John Minster

John Minster

John Minster

The Coffinstuffers
The Coffinstuffers are Martin Graves: vocals, guitars, bass, harmonica, mandolin and John Minster: vocals, keys, guitar, keys bass, drum programs. We are veterans of the Philadelphia original music scene. We play rock basically, but we like psychedelia and other genres.
music writing
film / video
Philadelphia, PA

Recent Submissions

John Minster submitted media.

Rhapsody In Black by The Coffinstuffers

Indie Band Guru

Very interesting song with so many sounds coming from all angles to create a lush soundscape.  Dark yet airy with lyrics to make you think.  We will share on our twitter. 

Leks Maltby

On "Rhapsody In Black" by The Coffinstuffers, the morbidly-titled rockers lay down six minutes of world music-influenced psychedelia the likes of which is rarely heard. The musical arrangement is indeed quite diverse, rounded out by strings, pianos, and bongos in place of the more conventional rock instrumentation. Lyrically, the song is quite deep, recalling a lover who is seemingly torn between good and evil, with the song's protagonist seemingly holding the balance of power in his hand. Relying heavily on extended ambient instrumental passages, "Rhapsody In Black" makes excellent use of space within the song to allow the listener's mind to wander and explore the sonic terrain that The Coffinstuffers are erecting with every passing note. Overall a highly contemplative song, The Coffinstuffers successfully rewrite the rules on conventional rock instrumentation and musical arrangement with "Rhapsody In Black," ultimately begging the question: where will their muse take them next?

John Minster submitted media.

Blues For Desiree by The Coffinstuffers

Alan Cross

There's some good stuff here and some excellent ideas at work. But what you have is a solid demo that shows your songwriting, performing and programming ability. What might this material sound like with a full band and/or an outside producer who could show you how to make the arrangements fuller, bigger-sounding and with more punch? 

That's my advice: Shop this to some producers who might be able to take what you do to the next level.

John Minster submitted media.

Sunday by The Coffinstuffers

Alan Cross

This one is just okay--at least to my ears. It might be the song itself, though, because of its repetitive nature.

John Minster submitted media.

Jim Morrison by The Coffinstuffers

Alan Cross

Cool intro. Caught my attention right away. I get the Ray Mazerek keyboard, too. Programmed drums? Sounds like it.

I'd like to hear a version of this with a full band and with an outside producer manipulating the arrangement for maximum effect. A good start.

John Minster submitted media.

Dear Prudence (Lennon/McCartney) by The Coffinstuffers

Alan Cross

"Dear Prudence" is one of the Beatles songs that offers plenty of opportunities for re-imagination (Just ask Siouxsie and the Banshees.) This arrangement reminds me a bit of Billy Thorpe's "Children of the Sun" from 1979 (, especially with the guitar sound.

Now, some questions:

What's the overall goal of this project? 
Where are you hoping to take it? Is something music supervisors should be looking at? Or are you looking to take it into another area? 
Given that the market for albums filled with covers is limited, who do you see as your target audience?
Is this the kind of project that requires a music publicist to take it around to people who are looking for this kind of music?

Just some stuff to think about. I'll spread it around through my social media channels.

John Minster submitted media.

Future Boy by The Coffinstuffers

John Minster submitted media.

Tremelo Girl by The Coffinstuffers

Robal Johnson

I dig your style. This has a cool, retro punk vibe akin to the Dead Milkmen and the Violent Femmes. The vocals are fun, the riffs are tight, and the chorus is catchy as fuck. I would bet that this is a fan favorite at live gigs and I am sure the crowd will be singing along. I am sure there is a punk label out there that would be into supporting the band, but unfortunately that is not my area of expertise and can not think of anyone in that scene to share this with. I would submit a digital care package to every label you guys are a fan of and follow up with a snail mail swag bag. I would also send the track to college radio stations around the country and follow up the same way. If you guys can do cheap tees and/or buttons and/or totes I would send those. The swag bag costs a bit more, but I know from experience that it stands out and definitely gets you recognized. Please keep sharing your tunes and holler with any questions any time. Best of luck. 

Brody Ramone

Overall the track is well produced and the production values are spot on. The singer has very unique vox, it's almost raspy yet has a definite pop vibe to the delivery. Keep up the great work!

SD Hox

This is a fun, catchy track with a retro sound. I think the production really fits the song. Let me know when the track is up on Spotify and I will include in a playlist. Thanks.

