by coastal cafe interview
(April 1999)

Three or four amazing tapes and one 7" in around a month and I'm overwhelmed by By Coastal Cafe for more than one reason. First, the volume of stuff; second, the appalling sound quality; third, the length of the tracks---a minute is an opus---and, fourth, the incredible charm and innocence portrayed by the songs. By Coastal Cafe are two: Martin and Marilyn Lilya, and they write and record music in so rudimentary a fashion that all except the underlying feeling is immaterial. A toy drum machine, a tuneless guitar and a dictaphone is an album's worth of songs to them. But it'llbe over in 10 minutes. Whilst hopping between Sweden and London, Marilyn took a few moments to answer a few questions.

What's your relationship with Martin?

We are nothing but lovers who met 4 years ago and started to play together. Martin taught me the drums but at first I really didn't like what I played. It's only the last year that I started to like it and put down some time on it.

Why are the songs so short?

The songs are short because it comes naturally. It's a fresh wind that says something and you won't get tired of it. You might get wiser though.

Is the low fidelity of your sound intentional?

The sound comes from the living room and different microphones and dictaphones and God knows what.

I think of your songs as pop, do you?

Our best songs are indeed pop pearls, yes.

Have you got anything else out?

We don't have any other releases, but a second 7" with 10 songs is already made and out soon on Lissy's. Jamie liked our first tape and wanted to put it out on a split with Spare Snare. Since that he's like our manager although he doesn't want to admit this. We'll probably go to him for advice as long as we live.

Are you part of some Swedish lo-fi gang? Are any labels interested over there?

Swedish bands, there aren't any that sound like us but the best there is Bob Hund. We're not part of any scene. There appears to be no labels interested in us or what we do in Sweden.

I compared you to Guided By Voices, what do you think?

Guided By Voices might have been an early inspiration source although Beat Happening has followed us from the start and are still difficult not to listen to.

I've got to ask, where does the name come from?

The name comes from something David Letterman once said, something unimportant that makes no sense. It's just causing confusion.

Don't be confused any longer. Get the singles on Lissy's and the forthcoming 6 tracks on the Pickled Egg label. Write to the band: Martin and Marilyn Lilya, Kappelv 9, S-35262, Vaxjo, Sweden.

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