Youth workers turned musos

Jamie Coyle, Tim Doecke, Joel Boldero, Dave Meikle and Luke Martin are Selahphonic.
Jamie Coyle, Tim Doecke, Joel Boldero, Dave Meikle and Luke Martin are Selahphonic.

SELAHPHONIC is anything but your typical band.

It began as two youth workers travelling to high schools around Queensland and Victoria using music and film to promote values-based programs to students.

Lead singer Jamie Coyle said it was the repeated suggestions by people to "try to do something" with their music that prompted them to put together a proper band.

What began as a side project has since turned into a five-piece "electronic infused indie pop" band that have spent a surprising amount of time gigging in the US.

What makes Selahphonic even more special is the fact that Coyle, who also plays guitar, had to learn to play backwards after a ride-on-mower accident when he was five resulted in his left arm being disfigured.

"I never thought I could play guitar until I was 20," he said.

"Then when I was 20 someone just said to me 'Jamie, just turn the guitar upside down and teach yourself backwards'. So I did, I just taught myself left-handed."

Coyle said his own experience shaped a lot of the themes in his songs.

"I think a big part of the message that we used to go into schools with was talking about identity and being secure with who you are," he said.

The band spent a good part of 2014 in California, playing at iconic venues such as House of Blues on Sunset Strip, which Coyle said was an "awesome" experience.

"They're just so into Australian music," he said.

"When we were there we were chatting to a whole bunch of publishers and publicists and they were saying they now see Australia nearly like the Seattle of the nineties.

"They see it as a birthing place of new kinds of sounds, especially indie pop.

"Our set is a very high energy set, it's all about getting people dancing."

With the announcement of an international distribution deal and a second tour of the US and Canada, 2015 will be a big year for this band.

Selahphonic are performing in the area for the first time, at The Beach Hotel in Byron tomorrow from 9pm. 



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