The Masculin Feminin of Diane Coffee
    • FRIDAY, JULY 24, 2015

    • Posted by: Becky Foinchas

    [Ed. Note: Yes, the headline is spelled correctly, though I suppose it's missing accent marks. We didn't mean "masculine feminine". It's a Godard joke.]

    Foxygen drummer, Shawn Fleming, had been housing a sea of musical craftsmanship stemming far beyond the confines of rhythmic servitude. With that level of compositional wit, unruly theater, and playful pizazz, Fleming graciously decided to branch out into the wonderful world of solo artistry under the eccentric new moniker, Diane Coffee. And with the introduction of his latest track "Mayflower,"I think it's safe to say that Mr. Coffee will be that shot of much needed espresso on your otherwise dreary Monday morning.

    His neo-glam-folk flair has raised both eyebrows and questions regarding how his already matured sound has come to be. The attempt to categorically pin any of his influences, style choices, and genre may leave you in a musical sandstorm of frustrated bliss. Thankfully we were given the chance to ask Diane Coffee about the pressing questions that have led to his rise as a solo musicianship and some of his work leading up to this groundbreaking point.

    You have an awesome, classic 60's folk sound to your music fused with a sheening production style that gives your tracks a bit of a modern sensibility. Who do you take most of your influence from?

    My influences are ever changing. I love the production styles of Richard Swift, who has a similarly retro sound, Jon Brion, who sounds are very polished and forward. Theatrical artists like Meatloaf and Bowie were big influences on this record as well.

    Correct me if I'm wrong but I've read that Diane Coffee comes from a Nathan Pelkey song, "Mr. Coffee," as well as Diana Ross. The name contains a cool androgynous sense to it. Was there any other external influence(s) for the androgynous name besides the amalgamation of the two musicians?

    I knew I wanted the name to be female. I enjoy the play between the masculine and feminine archetypes. But other than that, there really isn't anything deeper about the name choice. Jonathan Rado and Jackie Cohen were both in the room when I first decided on the name. They liked it, I liked it, and that was that.

    You were on Run the Jewels' killer track "Crown" last year. What was it like working with them and with a group that's not necessarily your style?

    First let me just say that they are two of the nicest and genuinely talented people I've ever met. They were incredibly accommodating and working with them was fast, easy, and loads of fun. They showed me the raw bones of the song, set me up with a mic and told me to just "do my thing."

    "Mayflower" is a colossal track with a powerful "wall of sound" that kicks off the song. Can we expect this kind of grandiose sound on "Everybody's A Good Dog"?

    Seeing as though the last album was such a "Make Due With What You Got" kind of thing, having access to a proper studio and working with my incredible engineer Tim Smiley allowed me to fully realize the large and lush sound I wanted for "Everybody's A Good Dog". It's definitely the most dynamic record I've ever made.

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