Sloopy Coos Canyon is Pierre Plantevin (’16), Luke MacDonald (’17), Nicole Roman-Johnston (’16), and Erin McGrath (‘16). They make music that’s laden with misty guitars and cooing vocals, forming songs that are essentially rock lullabies.
The weekend before spring break was Sloopy Coos Canyon’s last show on campus before Erin (guitar, vocals) left to work on a bee conservation project at the Joshua Tree. The show was a mixture of everything from silliness to bitter sweetness, a highlight of which, quite fittingly, was their song "Don’t Leave, Don’t Go" . The lyrics of the song, “Don’t drive away tomorrow/and leave me here in sorrow” struck a pretty sensitive chord with the audience, who weren’t the only ones to feel this wave of sadness. At the end of our interview with Sloopy Coos Canyon, there were tears from Nicole who described the experience of being in such a band as “meaningful,” proof that this band is something pretty special.
Helly Manson and Adam Ettelbrick sat down with Sloopy Coos Canyon to ask them a few relatively nonsensical questions about their beautiful time in the band, kitchen appliances and most importantly, Lord Voldemort.
AW: Where did the band name come from?
Nicole: Good question. At first we were called “Naked Acid Wedding,” and I guess that was temporary. I think it came from the messaging back and forth this past summer on G-mail. The word “sloopy” came from “The Beach Boys” song “Sloopy John B” and also because the iPhone text tone called “Note” makes a “ding!” sound. It’s like the starting pitch of the ding. That’s where the “sloop” part came from!
Luke: “Coos Canyon” is a place in Maine, which is where I’m from.
Nicole: And it’s a nice sound.
AW: So you formed this summer?
Erin: Nicole and I were writing songs at the end of last year and then we had our first show. The day of the show we asked Luke to play drums and then we were born! We practiced with Luke in the library of Buddhist House like an hour before the show.
AW: How as a band would you survive in the Amazonian Jungle?
Erin: I think Nicole would befriend all the woodland animals.
Nicole: And we’d find all the fruit and eat it!
Erin: Oh and we’d sing to the creatures.
Nicole: And then all the poisonous dart frogs would dance and we’d do an awesome show. We’d teach a monkey how to use a video camera and we’d videotape it, put it on YouTube and someone would be like “Oh Sloopy Coos Canyon is in the rainforest, let’s go by helicopter!” The end!
AW: Pierre, this is a special question for you. Why aren’t you in the band photo on Aural Wes?
Pierre: Well, cause y’know, Aural Wes has had issues in the past with me and my band. But mainly I’m a new addition. That’s probably the real reason. I’ve tried to quit multiple times, but...
Nicole: He tried to let us kick him out!
Pierre: It’s been terrible.
AW: If you were to describe your band’s sound as a weather pattern, what would it be?
Erin: Post rain.
Luke: Partly cloudy.
AW: Fuck, Marry, Kill: Voldemort, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump?
Erin: Oh I already know my answer: I would fuck Voldemort, marry Ted Cruz and kill Donald trump.
AW: Wow! That’s so not what I was expecting! I thought you were gonna say: marry Voldemort, kill Ted Cruz and fuck Donald Trump
Nicole: I agree with Erin!
Erin: Having sex with the dark lord would be…!
AW: But wouldn’t you want to marry him instead?
Nicole: You don’t have to kill him because you already know that Harry Potter will kill him, so you don’t have to worry about that anymore. You can take on another evil.
AW: How do you feel about playing potentially your last show at Wesleyan?
Nicole: How do you feel Erin?
Erin: I feel sad, but I’m glad for the time that we had together.
AW: Assign each member of the group to a kitchen appliance.
Erin: For Luke, electric beaters.
Pierre: Whoa I was thinking the exact same thing!
Erin: I already know what Pierre is.
Nicole: A mop!!! A wet mop!!!
Pierre: That was decided a long time ago.
Erin: Nicole would be the oven.
Nicole: I was thinking that too! I was thinking wouldn’t it be sick if I was the oven!? It happened! Erin is maybe the rice cooker, cause she uses it ALL the time.
AW: Favourite bathroom at Wesleyan to poop in?
Nicole: 3rd floor, Exley.
Erin: Literally was going to be what I said.
Nicole: I’m giving the secret away!
AW: Worst show you’ve ever played?
Erin: Oh I would say the M.A.S.H
Luke: These people both think that all the shows we’ve played are awful. Afterwards they’re always like, “Oh No! Every single song was so bad and we were so awkward and weird. Ahhh!” But everyone loves that! They have a strange skill of making the stage work and I really, truly think they don’t recognise it. So that’s what I have to say to that.
Pierre: Agh, I think the M.A.S.H is always kind of shit.
AW: Do any of you have tattoos?
(Nicole shows us her tattoo)
AW: What is it?
Nicole: What do you think it is?
AW: An ice cream cone.
Nicole: You think so? Could be. One day our dear friend Abby got stick 'n' poke ink and she was doing it into an orange and she did that design. She was like, “Look what I did! It could be an ice-cream cone, could be a bird, could be a guy with a party hat, could be a circle with a triangle”. So that’s what it is! And then she did it on my arm, approximately a year later.
AW: Wow. So you had a year of decision making!
Nicole: Kind of... Actually it was done on a whim. It was like, “Ok let’s do a tattoo of that orange”.
AW: Okay last question. This is potentially the last time you’re gonna get interviewed together as a band at Wesleyan. We just want to know if any of you have a word that describes your experience together as a band.
Pierre: I guess the only word I can think of is... that it was pretty “beautiful”.
Nicole: I might cry!
AW: We’re kind of exploiting your guys’ emotions at this point.