GRRL013: Musical collectives and learning from side projects, featuring Ali Coyle of Strangers Inc

Ali Coyle is a Los Angeles and Orange County based musician who has played in countless bands including Sullen Ray–who you’ll recognize as our intro song, and her old main project This Time With Feeling. Currently, she plays in NOBLES and Glasz, but her main project is Strangers Inc, which she does with her writing and production partner Javan Slagle.

Ali joined me on Skype from Los Angeles, while we weathered the crazy storm that overtook southern California this past winter. We talk a lot about her current project Strangers Inc and why she’s excited about going in a new direction musically, the music scene in Orange County compared to Los Angeles and San Diego–and sorry, I can’t help shit talking LA some more, but I like being proven wrong as well– and music collectives and collaborations.

Find Strangers Inc at their website or through their frequently updated Instagram account @strangersinc.

If you liked this episode, rate us on iTunes so more people can find the podcast. And as always, feel free to leave a comment, email me, follow me on Twitter, or like Grrl on Grrl on Facebook.

Listen Here

Download here. [~30 mins, 59MB]


  • [1:30] Writing and playing in This Time With Feeling
    • Based in Orange County, great music community
    • Knowing when projects need to end
    • Transitioning to Los Angeles from Orange County
  • [2:30] Being a supporting member in a band versus being the front person
  • [3:30] Collaborating with long-time friend Javan Slagle to create Strangers Inc
  • [4:45] What made Ali go from indie pop to electronic?
    • Javan’s influence with synth and production
    • Using Ali’s guitar as a sample in the tracks
    • Dark and sexy, “moody and dark… a rainy night kind of mood.”
  • [6:15] Musical identity: being known as a bass player in Los Angeles when she doesn’t consider bass as her main instrument
  • [7:00] Kat Hamilton – Reminders
  • [11:00] Does Orange County have a good music scene?
  • [12:45] After playing those same few venues over and over, where do you go from there if you want to grow?
    • Moving to LA vs. staying in Orange County
    • MAPS – collective of musicians that own a studio together (Instagram)
      • “That happens in LA as well, but you have to find it.” Ali references Laura of Psychic Love as an example of this in LA.
  • [14:25] Trying to convince Orange County band members to play in Los Angeles
    • Knowing the right spots to play
    • “It’s hard to break into… and find your pocket.”
    • San Diego as a friendly music scene?
  • [15:30] Psychic Love – Nancy (Soundcloud)
  • [19:00] Complementary and collaborative skills to create Strangers Inc with her writing partner Javan Slagle
    • Trusting each other
    • “Inc” allows Strangers Inc keep the project open-ended and maybe start bringing other people in. It doesn’t have to be all music.
  • [20:15] The songwriting process for Strangers Inc.
    • Using their upcoming single as an example of the process
    • Transformation, learning something new, and getting new ideas
    • “When you’re too comfortable with something, you get too comfortable.” Taking risks is important. (Call back to episode 10 with Miah Spring.)
    •  Getting out of your comfort zone
      • Playing fast music (with three-part harmonies!) with NOBLES in Orange County, who will be releasing a live video on on YouTube soon
  • [24:30] Strangers Inc – Cyclone

Other Notes & Thanks!

Thank you again to Ali Coyle for taking the time to Skype with me.

Special thanks to: Sullen Ray who graciously allows me to use their song “Get Up Got It” as the Grrl on Grrl podcast intro and outro–listen to and buy their album Blue Minor on Bandcamp and look out for the upcoming new album Outside the Color Wheel; Greg Guiliano for his financial support; and Gary Hankins for making the episode sound good.

And to all my friends who have been so supportive of this project, I love you!