The Tour Bus: Indie Pop Band COIN Talks Songwriting on the Road

July 31, 2017 | by Jon Simmons

COIN by Zachary Gray

Photo by Zachary Gray


The Tour Bus is an ongoing series featuring musicians talking about staying creative while touring as well as offering mobile recording tips from the road. In this installment, COIN bassist and audio engineer/producer Zachary Dyke shares his thoughts.

What mobile recording challenges do you run into, and how do you work around them?

Recording on the road is expectedly difficult—I tend to rely fairly heavily on software synths during tours, simply to force ideas out of my head. The most frustrating thing, though, is probably frequent interruption, often taking the shape of a sizable pothole in the road. Accomplishing a task is difficult enough, a desk that bounces around in the back of a van does little to help.

Where do you find inspiration for songwriting on the road?

I’m of the opinion that inspiration comes from anywhere you’re willing to accept it from. Fortunately, on tour there’s a lot of visual stimulation, which provides ample opportunities to get inspired. It’s all about opening yourself up and engaging your senses.

How has touring affected your songwriting?

Traveling is largely just observation, which can do a lot to shape a person. Meeting new people often, encountering different worldviews, it all starts to affect you. You become aware of emotions beyond yourself, cultivating a deeper well of inspiration.

Anything else you’d like to add about staying creative and songwriting/capturing ideas while touring?

I think the only other thing I would add is that documenting things you find inspiring can be really helpful. Often it’s not possible to create on pace with the speed of touring experiences. Take photographs, record voice memos. It all helps. Just gather as much as you can.

Catch COIN on tour.

Be ready to record your song ideas wherever you are. Download the Spire app, a free, multi-track recording app for iPhone.

The Tour Bus: Indie Pop Band COIN Talks Songwriting on the Road