For a person who named his album Take Things As They Come, Myles Coyne – namesake of Myles Coyne & The Rusty Nickel Band – is an exceptionally proactive person. Aside from fronting the busy folk outfit, he’s a member of noted local acts like Temple, US Male and Animals In Human Attire; he co-owns a local flyering business; hosts touring bands at his home/makeshift “Chapter III” venue in Riverwest; manages a few local acts; is president of the Breadking creative collective; and begrudgingly works part-time at a sandwich shop.
That was exhausting to even list. Still, Coyne somehow manages to keep each of his many musical plates spinning. The unofficial busiest man in Milwaukee music is about to spread his uncommon blend of motivation elsewhere, as he and some of his Rusty Nickels are set to embark on a 12-day, 11 show (not counting a video performance) and nine-state tour. With the band’s tour sendoff show slated for tonight, Music Notes spoke with Coyne about his pet project’s big year, the tour, house shows and plans for 2014.
Give me a year in review for the band. What were some of the highlights of the whirlwind year?
It was really nice to be received nice by the community. To me one of the awesomest parts was getting to play Locust Street Fest. That meant the world to us, more than the record. It was like, “Cool! We did that thing that we wanted to do like three years ago.”
You’re winding up the year with a mini tour. Will it be the whole band or is it going to be abbreviated?
It’s just going to be half the band, only because when you’re DIY musician and you’re touring, we figured rather than blowing all our dollar – especially because the drummer is really busy and Alex [Shah] is in Ugly Brothers, so he’s really busy – we’d just go out there and reach out to the smaller music community. Instead of trying to play all the cool venues and bars, we kind of just reached out to loving spaces and bands with houses. So it’s a friendlier welcome, rather than a shot in the dark at a bar.
What are some of the places you’re most excited to play – either in terms of the venue or the city itself?
There’s a place in Brooklyn that we’re playing called Pete’s Candy Store. It’s a really cool bar, like Foundation-sized, but looks like Hotel Foster. We don’t have to play a dive bar or something. It’s a really classy place.
Also, there’s a kind of a punk house [in Chesterton, Ind.] called The Sound Cellar. It’s this old punk couple who make food. It’s like going to your punk aunt and uncle’s house. It’s not just the shows; it’s meeting the people and being part of the tradition. One of the quieter benefits of being in the band is that over time you’ll look back on things and the friendships. If anything, that should be what a tour is based off of.
Yeah. It sounds like a lot of it will be like that. It looks like a lot of the shows will be at houses.
Yeah, house venues or DIY spaces. Before we made the record, we knew we wanted to tour. I had done some smaller solo tours and tours with Ugly Brothers and some other friends. They were really fun and beneficial, but I knew I wanted to have records to sell when we went out. It took a long time, but it benefited us because we had years of networking and a long list of friends we’d helped who could help us when we went out. I find it to be really receptive.
What are your realistic hopes or expectations for when you go out on the road?
You always want to dream big and hope there’s a ton of people. But with independent musicians, sometimes you don’t want to shoot too high. I focus on touring as a journey with the band as a family. Realistically, the life lesson is booking the tour. The tour is just a party. To me it’s a growing experience, but also seeing the country. You see a lot of new cities. That’s something I appreciate is the journey of it all. You just hope you sell CDs and stuff. But if you go out expecting to sell a million records, you’re probably going to be disappointed.
I can’t believe we’re going to Brooklyn. I have no idea how much money we’re going to lose, but it’s going to be awesome.
What about when you get back?
Jan. 3, we’re doing a Breadking Bash at Linneman’s. There’s an awesome folk community. We trying to not necessarily build a folk scene – the scene is here – [but] keep it going. And it’s really nice to be excessively touring. I’m really excited that we bought this van. I’m just really excited.
Myles Coyne & The Rusty Nickel Band plays its tour send off show on Wednesday, Nov. 6 at Cactus Club, headlining a bill that also features The Cavewives and The Sleepwalkers. The show begins at 9 p.m. and costs $7 at the door. For full tour schedule, go HERE.