Interview: Palmyra Delran Discusses New Female-Powered Super-Group, The Coolies
When friends Kim Shattuck (The Muffs, The Pandoras), Melanie Vammen (The Pandoras) and Palmyra Delran (solo artist and creative soul of all-girl group, The Friggs) decided to get together in L.A, their casual conversation quickly morphed into the dynamic, female-powered super-group, The Coolies.
The band’s resulting debut EP, Uh Oh!… It’s The Coolies, is an infectiously organic extension of what the trio already does separately. Blending their witty, metaphoric songwriting into a hook-laden combination of punk, garage and trash rock, while conjuring up a uniquely delectable sound of groove-ridden angst.
Shattuck and Vammen assembled their tracks in their West Coast-native studios, while Delran recorded her parts on the East Coast at Stevie Van Zandt’s Renegade Studios with Grammy Award-winning engineer Geoff Sanoff (Fountains of Wayne, Stephen Colbert), who also mixed the project. The six-song EP itself is visually represented with whimsical three-dimensional artwork (with included 3-D glasses) designed by longtime Wicked Cool Records art director and illustrator, Louis Arzonico.
What makes The Coolies’ even more amazing is that the band is donating 100% of the proceeds from record sales to support research for The ALS Association, whose mission is to discover treatments and a cure for the disease as well as to serve, advocate for, and empower people affected by ALS to live their lives to the fullest.
You can order The Coolies’ debut EP, Uh Oh!… It’s The Coolies by Clicking Here!
I recently spoke with Palmyra Delran about The Coolies’ EP and much more in this exclusive new interview.
How did The Coolies come about?
It started out with the three of us together, just talking and laughing. Kim had posted a photo on Instagram of Paula Pierce from The Pandoras laying there with her ass out. I thought it was hilarious and commented, “Hey! Look at Paula’s coolie.” We all just started laughing. That’s when Kim said, “I want to have a band.” I was like, “Well…we could.” It was literally that fast.
What was the songwriting process like?
Even though the three of us have never played together in the same room as The Coolies, Kim sang on a few of my records and Melanie is in my West Coast band. We didn’t have any set rules or formulas. Once we decided we were going to be a band, Kim sent me this amazing song she’d written. So I went into the studio and added drums, guitar and sang some backups and sent it back. Then Melanie put her fuzz guitar on there. Another time, Melanie wrote a song with Kim, and then I wrote a song and sent it to them. We really made the whole record through cyberspace.
Let’s talk about a few tracks from the new EP, starting with “Uh Oh!”
That was the song that Kim sent me first. It’s pretty much just her joking around about when people talk shit about their friends. It’s so catchy and really sums up The Coolies sound.
Kim wrote the lyrics to everything and that’s her telling Trump to shut the f#ck up. None of us swing that way. The thing with all of these Coolies songs is that you can take the lyrics and apply them anywhere. So, if there’s some asshole you don’t like, you can say Ignoramus to them too [laughs]. It’s universal, which is what lyrics should be.
That’s a song about when you have a friend and you think everything is going great. They’re a sweet person and then end up not being so sweet and the relationship crumbles. That’s the metaphor.
Where did the idea to donate 100% of the proceeds from the EP to ALS research?
I lost a couple of friends to ALS a few years ago, and I know that it runs in Kim’s father’s side of the family. Every year they do the ALS walk and I always donate. That’s why we decided to donate all of the money to ALS. It just made sense. So the three of us approached the people at Wicked Cool and they were so generous and backed the 100% donation. We’re just thrilled about it.
Do you have a plans to do any live Coolies show to support the new EP?
We’re on both sides of the country so it’s a pretty long commute for practice [laughs]. We are scheming though so we’ll see what happens. On my last jaunt in L.A. Melanie and I did play “Uh Oh!”
Are there any other projects you’re currently working on?
I’m playing all the time with my East Coast band, The Doppel Gang, and we’ll probably be doing another single pretty soon. I’m always writing and also do my radio show, Palmyra’s Trash-Pop Shindig in Little Steven’s Underground Garage on Sirius-XM Channel 21, which is always a lot of fun. I’m having such a great time these days.
What excites you the most about The Coolies and this next phase of your career?
I just love creating with people who inspire me. Between The Coolies girls, who I love and have known for decades, and my band, The Doppel Gang, I’m so lucky and feel really grateful and happy to be working with some of the best musicians around.