COIN embraces mid-20s’ ‘growing pains’


Courtesy Michelle Greco

COIN embraces mid-20s’ ‘growing pains’

By Miranda Manier

COIN is an example of the value of connections made in college. Belmont University classmates Chase Lawrence, Ryan Winnen, Joe Memmel and Zach Dyke teamed up in 2013 after Memmel and Lawrence took a music theory class together. The group has been crafting upbeat indie pop tunes since. 

These tunes have included the 2015 single “Run” and the 2017 single “Talk Too Much.” COIN recently followed up its 2017 album How Will You Know If You Never Try with the single “Growing Pains.” The band made a stop on its tour of the album and accompanying single at the House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn St., Feb. 24.  

The Chronicle spoke to Lawrence, COIN’s lead vocalist, keyboardist and songwriter, about the band’s stylized name, themes of the band’s latest album and what it’s like to be a young artist.

THE CHRONICLE: What does the name COIN mean and why is it all caps? 

CHASE LAWRENCE: The all caps is not so deep. When we first started, we did not like how the lowercase “i” looked. [As for the name itself], I just wanted to play one show. That was the whole point of the band; it started just to play one show. So we weren’t thinking hard about the name. I live close to where the Kentucky Derby happens, that’s where I’m from, so I looked through this horse race database of [horse names], and I found this one named Lucky Coin. So I was like, “Luck. That’s what I’ll call us.” And it was obviously taken. So I was like, “I guess coin?” 

What themes appear in How Will You Know If You Never Try

Missed opportunity. A lot of it has to do with regret and potentially not having regret. In retrospect, it does get a little preachy at times, and that’s where we were. We were having a lot of existential questions. 

 [“Growing Pains” is] more honest and conversational with where we are as people, rather than where we are as icons, or as a legacy. It’s more about where we are at 25. 

How has COIN grown since you got together in college? 

I’d say my early 20s are the weirdest time of my life so far. You’re so vulnerable, and you’re figuring out who you are. We’ve all personally grown, and musically [and creatively] is a whole other thing. We’re finally learning how to work each other’s weaknesses. In times past, we’ve all had strengths, and we’ve learned how to work [those] from day one, but now we’re learning how to use each other’s weaknesses to our advantages. 

What makes COIN different than other indie pop bands? 

We came in at an interesting time when the genre didn’t really exist; there wasn’t a name for it. There’s such an over-saturation of these bands, and it’s become a scene and a sound, and people are almost impersonating at times. Just to check the boxes of, “This is what an indie pop song needs. It needs claps, xylophone.” These melodies and these sounds, they come out of me. I can just sit at a piano when I wake up in the morning with these melodies in my mind.