Seven years after its self-imposed hiatus -- following tours alongside 30 Seconds To Mars, Underoath and Taking Back Sunday -- the Long Island band Envy On The Coast is back! On its brief headlining tour earlier this year, the group celebrated the 10-year anniversary of its debut full-length album Lucy Gray while also featuring new material. Those new songs eventually turned into the Ritual EP, which Equal Vision Records released on June 30th. The first public offering from Ritual was “Manic State Park,” as co-produced by Mike Sapone (Taking Back Sunday, Brand New).
Envy On The Coast’s principal members, Ryan Hunter and Brian Byrne, not only spoke with PureGrainAudio about what brought the group back together, but also Instagram, video content and future plans. More on Hunter, Byrne and crew can be found at www.envyonthecoast.com.
Check out the music video for the song “Sift”.
To someone who hasn’t heard Envy On The Coast before, how do you usually describe the band? Ryan Hunter: I usually say, “If you LOVED True Detective Season 2, then you may or may not like our band. Also, that season was terrible and you’re insane.”
Brian Byrne: Am I the only person who didn’t hate Season 2!?!
Will Noon was your band’s first manager. Were you his first client? Hunter: I’m honestly not sure, but I think we were. He’s helped out a lot of bands over the years though, whether officially managing them on paper or just being that guy to help guide them in the right direction. He’s a great guy.
Byrne: I believe we were his first full-fledged managerial commitment.
The band turned down some good major label record deals within a few years of forming. How did you know to go the indie route? Hunter: I wouldn't say we “knew” to take the indie route, but we had no idea who the hell we were and I think we knew that much at that time. I think that’s probably the worst circumstance someone could be in when signing a major label contract. Our gut just told us we’d be happier taking the indie route.
Byrne: I begged them to take the deals. I heard there’s interns that help you pick out stage clothes! But it was all like “credibility” this and “integrity” that. (laughs)
Envy On The Coast came back last year. What inspired this regrouping? Hunter: It wasn’t one particular event. Bri and I missed playing music together, we missed the songs and the energy and being on-stage. The question of “hey, should we do that thing again?” came up a few times over the years, and we finally just felt the time was right.
Byrne: It just felt natural. Enough time had passed to where we felt like we could approach this project and give it the time and attention it needs to be what we want it to be.
Here is a performance of “Virginia Girls” by Envy On The Coast.
Who else rounds out the band’s lineup these days? Hunter: We’ve got Doug Rogells on drums, who has been with us since the first tours we did on Lowcountry. We’ve had Dan Ellis and then Matt Fazzi from Taking Back Sunday and Happy Body Slow Brain on keys/guitar, and we’ve got Gray Robertson on bass, who also plays in my project, 1ST VOWS.
What’s coming up for the band in the coming months? Lots of touring? Hunter: No, actually. Right now it’s a lot of video stuff, since that’s what Brian and I have been most passionate about recently. We really wanted to accompany all this music with the right visuals, so it’s been a long process, but we’re excited about the stuff we’ve been putting out.
Byrne: Just getting the video content together and figuring out a game plan for early 2018.
When not busy with music, how do you like to spend your free time? Hunter: I get outside in any capacity I can.
Byrne: I stalk Ryan’s Instagram page and I also like to go outside.
What’s been your favorite album of 2017? Hunter:Perfume Genius’ new record is phenomenal.
Byrne: I’ve been digging the new Sylvan Esso.
Finally, any last words for the kids? Hunter: Hang in there. It gets better.
Byrne: Instagram is not your friend. Don’t invest too much time into it.