On The Record with David Goulbourn

On The Record with David Goulbourn

By Olivia Yokubonis


In On The Record, we speak with members of the Precious Sound community about their music truths, precious mementos, and more.

In today's On The Record, we sit down with David Goulbourn, a founding member of the popular British band, Coasts. Known for his deep-rooted love for music and his rich experiences in the music industry, David shares with us his musical upbringing, the profound impact music has had on his life, and his unique insights into the band's journey and David's fascinating musical world.

David Goulbourn of Coasts playing the keys

Precious Sound: What did music mean to you growing up?

David Goulbourn: I remember music always being a significant part of my childhood. I consider myself fortunate because my dad grew up with music being a big part of his life, which meant that when we were children, there was always music in the house, the car, the garden, everywhere.

The majority of my musical education comes from my dad and his vinyl collection. We listened to a lot of The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd, Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, ELO, and Dire Straits growing up.


David's favorite record The Beatles 1962–1966 Red Album

I remember being obsessed with the red Beatles record. It was their 1962-1966 collection, and I just remember playing it on repeat.

When I was in Primary School, probably 10 or 11, I did a presentation about how The Beatles were the best band ever and took that record in with me. It was really quite something…

As I got older, my tastes changed, but I did and still do love the music that I grew up listening to. I’m not ashamed to say that I was a fully-fledged emo as a teenager, and there was a big emo/screamo/post-hardcore scene where I grew up, so some of those records from people like Taking Back Sunday, Brand New, AFI, The Used, Finch, are some of the ones that had the biggest emotional impact on me.


PS: What is the moment you realized the importance music plays in your life?

DG: Apart from that Beatles presentation, I think for as long as I can remember, I’ve known how important music is and the role it can play in life.

I always loved the line from High Fidelity where John Cusack says:

“Do I listen to pop music because I’m miserable or am I miserable because I listen to pop music?”

I think it captures what music is well. Music has the power to move you, and you have the power to move music and take what you need from different songs at different points in your life.

Even if I wasn’t in a band, I think music would have always played such an important role in my life, and so many of my memories and emotions are tied to songs or records.


PS: What's an album, song, or piece of music that evokes a precious memory for you?

DG: For me, Rumours by Fleetwood Mac has always been such an incredible record and one tied to so many memories. The story behind the making of the record, with the band being so fractured and relationships falling apart, plus the wall-to-wall quality of the songs on it has always fascinated and amazed me.

It was a record we listened to a lot growing up and when pushed is probably still my favourite record today. I remember being in the car and always thinking how cool The Chain was with the bass kicking in in the middle 8.

Then as an adult, Songbird just blows me away. It’s such a beautiful song, so simple, but with so much feeling. The recording of that song in particular is perfect. Christine McVie wrote the song in about 30 minutes and then she recorded it in one take in an auditorium with just the piano and a bouquet of flowers on stage. I think it captured the song so well and it’s one that has always stuck with me.



PS: What most excites you about Precious Sound’s silver, gold, and platinum records?

DG: In general, I think the premise of it sounded awesome to me from the start. Having been in the industry, you see the traditional Gold, Silver, Platinum records hanging in studios or offices, and it is weird that they’re just nothing special really considering what they signify. I think this gives artists a great opportunity to create super intimate, special edition keepsakes for their fans too, and that connection is always special.

PS: What song or artist would you like to see (and hear) on a gold record?

DG: I’d definitely have to pick Rumours by Fleetwood Mac. I think I’ve probably talked enough already about how perfect it is, but it’s just a great album and there isn’t a bad song on it.

As a retired musician and founding member of Coasts, what do you miss the most (and maybe the least)?

DG: I definitely miss playing shows. That was by far and away my favourite part of being in a band. Even though you’re playing largely the same set of songs every night for two or three years, it’s always special and every city brings something different. The five of us were and still are best friends, so it was also amazing to get to travel the world with your best friends and have all of those shared experiences, even outside of the actual music part.

PS: There’s a lot of talk about artists “connecting” with their fans, when you were out with Coasts, what was your preferred way of connecting with artists?

DG: It’s definitely hugely important, and I think artists owe it to fans as well. After every show, we’d all go to the merch table and meet and greet everyone, taking photos with fans, and just generally spending that time to actually speak to people. We did lots of different types of tours too, not just your traditional major city tours, we’d do smaller intimate tours in cities and towns that bands don’t usually go to. I think in general social media breaks that barrier down between fans and artists a lot now anyway, and the whole thing is so much more personable than it was 15+ years ago.

One of our good friends, Sam Jackson, used to do merch for Coasts and he’s now managing a band called Only The Poets and they’re doing some really cool, innovative things in terms of connecting with fans and smashing it.


PS: Final question: any chance we will get a reunion tour?

DG: Unfortunately, I don’t think so. I think there was some consideration of doing a 5-year anniversary tour of our first album coming out, but then that date fell during COVID, so it never happened.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published