Considering the turbulent relationships found in many bands, the 10th anniversary marked by The Coathangers last year is a milestone worth celebrating. Not only that, 2016 was also the trio’s most successful year to date.
The garage punk three-piece from Atlanta spent much of last year harnessing the popularity of their 2016 release “Nosebleed Weekend” into multiple music festival performances around the country, as well as appearances on many Best-Of lists at the end of the year.
Now, on the verge of a June release date for the followup EP “Parasite,” the trio have had to adapt to the challenges that success brings. In this case, it’s a much anticipated international tour that runs throughout the spring and summer, the second leg of which begins Saturday night at The Pinhook in Durham.
Reached by phone during a break in touring, bassist Meredith Franco says the band can tell from the stage that many things about the audience have changed, but the trio still rely on the friendships that first led to the members coming together.
“When we started, we weren’t really even playing shows, we were just sitting together in an apartment and jamming, just having fun all day,” says Franco. “We never really thought that it would turn into anything like it has. We have decided to kind of just take it as it comes and just see where it takes us. I mean, it’s been really great so far, and it’s an amazing surprise.”
One area the band pays attention to is making sure they don’t burn out their hometown fans. Franco says her fellow members in The Coathangers realized a few years ago that it’s hard for anyone to miss them if they never leave, and that touring has the benefit of expanding their fanbase while giving longtime fans a chance to look forward to their next local show.
“When a band first starts out, I think it’s important to play as much as possible, just to get yourself out there,” she said. “But at a certain point, after playing the same clubs over and over for years, people ... well, I don’t want to say they get over a band, but it works out well for everyone when you take a little breather from playing certain areas.”
This year holds even more promise for the band, but fans worrying about them not remaining true to their punk roots need only listen to the lyrics of the new songs they’ll be performing Saturday night. Witty yet angry, these are musicians with adult issues who recognize what is happening around them – and they aren’t concerned about recording radio hits.
“It’s just what everyone is dealing with right now, you know? When we write, we look at that as our opportunity to let everything that we’ve kept bottled up inside out,” Franco says. “With everything going on in the world, maybe we were a little angrier than usual?”
Who: The Coathangers, with Horizontal Hold
When: 9 p.m. Saturday
Where: The Pinhook, 117 W. Main St., Durham