Artists With A Vision , Meet – Coke Weed

coke weed

Today we meet- Coke weed. Very cool vocals surrounded by lush melodies. It’s like ‘Til Tuesday with a bigger sound or maybe that’s just me , I find it close to impossible to label a band this or that, I think that job belongs to the person listening. For me, this all gels, Coke Weed sounds like a Band that’s been at this for a few years. They have a unique thing going on here. Like I said the sound is big, fills the room, with dreamscapes enough so that you just let time pass, getting swept along with the vibe. I appreciate artist that share their vision with us and I would say that Coke Weed are artists with a poetic vision . It takes talent to put this all together and Coke weed has no shortage of that. Give a listen stuff

Hi our name is….

Coke Weed

sound is……

psychedelic art pop?

We are….

Nina Donghia, Milan McAlevey, Caleb Davis, Peter Cuffari, Chris DiRocco

We are from…….


Who are some that have an influence on you



Eno’s “pop-song” LPs

Roxy Music

Bowie mostly the time around Station To Station – Scary Monsters

The Stooges

Spacemen 3

How old were all of you when you started to play and who plays what in the band

All the boys started playing around age 12. Nina sang in choir then started singing rock vocals when the band formed in 2010.

Nina is the lead singer. Milan writes the songs and plays guitar and synth. Caleb Davis plays lead guitar. Peter Cuffari plays drums and is our tech wizard. Chris DiRocco plays bass.

Can you tell us about the process you use, from writing the songs all the way through getting the songs out

Milan writes harmony and rhythm around the melodies, which come first. The lyrics come last. The demo studio has just been properly upgraded to a DAW, but demos were done on 4-track cassette for a long time. For the demos for the upcoming “Mary Weaver” LP, Milan would slow down the tape, sing the lyrics and melody to the slower, lower-pitched backing track. When the tape was returned to normal speed, a cartoonish pitched-up male vocal would serve as a guide so Nina could learn the lyrics and melodies in her range and make the songs her own. We tried a session at a proper studio in New York, but it didn’t quite gel, so we went back to Maine and re-recorded everything in an empty house. We record to half-inch tape and into Pro Tools. Peter mixed the newest LP in late fall with input from Milan. Up until 2015, we released all our own material through our company, Heavy Friends LLC. This year we’re working with a great label, Beyond Beyond Is Beyond Records in Brooklyn, NY. They’re lovely and it’s wonderful to not have to oversee mastering, manufacturing and distribution.

Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records- Pre-Order Album

what are some of the challenges you face as musicians and how have you overcome those challenges

Well, the biggest city we can call our own is Portland, Maine, which isn’t very big. It’s not like we’re part of some extremely active scene like in Philadelphia. Luckily we’ve been very lucky in making good relationships with good publicists. We’ve always made videos to raise our profile. It’s an extremely competitive scene with less money than ever to go around. The ultimate strategy is to keep getting better and better at writing, performing, and recording. We’re just responsible enough that we have some agency and enough awareness to maintain a focus on the band even though we all have busy private lives. Each time out, we’re hoping for just enough momentum to be able to make another recording. I feel like we basically get much more proficient at our band jobs as the years go by.

1st concert you went to and age….

Prince at age 9!

coolest band t-shirt you ever bought…

I had a Cure t-shirt for the single Primary, which had the old dropped “C” band logo and the art from the 7″ sleeve, which was drawings of girls with their faces painted over. I can’t find another one anywhere on the internet and if I could it would probably be $100.

the most insane concert you ever went to or were a part of….

The Cramps put on one of the coolest shows in terms of energy and rock spectacle. Lux Interior RIP 🙁

If you could open for any Band right now who would that be and why?

We got to see Ex-Hex and they really rocked; Mary Timony is one of the best rock guitarists period. There’s this band called The Growlers from California and they have a vibe we can really get with. Or anyone huge like Tame Impala or 311 so we could play to thousands of people and get a booking agent (our old one closed his company haha)

My youngest son is 13 and in a Band, what advice would you offer him…

Well either it’s your first love and you can never shake it, or you’re lucky and it will fade away – haha. If it’s a case of the former, I would say try to be as disciplined and treat it as seriously as school or a square job, because it’s a very hard job and you’re most likely going to be rewarded a very small amount of money and glory for the time that’s required. It’s very romantic to think of a Bohemian musician’s life where you’ve somehow tricked the system and don’t have to work every day, but that really doesn’t exist; you actually have to work harder for less than most professions. It’s like being a farmer. You will meet the coolest people on the planet though, and that really makes it worth it.

your thoughts on the state of music in 2015…..

Oh, I don’t know. None of us are industry-savvy enough to figure out how to create new revenue streams, etc. It does seem a bit like an industry in tatters. There’s so much amazing talent out there, it’s overwhelming. It will be very interesting to see how a lot of this will be evaluated 20 years from now. Indie rock used to be a semi-secret society, and now it’s just exploded into this vast panorama of sub-genres. Just don’t let it get to you and be open to cool new music that moves you.

Our plans for the rest of 2015…..

Well, a new single soon and videos on the way. Then hopefully we’ll get some radio plays when the record comes out in October. We’ll go to the CMJ Music Festival in NYC that month, and then on a tour of the States. At the end of the year we can evaluate how well we did and take it from there. We’re all very excited and hoping the new record affords us new opportunities, but it’s really impossible to predict, so we have to take it all in stride. Anything could happen!

Coke Weed:

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Co-founder of 50thirdand3rd, stepped away to spend time with family and write. From Pittsburgh, now in Florida, Cool Canadian artist wife, 4 great kids, and two granddaughters!! I'm a lucky guy!

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