Lee Coulter was the nice guy that went straight to the friend zone, “even when I was trying to be badass.”
  • Lee Coulter was the nice guy that went straight to the friend zone, “even when I was trying to be badass.”
  • Image by Sharisse Coulter
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“Most of my songs consist of simple lyrical concepts in the form of a melodic pop song, broken down with raw, acoustic production,” says soulful troubadour Lee Coulter. “Then I like to change it up and do something totally different.”

Coulter first landed in San Diego after leaving his native Australia to follow his love and future wife Sharisse, an aspiring author, to Encinitas in 2002. When Sharisse’s first fiction book was published last year, the duo spent six months on a novel-music tour, crossing the country in a custom RV painted with green-and-blue tropical murals and their names emblazoned on the sides, hitting 55 cities accompanied by their four-year-old son.

It’s a lifestyle he feels lucky to have long enjoyed. “I only had three real jobs before playing music full time,” he says, noting that — even in his worker bee days — good fortune seemed his favor. “I was never fired or anything. I like to think that’s because I’m too pretty.”

This past February found him opening for rock-and-roll pioneer Chuck Berry. “It was at his venue in St. Louis called the Duck Room at Blueberry Hill, and it was a sold-out show, packed wall to wall with Chuck Berry fans, some just fans of music history who came to get a glimpse. We played a 45-minute set that went really well, as we won some new fans, but the whole time I was thinking ‘Don’t say Chuck Berry.’ It’s one of the few rules you are told when opening for Chuck Berry is that you are not permitted to say his name.”

Coulter is currently recording his third album.

WHAT ELSE ARE YOU WORKING ON?

“Right now, I’m listening to many different versions of a CD that I’m currently mastering for a project that I’m a part of called Square Pegs Baby. It’s obnoxiously pop hip-hop borderline parody, so it’s been a fun change. I don’t typically listen to my own music but, when it’s time to master, it is a must to make the necessary adjustments.”

ANY ONSTAGE BATTLE SCARS?

“Just the typical drunk dancer at a paying-your-dues-type gig, falling into the mic stand, sending my mic into my lip and teeth. A little bit of blood, but not enough to stop playing. Knock on wood.”

USELESS TRIVIA?

“It is a fact that there will come a time when our sun stops burning. It won’t be soon, but let’s make the most of it anyway.”

BEST LOCAL VOICE?

Dawn Mitschele. It’s a voice that draws you in and sounds like someone you’ve know for years, even if you’ve never met her.”

IF YOU COULD TIME TRAVEL?

“I’d go to the year that Jesus was hanging out on the mountain, take my iPhone out, and have him clear up a few debatable specifics on video. It would also make for an epic Facebook profile pic.”

FAVORITE CONCERT?

“Simon and Garfunkel in Fresno in 2004. They were awesome, but it was even more special because they were the reason I started to play music when I was young.”

WHO DO YOU TAKE AFTER?

“I like to think I learned from the better sides of both my parents. An obvious trait I picked up is that my mum plays guitar. And she’s brown.”

IDEAL VACATION SPOT?

“It’s always a working vacation where I’m playing, so I can’t really say. But I do love Hawaii. They think I’m local there, until I start speaking.”

WHEN WERE YOU LAST YELLED AT?

“This morning, by my son, for not looking at him when he was speaking to me.”

MOST AWESOME BAND NAME?

“The best band name is probably The Band, because it’s practical.”

YOUR FIRST TIME DRUNK?

“I feel like I’m letting down my homeland of Australia, but I’ve never really been drunk. Actually, not true. My bachelor party in Lake Tahoe, more of a hangout than a party, got a tad bit ugly. I was 23.”

BEST PICKUP LINE?

“‘Hey, wife, you got a minute?’ Actually, I don’t think I ever used a pickup line in my life. Not that I didn’t need to. I was the nice guy that went straight to the friend zone, even when I was trying to be badass.”

FIVE THINGS WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

1) “I’m a frustrated filmmaker.”

2) “I’m a total nerd.”

3) “My favorite show is Mythbusters.

4) “I spend hours at time contemplating space.”

5) “If you put on some hip-hop, I will dance like I was born with swagga.”

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