XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?
Durry: Man, we have a lot going on right now. We recently changed our name to Coyote Kid, after going by Marah in the Mainsail for the last 9 years. We have a brand new full-length story album coming out in October called the Skeleton Man. We just released a new music video for our song Femme Fatale that was shot entirely on 16mm film. And we have a few more videos and singles slated for the next few months! It’s a wild time for the band right now.
XS ROCK: So how long has the band been together?
Durry: Trick question. I (Durry) started the band with Wilder in 2010 but didn’t really take it seriously until about 2015 when we got signed and released our first album. But we also just changed our name and did kind of a soft reboot with Coyote Kid. So some would say we’ve only been around for a month. So it’s hard to say exactly. We’re a band, and we play together right now. Haha!
XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for originally starting or being in a band?
Durry: For me personally, it was always about a creative outlet and a place to tell stories. Growing up I wanted to be a comic book writer, but I found myself more adept at making music. So those two passions kind of merged into this “Story Music” thing we do now.
XS ROCK: What is your music background?
Durry: I honestly don’t have much of one before this band. I had a few guitar lessons as a kid, and then started this band when I was 17 with Wilder, who also didn’t have any formal training. All the other members went to school for music though. We’re the amateurs of the group.
XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?
Durry: Ooo I like that question. We’re a very visual band. I hope our music portrays something big, dark, mysterious, and powerful. But still with a sense of adventure and intrigue about it. I wanna leave it up to the listener to determine what our imagery would be though.
XS ROCK: What are your current music career goals?
Durry: Honestly, we’re just trying to pay the bills and keep doing what we love. We wanna see the world, and make music that means something to us, and share it with as many people as possible, while still staying sane and healthy. Anything more than that is just an added bonus.
XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
Durry: Definitely playing live. Recording is a blast, and we’re always writing, but it’s really all just a means to get back on stage with a fresh set and give the best performance we can.
XS ROCK: What are your songs’ lyrics about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Durry: So we make long-form story albums. Like a next-level concept album. Each song represents a chapter of an overarching story that spans across each album. When you buy the album you also get a written novelization of the story that pairs with the lyrics of each song. The story of the Skeleton Man is a post-apocalyptic supernatural western, following the story of the Coyote Kid, the Bloodhound, and the Medicine Crow as they traverse the desolate wasteland called the Dust Bowl.
XS ROCK: What is the single most important thing to you as a musician?
Durry: I think the most important thing is to always be looking at others and trying to understand what they want and need. This business is such an ego-fueled monster, we see so many people getting swallowed up by it and burning out. This business is about giving. Giving your art and your well being to create something that will move people. Ya know? What you contribute to the world is what should be most important in my opinion.
XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road?
Durry: Oh my gosh so many. We were once trapped in downtown New York City on a Saturday night with a 15 passenger van and a trailer. We ended up sleeping on the curb in Brooklyn, when we eventually made it there, for a 9 am studio session. That was a rough night. Pretty much every day of SXSW was a crazy story. I’ve personally had an insane amount of injuries on the tour. Just in the last year I fractured my ankle, broke my toe, dislocated my shoulder, and cracked a rib on tour. So those are always fun. (not) But the adventure is what makes touring fun right? We wouldn’t have good stories if everything went according to plan.
XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
Durry: I’m not sure if it’s the strangest request, but just recently we played a festival and this little girl came up to the merch table with a huge printed photo of a selfie she took with one of our members and wanted all of us to sign it. It was adorable, and weird, and awesome.
XS ROCK: Are your friends and family supportive of your choice to play in a rock band?
Durry: Definitely! All of our friends and family are pretty supportive of what we do. I remember there being a turning point with my parents when they realized it could be a career and not just me goofing off with my friends. Friends and family supporting artists is absolutely vital to the entire scene.
XS ROCK: What advice do you have for new bands trying to get started?
Durry: I guess I’d just say be careful who you choose to work with. In the beginning, every opportunity feels like “The big break”. But this business has a lot of snakes out there trying to take advantage of you. Really in today’s industry, you just gotta get started and do it yourself and hope people start to care about it. Google can teach you literally anything. Just gotta jump on in.
XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
Durry: Right now I think my favorite is the track Bone Crown. At the end of the song we have everybody just scream their guts out with us, and it’s become this really cool little moment when we all become one big monster altogether. It’s awesome, and so so loud. I love it.
XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
Durry: I’m a really big fan of the writing and musical style of Murder By Death, but I think it was My Chemical Romance that really inspired me to get on stage. The way they drove the crowd and how invested the fans were with them. They were just really amazing theatrical performers. I wanna have that kind of energy on stage someday.
XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
Durry: Opening for Murder By Death, every night would be an absolute dream come true. We were given the chance to open for them in our home town recently and it was possibly the best show of my life. What a wild ride.
XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
Durry: SXSW, First Ave Main Room, and opening for Murder By Death are all standout moments in my mind. But honestly, seeing the passion of our fans might be the most accomplished I can feel. The goal has always been to affect people with the music and give them something to be a part of. Seeing it in action is when I feel the most accomplished.
XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
Durry: Growing up I always wanted to make comic books. I later combined that passion with music, and that’s kinda how we came up with this whole Story Music idea. I like to think I’d do something like that. But honestly, I’d probably just be a pencil pusher somewhere slowly rotting in a cubicle. Fingers crossed this music thing pans out.
XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
Durry: We’re not too picky about gear honestly. I have two guitar pedals and a tuner taped to a 2×4, and an amp I really like. That’s about as gear heavy as we get.
XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
Durry: It’s so weird, I honestly don’t even know. I like to think we’re starting to turn a corner in the industry where the listeners are starting to support artists directly instead of listening to the radio or record labels or whatever. With Kickstarter and Patreon, we’re surviving on the passion of a relatively small audience and making products that traditionally would be out of our reach for being such a small band. All while genres are bending and bleeding into each other more and more, and new ideas are being accepted and integrated faster than ever. It’s kind of a mess, but there’s something very hopeful about it. Hopefully, the industry can catch up with itself and adjust to the new age of the internet.
XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
Durry: … I’m honestly coming up with no good answers to this question. Maybe that makes us boring? Maybe that’s the surprising fact, that we’re kinda just boring normal people.
XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
Durry: We just released a new single called Femme Fatale, but it’s ONLY THE BEGINING! We have a lot more singles and videos and stuff coming out this summer. It’s all leading up to our big album release in October. So stay tuned. Tell some friends about us. And maybe together we can really get this thing off the ground. There are no gatekeepers anymore. No record label, no management. Nobody to set limitations for us, and nobody that decides if we’re worthy. It’s just us, and all of you, together. Bringing this thing further one step at a time. Thank you for enabling us to do what we love, and we hope you love it too.
XS ROCK: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XS ROCK!
Thanks for having us!
Coyote Kid is:
Durry- lead vocals/guitar
Cassandra Valentine- lead vocals/keys/bass
Wilder- Bass/backing vocals/aux percussion
Johnny Bones- Trombone/Trumpet
Kian Dziak- Drums