The Coathangers have stayed clear of being very political and taking on social injustice in their music, until now.
Their latest album, “The Devil You Know,” touches on more than personal relationships and family issues. The album focuses on the current political climate as seen through the eyes of the band’s members.
“We kind of sat back a little bit more and thought about bigger issues that affect all of us,” said Stephanie Luke, singer and drummer. “As far as, like, the political climate and how things have gotten weird and just have the songs be more relatable to everybody on kind of a bigger scale.”
Band members took caution on the new album to not come across as if they were preaching to audiences.
“You don’t want to be telling people what to think, and I think we did a good job of telling people how we feel,” Luke said. “Usually our crowds are on the same political side as we are as far as human rights and women’s rights and just equality for people that are minorities in some shape or form.”
Songs on the album include “Bimbo,” “Crimson Telephone,” “Memories” and “Stranger Danger.” “F the NRA” is the most intense and controversial and makes no apologies.
“It was one of those songs that we weren’t even sure if we were going to put it on the album because the other people we were working with were, like, ‘Is this too controversial?’ and we were, like, ‘No, (screw) that if you can’t say what you want to say on an album, then what’s the point and you’re letting other people censor you?’ We’re a punk rock riot girl band, so we can say whatever we want and not be afraid to say anything.”
The song, written by vocalist and guitarist Julia Kugel, “nailed” the band’s feelings on shootings that continue to happen throughout the country.
“Julia has a great way of putting into words her anger or her disposition on things in a very beautiful way, in a fun way, where it’s not just one-sided,” Luke said. “I think it’s also a look at all the different aspects of what the NRA does. It’s not just one thing, and they have reach and influence of so many different aspects of our lives, whether they know it or not, so the fact that they choose to do nothing is very frustrating.”
The band has enjoyed playing the new songs from the album but has not forgotten old fan favorites.
“It’s really fun to play the new songs, as well, because we’ve been touring on the older stuff and we still pepper in some of the older songs that people like,” Luke said. “We try to give people a show that they paid for, so we want to kind of try to not just play all the new songs. We like to play the old jams too.”