Interview with Turncoat guitarist/songwriter Keith Keister | By Hutch
Turncoat began in late 2014 when bassist Nick Steadman and guitarist and songwriter Keith Keister first met vocalist Jim Ash. As Keister explains, Ash was working with “two of our former members. At that same time, we’re jamming and coming up with a very similar project. Both projects needed to find members to fill open spots,” he explains. “That led both groups to hitting it off musically. Instantly, we all realized we were on the same path and had the same goal in mind.”
That goal was to write heavy and fast hardcore with a motivating and urgent delivery. Keister recounts the final piece of the puzzle, adding, “We landed on my good friend [drummer] Austin [Cornette] that I grew up with in Panama City, Fla. It worked right away, and we haven’t looked back since!”
Rabid touring and tight hardcore riffs have pushed Turncoat far in a short time, leading up to the release of their self-titled full-length on June 10 via Eulogy Recordings.
The term “turncoat” usually carries a negative and/or political connotation, but Turncoat the band utilize it as a stamp of defiance against the norm. Keister indulges, “We, in a sense, have turned coat. We wanted to stand out to do things differently ourselves. It seems that there are always those trends in music. You know, the wave of the same bands playing the same shows doing the same things, sounding the same. It’s monotonous and overplayed. Though I love all kinds of music, we just wanted to do things that weren’t tuned to ‘XYZ’ or ‘breakdown every five seconds.’ We just wanted to be ourselves.”
The music on Turncoat is heavy and rides its own two step momentum. The lyrics fit, deriding conformity and complacency in society. Turncoat’s biggest message is definitely individualism. Keister elaborates that the songs are about “opening your eyes finally and realizing how the world really is. Who’s really there for you and what really matters.” Specifically, Keister highlights the track “American Dream” which “is really about being fed up with the way those things in our lives work, how we are supposed to be and act, that atomic family bullshit and not giving into it.”
As far as the second half of 2016 and playing live are concerned, Keister says, “I can tell you we have many tours booked through the rest of the year, though, I can’t really tell you when just yet. August through December is pretty solid.”