Interview: John Coffey

With the album details coming out today, we had a talk with the boys in John Coffey and their future plans. New singer David achter de Molen and guitarist Alfred van Luttikhuizen answered our questions.

Introduce yourselves please.

John Coffey is a loud rock ‘n roll/punk band from Utrecht, the Netherlands. We make heavy punk rock music and we always try to rock peoples socks off, get them to mosh around and in the end scream along with the choruses! It doesn’t matter whether they’re in the crowd or in a living room, we want the last kid standing still, moving around and leaving the show thinking to himself: “I’m gonna do this myself!” You might think of the latest work of The Ghost of a Thousand and Every Time I Die when listening.

Can you tell in a few lines what your last concept album was about?

In the process of writing Vanity we went into a boot camp where even Rocky Balboa himself would have struggled with. We tried to make a record that was relevant in every way. If there wasn’t a necessity in a guitarriff or scream we wouldn’t play it. That record really came from the deep.
During the writing process the words ‘vanity’ and ‘arrogance’ really became a thing. We started talking about it and of course our own bit of vanity and arrogance. And it had to be dealt with. It had to be shot. So that’s’ why we made a record with a bullet hole straight through it. Vanity just got shot.

New line-up, new start?

Yeah, you can tell that again. When two of the guys decided to quit last year it became clear that this was a new step for us. A good friend of us, Chris (guitars), filled in for a while and after two months he joined permanent. We found David (singer) through an audition. The moment he grabbed the microphone and started screaming we knew it was a match. The new line-up brought one great working machine so far! The live feeling with the five of us is really good so it promises something good for the coming try-out tours and the next record.

Can we expect a change in sound?

Yes. After the Vanity tour had ended we knew the next one was going to be far louder. And so it did. Chris brought some great talent and good looks in the band. He also brings a great guitar sound and gives that John Coffey vibe when playing a live show! David really hits the spot on the vocals, he does an amazing job on the new songs. He’ll remind you a bit of Dallas Taylor (Maylene and the Sons of Disaster) and Christian Lindskog (Blindside).

What’s the idea for your forthcoming album? You want to raise money to finance it, correct?

Yes. We’re raising a part of the money necessary to finance our next record through SellaBand. The idea is that people help us by giving money, while getting cool stuff back like shirts, vinyl’s, Limited Edition John Coffey Guitars, live shows or guestlist spots to shows, etc. So far it’s really going well.

You’re gonna record with Pelle Gunnerfeldt, the man behind Refused‘s Songs To Fan The Flames Of Discontent. Why do you guys wanna record your new album with him?

Yeah, that’s one dream coming true right there! Pelle is an amazing producer who indeed did an amazing job for Refused, but also for lots of other bands like The Hives and Ghost Of A Thousand. We have been thinking of working with him for a long time. When we played a few shows with the guys of tGOAT we got his phone number from them and just gave it a shot. He liked the demo’s we sent him and the rest is history.

I also heard a rumor that Jag Jago from The Ghost of a Thousand will be involved?

That might just be one of the best parts of it. tGOAT has always been a big inspiration for us! When we heard New Hopes, New Demonstrations, we were blown away by the songs and the sound. To have Jag assisting Pelle and thinking along on our new songs is crazy! It kind of feels like “the best of punkrock” have gathered to make our record awesome.

So you’re planning to become the next No Turning Back?

The world wide touring they do, and respect they get from their fans is amazing! So for that part, yeah. On the other hand, our music is nothing close to NTB. We just want to be out there with them, hitting the stage and let the world see that we have a lot of great loud music in Holland!

How do you plan on combining school/work with becoming famous?

For most of us now John Coffey has priority. Last year three of us quit their jobs. David is the only one still in school after this summer, so he has to be creative on that part and probably has to skip a few classes here and there, haha!

What are your expectations for the outcome of this record?

We’re taking it one step at a time. Working with Pelle and Jag is our main focus now. The record will be out somewhere next year and we’re talking to some of the right people at the moment to make it happen on the promotional and business side of things. The main thing is that we’re dying to hit the stage and perform the new songs live to the fans.

Where will you guys be one year from now?

Wherever touring leads! It would be really cool to be promoting our new album all over Holland, Europe and the States a year from now! For now, except for a few small tours this summer, we’ll be in Utrecht, working around the clock to get this album done!

Thanks a lot David and Alfred. Good luck with all the plans!

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