John Minster submitted media.

Bryn Athyn by The Coffinstuffers

Alan Cross

Interesting choice of a cover. I like it when people take the time to dig deep for tunes to cover. This gives you a chance to really make a song your own.

Same questions as last time. Where do you see this project fitting into the musical food chain? A manager or agent is essential at this point.

Abdul Karim Siraji

Nice Song.
Though The Sound mixing needs a lot of improvement. 
Vocals can be louder
Triangle Bell can be softer. 
Synths can be Panned bit Centre.
Reduce Chord Organ/pad a bit

Music Arrangement can be a bit more interesting to keep listener interest.
Like you can stop the Drums at few moments.

Vocals: You could add backing harmony vocals in chorus.

Heather Frazier Behling

The instrumentals are so catchy!!! Listened to it three times in a row. Feel like the end came a little bit abruptly; like her story wasn't finished. 

stan stewart

Spooky arrangement/performance! I could rarely remember if I was stuck in a cavern or listening to your SC track in my music studio. Checked it out on both my computer speakers and studio monitors: crazy cool. Kind of a weird mix between the tambourine and the sensation of being inside bagpipes.
I'd love to hear this track live; how do you re-create the vibe? Or do you create a completely different arrangement? The point is that this is an intriguing track.
Ironically, you haven't really told us a story in the lyrics. Just given us a taste of something that we get to create in our own memories and wonderings. Moody and nicely done.

Liane Chan

Some of the backing instruments sound a little too loud during the intro, but aside from that, the song is interesting and sort of unusual. It structurally sounds different from a lot of songs, though that could be more because of the vocals and use of synth sounds. This track does make me want to hear more!

John Minster submitted media.

At The Bottom Of The Hill by The Coffinstuffers

John Minster submitted media.

Town Dog by The Coffinstuffers

John Minster submitted media.

Serafina by The Coffinstuffers

Johnny Ramirez

Great song and such a great vibe! Loved it!! 

John Minster submitted media.

Goodbye Summer by The Coffinstuffers

Brian Hazard

Interesting track! I'm not sure what to make of it.

I hear hints of Ventures surf rock, but then the production is more modern - almost artificial with the panned cymbals. Which I find more and more distracting as the song progresses.

Lyrically, the only way it makes sense is if it's a girl named Summer. It would be nice if it doubled as making sense with the season, but it really doesn't. I like the poetic turnaround from "you're not coming back" to "I'm not coming back" but I don't feel like I understand the story at a deeper level. It's also confusing because you're saying goodbye, but apparently it was a long time ago. Maybe I'm overthinking it. 😜

According to SoundCloud, it's an old track, so I'm not sure if my feedback will help. It's not really a great fit for my following on Twitter anyway, as they tend to be Depeche Mode fans.

A couple suggestions for future Fluence submissions:

1. Include the lyrics so we can follow along (I understood them just fine, and saw most of them in the cover art, but still...)

2. Include a short, catchy description of the song or act that's easy to copy/paste for social media sharing. That way we don't have to strain our brain coming up with something clever, and you get to choose how you're presented to the world.

Thanks for sharing it with me!

Alan Cross

Interesting. Retro-y melodic vibe (early 60s?) but difficult to pin down. Familiar yet new. That's hard to do. I'm also torn between saying that it's just the right length and that it needs to be longer. 

After a couple of listens, though, I'm wondering if there shouldn't be another verse before the bridge. And then I'm wondering if (a) the final verse should be different rather than a repeat of the first one. And a final thought: what about arranging the ending to end on a last chord or with a cold out. While the fade lends a wistfulness to the song, I don't think the track is long enough to warrant a fade. It makes the whole thing feel...truncated, you know?

I wonder what another producer might make of this? Would be change the synth solo on the fade?

Andrea Young

At first listen, I love the alternative indie pop sound of this as it starts out. Catchy and earwormish! It sort of veers away at about :53 though, with some instrumental guitar work that in itself is great, but feels a bit disconnected.  And then comes back again somewhat at about 1:14.  I'd definitely suggest further development of the initial  melody, tune, vocals, and vibe in the first 53 secs of the track.  In any case, this is obviously just a quick snippet, further development would be required if you are looking to release commercially/get airplay and further attention.  Hope that's helpful, thanks for your submission, good luck with your music!

John Minster submitted media.

What Has Happened To Your Girlfriend by The Coffinstuffers

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