Fan favorites Tame Impala (L-R): Nick Allbrook, Jay Watson, Kevin Parker, Janelle Morse of Spinning Top Management, Modular publicist Shelley Wright,, Julien Barbagallo, Dominic Simper. (Photo: Catee Laffoon)
A good portion of randomly polled fans at Empire Polo Grounds said Tame Impala was their favorite new band during Coachella’s first weekend.Though their set time was tough – they were scheduled at the exact same time as Paul Oakenfold and Rodriguez – thousands packed the Outdoor Theater Stage for their set. We found the band backstage who told us that in an effort to keep things fresh, they were planning to perform their songs with “slight variations” during the show. The band was on site with their manager, Janelle Morse (Spinning Top Management) and publicist Shelley Wright (Modular Records).
The sweltering Ghost BC with Kristen Mulderig of The Rick Sales Entertainment Group, Sam Citron and Brian Bumbery of BB Gun Press. The band's second album is out tomorrow (April) 16 on Loma Vista (Republic). (Photo: Catie Laffoon)
Swedish metal rockers, Ghost BC ambled about the artist area in creepy full-goth stage attire. Frontman Papa Emeritus II chatted with Billboard.biz in full skull face mask, eerie contact lenses, and cardinal outfit. The singer admitted that the outfits were extremely hot to be wearing in the desert heat. “The outfits don’t take too long to put together. We had to come up with a way to make them quick,” said Emeritus II. Also with the band was BB Gun Press owner Brian Bumbery, as well as Sam Citron (BB Gun), and manager Kristen Mulderig of the Rick Sales Entertainment Group. Citron said the band’s second album is being released on Tuesday (4/16) on Loma Vista (Republic). They are doing Coachella, a sold out show at L.A.’s El Rey tomorrow, headlining North American tour, and then playing Rock On The Range – all the festivals,” he added.
Artist Hanni El Khatib and co-founder of the Innovative Leisure label. (Photo: Catie Laffoon)
Following his Coachella performance, Hanni El Khatib filled us in on the latest in his label world. “Jamie Strong is my manager and he’s also my partner and we have a record label called Innovative Leisure and my other partner is Nate Nelson. We have me and 12 other artists that we are working with right now: Nick Waterhouse, Allah-Las, and Nosaj Thing and Rhye, Classixx, Bass Drum of Death… tons of people.” Priority for the label is “putting out good music,” says Khatib who has a new record coming out at the end of the month. While he’s not opposed to putting the A&R hat back on, Khatib tells Billboard.biz that he’s not in a hurry. “We have such great stuff happening now and such a small staff. We’ve got a good thing going with the guys we have at the moment…maybe down the line.”
Beware of Rabid Geese: Drew Thomas capturing footage for the official Coachella Documentary. (Photo: Catie Laffoon)
While we were backstage with Ghost BC, we stumbled upon a pond with a single goose in front of it. Drew Thomas, who is working with Goldenvoice to collect footage for the official Coachella Documentary approached us to share a funny tale regarding the goose: “We were shooting an interview with Sleigh Bells and this goose totally came after them and they had to clear out of the interview all together. I thought it was kind of awesome so I have a lot of respect for this goose – not that I don’t love Sleigh Bells… They didn’t do anything; they didn’t offend the goose but some people are afraid of birds and I think the goose sensed that.” Thomas says the last Coachella doc was released and he’s been since attending the festivals each year collecting material for the next one. “We archive a lot of it and some stuff ends up on the webcast as well.”
Crate Diggers: OMD with Jason Hradil (Vice President, Masters BMG Chrysalis) and tour manager Simon Fuller at the Coachella Record Shop. (Photo Catie Laffoon)
OMD was browsing through the Coachella record shop before their autograph signing in the Zia tent. They were traveling through the festival along with their tour manager Simon Fuller and Jason Hradil (Vice President, Masters BMG Chrysalis) Hradil told us that since relaunching the label last year, there have been a lot of things in the works. “ We put out The Asteroid Galaxy Tour, Joey Ramone’s last solo record. The Features have an album which will be available on May 14. OMD’s album just came out this week and the reviews have been fucking great!” Hradil -- who was raving about the recent Dinosaur Jr. set -- also revealed that the label recently signed Boyz II Men who will hopefully have an album coming out at the end of this year. “We just signed a Canadian Filipino rapper named D-Pryde. He has 57 million YouTube views,” he added.
Full-Disclosure: From left: Chris Werner (Biz 3), Toby Iddison (Tour Manager), Guy Lawrence and Howard Lawrence of Disclosure, Sam Evett (Method Music Management) (Photo: Catie Laffoon)
The last act set to perform at Coachella's 2013 first weekend was Disclosure. The UK duo took the stage at 11:10 pm, treating late night electronic music fans to one final weekend show. Following the Red Hot Chili Peppers performance, a good portion of that audience made their way to the Gobi Tent to catch the DJ/producers. Guy Lawrence and Howard Lawrence (of Disclosure) told Billboard.biz how much they were enjoying the warm weather. “It’s been so cold in London lately. This is really nice,” said Howard. Disclosure and their management team ---- Chris Werner (Biz 3), Toby Iddison (Tour Manager), Sam Evett (Method Music Management) -- were backstage taking a breather before gearing up to go see a few shows. “We’re going to go see James Blake, Tame Impala, and Rodriguez I think,” stated Guy. They also joked that as they were the last ones to technically perform that “The Chili Peppers are opening up for us technically.”
We also found the Gaslight Anthem's Benny Horowitz who said he was jet lagged from waking up too early this morning. “I woke up at 7:00 a.m. with boundless energy because my body thought it was 10. I walked around before it was open and really checked out the art installments and everything around here. I think this place is beautiful. It’s a very well run festival.” While waiting for Gaslight Anthem Backstage, we stumbled up the trailer of “Sugarman” Rodriguez. He was hanging at a picnic table with his manager/daughter, strumming his guitar and prepping for his set.
Johnnie Marr (Photo: Catie Laffoon)
In addition to meeting up with “Goldie,” the official Goldenvoice dog, we spotted Johnny Marr who we chatted with backstage about his latest album, The Messenger as well as his plans for eventually putting out new material.
Coachella ended with a bang – in the form of a massive sandstorm that pelted everyone in the eyes during the Red Hot Chili Peppers set. While the inclement weather was discomforting, considering the vast array of immense talent all had seen over the weekend, what's a little sand in the face?