Music Profile | Sam Coffey & The Iron Lungs

Gearing up for his first major cross country tour promoting a brand new record you’d think Sam Coffey has come a long way from his small Southern Ontario town roots. With his band The Iron Lungs, Sam has grown as a songwriter and a musician but talking to him the charm and excitement of being a small town music fan hasn’t dulled slightly. Leaving home at 18, after playing with a band, as a solo artist as well as working as a mechanic’s assistant, Sam hightailed it out of Kitchener to the big city of Toronto to try and capture his rock 'n' roll dreams. Now after four full-length albums, including a pending self-titled debut for Dine Alone records, Sam and the band seem to be on the right track. “I was working in Kitchener as an apprentice mechanic and I just felt like I needed a change,” Coffey tells us from his Toronto home. “I came to Toronto and just immediately started going to places like Parts and Labour and seeing all these bands that I looked up to.” Bands like King Khan and Ty Segall. There was a short period of time when a couple of the guys he had been playing with in Kitchener, who were coming to Toronto for rehearsals and shows, finally decided that they couldn’t make the commute anymore so Sam got together a new crew of local like-minded players and this version of the Iron Lungs has been going strong for about six years. The band recorded three full lengths and got a lot of acclaim touring extensively up and down the East Coast with such notables as Black Lips and the mighty Redd Kross.

The new album, which drops on July 28th, is a master class of arena rock mixed with a punk integrity that comes off as very genuine. Clearly influenced by bands like Thin Lizzy and KISS, The Iron Lungs are what some could essentially consider total throwbacks. Huge rolling anthemic vocal melodies with big cutting guitar riffs and more gang vocals than you could find on any Clash record, Sam Coffey & The Iron Lungs is definitely into leaving a large impression on the listener  “We ended up recording this album three different times at different studios then we hooked up with (producer) Alex Bonefant.” Having previously worked with Canadian bands as varied as METZ and July Talk, Bonefant was able to give the band what they were looking for; a slick, exciting rock n roll sound which looks to the past but definitely doesn’t feel cliche. “I’d rather leave the innovation to other bands,” Coffey jokes when asked about the feel of the new record. His response belies the amount of innovation that is actually on display here. The record has all the touchstones of their 70s rock influences but there is a nice amount of innocence here that helps cut the machismo normally associated with such outfits, “I just don’t want to be a dick,” Coffey says laughing. There’s a nice nine minute long montage which takes up much of the later half of the album and encompasses three songs, the first of which is called “Ragnarok”. “We’re all into these fantasy elements and we play D&D and stuff so there’s that aspect to this as well.” It all comes off as a genuinely good time. 

On the subject of this big Dine Alone records tour that is making it’s way across the country, featuring The Flatliners and The Dirty Nil, Coffey gets super animated. “It’s so exciting, it’s incredible to be working with this label and going away with these bands. We just got a new van so everyone in the band is really happy. We’ve never been to BC before too so it’s been a real blast to be able to do all this stuff with my five best friends.” Coffey’s excitement is palatable. Between this and the energy displayed on the new record Sam Coffey & The Iron Lungs should be leaving a fervor of hard partying rock n roll fans in its wake across Canada this summer. 

The Dine Alone Presents Canadian tour dates are as follows:

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