Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Mango Coast: pop, indie rock band dominates fraternity scene

Manoo Sirivelu
Mango Coast band performs on March 22, 2024 at the Kappa Alpha fraternity house.

A guitar string sings, queuing the first song of the up-and-coming band’s set. The crowd begins to stir and sway as Mango Coast plays the beat to “Heaven” by Los Lonely Boys. 

Mango Coast, an indie-rock band composed of four UT students, all with backgrounds in music, performs indie-rock and pop-rock cover songs. The group grew in popularity around campus by playing for fraternity and sorority events.   

Finance seniors Val Mooty and Josh Fisher created the band in 2023 and met in their freshman year playing in a band called Hammerheads. 

“Josh and I wanted to do something a little different (from Hammerheads), like really get booked for shows, practice a lot more and take it really seriously,” Mooty said.

Fisher knew a guitarist in his fraternity, finance sophomore Edward Hyde. Hyde knew another guitarist who knew another bass player, Surain Saigal, and the band came together. The group’s band manager, finance senior Gavin Smith said the band brings contagious energy to shows. 

“Everyone in the band is somewhat known now amongst the fans of Mango Coast, so people see familiar faces (at shows),” said Smith. “From the stage that (energy) translates to how the crowd feels. … They keep it very personal and engaged.”

Mango Coast practices in an unoccupied back lodge at the Kappa Sig fraternity house and rehearses a couple of times a week. The band chooses each set list from a pool of songs, and this semester they added six new songs.

“If someone comes back to the show, usually they’re coming back because they want to hear the same songs. Like ‘Sex on Fire’, everybody wants to hear that every time and it’s great,” Mooty said.

Their recent shows took place on April 13 at a Zeta Phi Beta charity event and a Zeta Beta Tau party. They are currently preparing for their next big show at Victory Lap on May 4. 

“(We’re) playing two shows pretty much a week, at least these last couple of months. We’ve gotten a lot of reps,” Mooty said. “We’re a lot more comfortable together and in front of an audience. … The crowds have improved, the promotion has improved, our skills have improved.”

Mango Coast provides a personal feel, especially when Mooty interacts with the audience. Hyde said the chemistry between his band members and the audience makes for a fun and comfortable show. 

“I love seeing the crowd … and seeing people jumping and singing to the songs,” Hyde said. “Having an active crowd when you’re playing and interacting, even though these are parties, creates an intimate connection between the band and the crowd which I really appreciate.” 

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