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Best Coast Drummer Ali Koehler Forced Out of Band


Best Coast have been working on a follow-up to debut album Crazy for You, one of our top albums of 2010, but they’ll be doing so without their regular touring drummer. As Pitchfork points out, Ali Koehler has confirmed she’s out of the band. Koehler’s departure was apparently involuntary and unexplained, per this string of apologetic tweets: “Not my choice, sorry if you’re disappointed,” “I’m sorry, I’m equally disappointed,” and “your guess is as good as mine.”

UPDATE: Bethany Cosentino has posted a statement to Best Coast’s Facebook addressing the lineup change. “Best Coast has and always will be Bobb [Bruno] and I. No matter who has joined the band on tour, whatever lineup ensues, the band is simply the two of us. That said, these past two years have been full of nothing but the greatest of memorable adventures and I am so grateful that my friend Ali was a part of them when we were on tour. … One last thing: For those of you who are assuming things, Ali was informed 2 months ago that our live lineup was changing. There is no bad blood between any of us.”

Koehler quit another reverb-y, rightly praised indie-pop group, the Vivian Girls, to join Best Coast. Her live debut with the “Boyfriend” and “When I’m With You” rockers came in July 2010. From the band’s live appearances it certainly came to feel as if she would become a permanent addition. But it wasn’t to be, and Hipster Runoff spotted a male drummer filling her seat at Best Coast’s recent San Francisco show.

Best Coast’s core duo of Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno have been recording their second album at Capitol Records Studios in Los Angeles, according to the official Best Coast blog. The group has only one show left on its schedule this year, a New Year’s Eve gig with rockabilly queen Wanda Jackson at Club Nokia in Los Angeles. After that, Best Coast will be jetting across the globe for a six-day series of appearances in New Zealand and Australia.

As for Koehler, she appears to be taking her ouster rather well. On Thursday, she tweeted, “Super moved by all the support I received today. Didn’t know that many people would care. I love you guys.” She also posted a link to her Bandcamp page, featuring solo music of the homemade indie-pop variety. In other tweets, she said she’ll always keep playing music, and that she has practiced with another band, though with no immediate plans.

Check out a few solo tracks below, all originally posted on October 31: