Female supergroup The Coolies discuss their benefit EP for ALS research, having the support of Steve Van Zandt and Wicked Cool Records, their Ramones-esque alter-egos, and their 3-D album artwork (with 3-D glasses included)
By Emily May
Recently formed female supergroup The Coolies are on a mission to combat ALS. Consisting of Kim Shattuck (The Muffs/The Pandoras), Melanie Vammen (The Pandoras/formerly The Muffs) and Palmyra Delran (Solo Artist/The Friggs), the band will release their 6 song benefit EP on Friday, July 19th. The band, along with their label Wicked Cool Records, decided to donate 100% of the proceeds from the record sales to support research for The ALS Association. The disease runs on Shattuck’s dad’s side of the family, which makes this a personal crusade for her and her band mates. Established in 1985, The ALS Association is the only national non-profit organization fighting ALS on every front. Steve Van Zandt, owner of Wicked Cool Records and host of Little Steven’s Underground Garage on SiriusXM, has described The Coolies as a “trash-pop garage girl supergroup! United for a good cause (and cool music!)”. The three best friends got together recently in LA and according to Delran “We were chatting and Kim said “I wish we could all have a band together” and that was it! We were a band!”. The three ladies perform under the guise of their Ramones-esque alter egos of Kimba Coolie, Melimba Coolie and Palimba Coolie. Shattuck and Vemman recorded their parts in west coast studios and sent them to Delran, who then recorded her parts at Steve Van Zandt’s Renegade Studio in NYC with Grammy award-wining engineer Geoff Sanoff (Fountains Of Wayne/Stephen Colbert) who also mixed the EP. The EP is adorned with 3-D artwork (with 3-D glasses included) designed by longtime Wicked Cool Records art director and illustrator Louis Arzonico. You can follow and connect with The Coolies, as well as pre-order the album, via the following links:
Preorder the album here: https://geni.us/
What led the three of you to form The Coolies?
Kim: We jumped in with both feet and a half!
Melanie: Some trash talking and realizing “duh” we’re supposed to be a band!
Palmyra: I feel like we’ve always been in a band together!
You will be releasing your debut EP this month! What can people expect from the album? What was the writing process like?
Kim: Melody, what else? I heard some kind words about songs I forgot about. I’m glad they have been
Melanie: Kim had some songs and Palmyra and I each co-wrote a song with her. It was easy!
Palmyra: It’s pretty inspiring to work with these two gals! They will send a song, some lyrics, or a little clip and we just all add stuff to it and send ideas back and forth.
Kim and Melanie, you recorded your parts for the record at studios on the West Coast and Palmyra, you recorded your parts on the East Coast. What was it like recording your parts separately? Were there any challenges or was it a smooth process?
Kim: It was incredibly easy! I am a known perfectionist and I have been a nightmare to work with! It
was great seeing how everything built on itself. It is so perfect! Everyone has done a great job!
Melanie: It was smooth and fun! Really incredible and we’re so proud!
Palmyra: It would have been fun to be in the same room, although we would probably laugh for hours
and not get much done!
Palmyra- What was it like recording at Steve Van Zandt’s Renegade Studio in NYC with Grammy Award-winning engineer Geoff Sanoff?
Palmyra: By coincidence, I worked on my album “You Are What You Absorb” with Geoff a few years
ago. When I signed with Wicked Cool Records for my latest album, “Come Spy With Me”, Geoff was part of the Renegade Nation family. That studio is the best environment ever to make records in. They have the craziest vintage gear, tons of beautiful guitars and amps. A gear geek’s paradise! Geoff knows the gear, how to get the best sounds, and is up for anything! We work very well together!
You plan to donate 100% of the proceeds from record sales to The ALS Association to benefit ALS research. What led you to make the EP a benefit EP for ALS? What has it been like to have such great support for the project from your label, Wicked Cool Records?
Kim: It severely runs on my dad’s side of the family and the label has been a dream come true!
Melanie: Wicked Cool Records have been in incredible!! They supported this idea immediately when we
brought it to them. This disease is just horrific for anyone that has to endure this.
Palmyra: We’re committed to raising money for research to find treatments and a cure for ALS. It took Wicked Cool Records about three seconds to understand how important this is to us, and how important it is to find a cure. We are grateful to them for being so generous and supportive!
What can you tell me about the idea behind your Ramones-esque alter egos Kimba Coolie, Melimba Coolie and Palimba Coolie?
Kim: I never thought of the Ramones! I think Palmyra thought of it! I want to be Kimba right now and fly around the house immediately!
Melanie: Palmyra said, “how do guys feel about we call ourselves alter egos.” It just seemed like so much fun and we decided, “yes let’s do it!”
Palmyra: Kim would sign her emails as “Kimba”, so I started signing mine “Palimba” and “Melanie started signing hers “Melimba”. Pretty natural! It sounded like a girl gang. When we agreed on the band name The Coolies, it just seemed obvious!
What inspired your decision to do three-dimensional 3D artwork for the EP, as well as include 3D glasses? That’s such a cool concept! What was it like to work with Wicked Cool Records art director and illustrator Louis Arzonico? Did he come up with the design or was it a collaborative process?
Kim: It’s all Louie but the fact remains that we all chimed in.
Palmyra: Louie is amazing! We had a funny conversation, along with Dennis Mortensen (they both run
Wicked Cool Records along with Little Steven), about cool gimmicks that would be fun for the Coolies. Wicked Cool Records loves releasing their stuff in colored vinyl, etc… It’s all very collectible. We figured that there were three Coolies, so it should have a 3-D cover. Louie went above and beyond with the design of the EP and including the glasses!
What’s next for The Coolies?
Kim: If I tell you I have to kill you!
Melanie: How about a Coolies comic book?
Palmyra: Oooooo! A 3-D comic book!