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A Northeast Ohio native, COIN drummer Ryan Winnen says he played in “a ton of metal” bands before he graduated high school and then moved to Nashville in 2011 in search of a band.

A woman he dated introduced him to singer Chase Lawrence, guitarist Joe Memmel and bassist Zach Dyke, all of whom were students at Belmont University at the time, and the foursome formed the indie pop band COIN.

“We were all the same age,” says Winnen in a recent phone interview from Nashville, where he and his bandmates were working on the light show for the upcoming tour that comes to House of Blues on Sunday, Feb. 18. “We had all moved to Nashville to continue playing, but we didn’t know what for exactly. Chase wanted to be a songwriter. Joe wanted to eventually be in a band, but how can you arrange for that to happen? It was serendipitous when we met at the time. We were all looking for something.”

Initially, the band found a handful of other indie pop bands that could help it develop that part of the Music City’s music scene.

“To this day, people ask how we survive here in Nashville,” says Winnen. “The rock and alternative scene has grown immensely. At the time, we were one of five bands that had that sort of [indie pop] sound. We congregated with the other bands that sounded like us, but we were the new kids on the block. We would be the first band on the bill when there were only 30 to 50 people at the club. We did that for consecutive weekends while the guys were in college, and I was working part time jobs. The guys did the word-of-mouth thing at school, and I was heckling people at the coffeeshop where I worked to come and see us. We started playing our own shows after that.”

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