What are your names?
My name is Clay Milford. It’s just me!
What is the band’s name?
This Coast Bias.
How did you come up with the band’s name?
I live in Oklahoma. If you know anything about Oklahoma, you know that we do not have an oceanic coastline. I grew up watching a lot of sports and I always heard the term “East Coast Bias” or “West Coast Bias.” We had it set in our minds that sports writers who lived in L.A. or New York voted or rooted for teams close to them, which I’m sure holds at least some truth. So I made a joke with my project’s name contending that I have a THIS Coast Bias, even though “this coast” would refer to a river or lake. It’s a way to pay homage to the state I love.
What is your genre of music?
I like to think I fit well within the genre of Indie Pop, but we all know that encompasses a lot of things. I’ve had bloggers or writers categorising some of my songs as bedroom pop, r&b, indie rock and regular pop, as well.
Give us a little bio about you.
I have played and loved music since I was 12 but I grew up in Oklahoma City dead set on being a professional athlete, specifically a baseball player. When I decided against that, I decided I wanted to coach baseball. When I quit that dream, I chose sports broadcasting. Then I started participating in university talent shows and figured out that I liked to perform music in front of people. I joined my university’s PR band and travelled and played music for an entire summer from sun up to sun down. That is when I started getting people together to form bands, getting serious about writing music, and began looking into what it would take to make music more than a hobby. From 2012 to 2019 I was in 3 bands, averaging one every two years or so. I felt like I could not find a group of people that wanted to dive into music as hard as I did, which is when I started This Coast Bias. It was originally supposed to be a place where I would dump song ideas, but it started to win me over more and more as a viable option to make music that I really loved and possibly even see it through to full time status one day.
What made you go into music?
My parents always had music playing. Always. My dad loves rock like Zeppelin, ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd while my mom is a disco and funk girl through and through. Hearing great music like that all the time makes you want to know how that sound is made. And just seeing the pictures on the album covers of all those musicians made me want to join in on the fun.
Who are your influences?
Prince, ABBA, Bee Gees, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Tame Impala, A24 movies, Martin Scorsese, yellow legal pads, great snow cones, street tacos, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Weeknd, Max Martin and Mutt Lange. Just to name a few.
Are you signed?
You released your new single “breakdown”, tell us more about the single.
“breakdown” is my first TCB song I would label as true indie rock; it’s got an unending drive to it. It’s short and snappy, with a great guitar hook and a kind of tension that I haven’t explored with this project until this track.
What is the meaning behind the single?
I wrote “breakdown” as a personal song first, but I think it could give way to a wider interpretation. It’s about my complicated relationship with the future. I like to control things. I like to feel like I am under control of my emotions and my financial situation but these last few years have pressed the buttons I did not want pressed, as I am sure we can all relate to on some level. At the same time, though, I love thinking about the future. I like planning, I like being organized, and I love dreaming. This song was a way for me to get some therapy. I wrote a narrative into it of a version of myself that is just going to “press the gas” in life. He is going to drive forward no matter what, and I hope to adopt a piece of that in my own life. The other interpretation one might gather is a commentary on society and how it seems as though we are snowballing toward an interesting climax in human history, but that may be too much analysis for one question.
What was the writing and recording process like?
I do some writing to pitch to music supervisors for sync and licensing opportunities, so the verses for “breakdown” were actually already written for another track I finished earlier this year. I threw those lyrics in there after I had a chorus written because they fit so well thematically with the hook and feel of the song. The first instrument I recorded was the main guitar riff, though. I was just messing around in Ableton with a program called Guitar Rig and I found that beautiful little preset you hear. The first thing I did was play the riff that ended up in the song, but a key higher. I instantly recorded it and what you hear on the song is the first take. I think the first take holds a ton of magic. I didn’t even make sure I was tuned up or anything, it just sounded so raw and gorgeous. From there I recorded bass, added some extra guitars and perc, wrote the chorus, and laid down the vocals. For vocals I like recording four takes which I stack; one of them is usually the first time I try singing the song. I also do my best to sing it all the way through. Like with the guitar, I love the energy of a first take so long as everything sounds in key and on beat.
Describe the track in two words.
Who did you work with on the single?
I record all of my instruments and vocals myself, but the mixing and mastering was done by my new friend Mikey Schumer, aka Antiserum.
Will we see a Music video for ‘breakdown’, what can we expect from the creative process?
That is very possible! I would love to. I have toyed around with the notion of doing some Gallagher-inspired smashing videos on TikTok, but we’ll see.
Will we see an Album or EP this year and if so, what can we expect from it?
I am pretty laid into the single method right now, so no immediate plans for an EP at the moment, but you can expect new singles every six weeks or so from me!
Do you have any live shows or a tour coming up and if so let us know where we can catch you at?
I am in the opening slot for a show here in Oklahoma City on July 24th at Ponyboy!
What else can we expect in 2022?
Tons of new music (in several genres), lots of TikToks, and a zero percent chance that I’ll take myself too seriously.
Will we see any collaborations and if so, can you tell us more about them?
No plans at the moment, but my guy Mikey Schumer is possibly working on a “breakdown” remix!
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
Touring, writing music for sync and other artists, and making a living on music every single day.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
“Talent is your nemesis.” -Nick Saban.
Like I mentioned before, I love sports. I am an avid University of Oklahoma sports fan so a college coach like Nick Saban (who is at Alabama) is a guy I see a lot of. Many would say he is the greatest college football coach of all time so a quote from him holds tremendous weight. It can be applied to so many things, especially music. I never want to get to a place where I think talent rules. Hard work, effort, and creativity will always beat talent in my mind. I want to try and live every day like that. I never want to think I am too cool to try hard.
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
Lots of water, a sweat towel, eat before I go on, talk to people that came out to see me, and stretch. I move around a lot when I play so that last one is crucial.