cites the Clash as his favorite band ever, with a love for '80s hardcore as well.

"We don't sound anything like Black Flag or anyone like that, but I love those bands because they had attitude and they didn't give a fuck," Nott says. "I love anything that's tongue-in-cheek and fun and keeps you on your toes. I dig that and it's always going to be part of our sets."

When he's not busy bruising fans and other bands during his live performances, Nott's generally cracking jokes between songs. Whether he's making fun of the people with their arms crossed in the back of the room or claiming to have just written the guitar riff of AC/DC's "Thunderstruck," it's a refreshing change of pace from many up-and-coming bands who take themselves entirely too seriously.

"Comedy's always been a big part of my life, so it just kind of seeps in there," Nott says. "I just want to be a little different if I can be. I would love to do stand-up comedy and music, and I don't think I've ever seen a musician become a stand-up comedian before. Maybe I'll be the first."

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