Sweet Emotion; An Interview with Corey Coffman of Gleemer

Ft. Collins, Colorado’s Gleemer started small as the solo project of guitarist/vocalist Corey Coffman, whose initial interest was mostly recording. At age 15, he’d already transformed part of his parents’ house into a makeshift recording space, which led to studying music engineering in Phoenix, Arizona, and then working at a studio in Brooklyn, New York.

Though he’d always dabbled in writing and recording his own music, it wasn’t until Coffman found himself alone in New York that Gleemer took shape. Coffman began sharing his song ideas via email with friends back in Colorado and the process soon proved so fruitful that he decided to move back home to pursue the band more seriously. The addition of multi-instrumentalist Charlie O’Neil was the final ingredient to Gleemer’s growth. The result would be Moving Away, an impressive collection of songs that introduced the band to a wider audience and hinted at the potential that would be realized on Anymore.

As Gleemer’s momentum grew, so did Coffman and O’Neil’s creative partnership as the duo played and recorded every piece of Anymore together in the home studio, giving the album a palpable sense of warmth and familiarity. Indebted to the ‘90s, Coffman and O’Neil use shades of emotional alternative’s vulnerability and the distorted grandeur shoegaze elements to create a dynamic sound that feels intimate and expansive all at once. 

Ghettoblaster caught up with Gleemer vocalist/guitarist Corey Coffman following the release of Anymore via Other People Records on November 17. This is what he had to say about his background and the endeavor.

It sounds as if your parents have been very supportive of your musical pursuits. Are either of them musicians?

Yeah, they were always very supportive of whatever I was interested in growing up which I’m very thankful for! My dad played guitar in bands growing up, so I came up around music a bit, but I really started gaining interest in it when I started playing with my friends at around 14.

At what point did it become clear that Gleemer should be a full band and not just a solo project?

I had been doing Gleemer as a solo project for a while in New York, but I really wanted to meet up with some of the musicians I grew up around to start playing shows. I really missed Colorado at the time, and felt it was the right move.

Was it difficult to decide to relocate back to Colorado from NY?

It was actually pretty easy. I had been in NY a while, and had become so enamored with writing music that it felt like the natural choice. I really just wanted to write back home.

What does O’Neil bring to the table that makes this such a fruitful collaboration?

Charlie is such a great addition because he has training in everything I don’t understand. He understands music theory, and can play many instruments. I spearhead the songwriting and engineering, and Charlie takes my ideas and expands them. He performs all of the instruments on our newest record besides my parts. Only having two people in the chain of communication allows for a really streamlined process.

What message were you hoping to communicate with Anymore?

I’d like to say Anymore was entirely intentional, but it wasn’t as a whole. Charlie and I just created what we were really feeling at the time. The emotions behind the songs are feelings that really resonated with me then. I try to never lose sight of what moves me as a person when creating. I try to forget about being an “artist,” or whatever, and just be real with my emotions and where I’m at in life.

Did you record it yourselves?

Yes, I recorded and mixed it entirely at my parents’ house.

What are your favorite moments on the record?

My favorite moments are the end of “Sunday” and the end of “Gush.” Both of those songs express emotions that click with me in a bunch of different circumstances. The fluidity of those parts and the way people can relate to them is very cool.

The record sounds as if it was influenced by a combination of shoegaze, emo and post-punk touchstones? Do any of these genres speak to you?

For sure, I listen to that stuff! My biggest influence is probably Red House Painters and The Smashing Pumpkins though. I feel like tonally this record relates a lot more to those genres than it does with the actual songwriting. Like I said we just tried to write what felt true at the time.

What are your loftiest goals for Gleemer?

This is sort of a hard one to answer. I just really love making music and finding new ways to express emotions that people can relate to. It’s a pattern of discovery I don’t think will ever get old. There’s too much nuance to ever fully grasp it in a lifetime. I’m in love with the mystery of that relationship, and I just want to facilitate that. As long as that heart keeps beating I’ll be fine with whatever the band ends up doing.

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