Posted On 10 Jul 2017
Envy on the Coast are a Long Island, New York based post-hardcore band.
Their newest EP, released on June 30th via Equal Vision Records is called Ritual. It is the band’s first new music in seven years.
As EOTC’s Brian Byrne and Ryan Hunter told AP last year, the band’s self-described “reincarnation” was sparked by the pair’s low-key reunion in April of 2016, their first inkling of renewed activity since the band packed it up after their 2010’s Lowcountry.
“This EP is a bit of a time capsule that we decided to offer as a first impression for this iteration of our band,” the newfound duo tell Billboard of the EP that’s been seven years in the making. “These songs represent a time of turmoil and uncertainty in our musical and personal lives that took place seven years ago.”
“The reason we decided not to keep going with Envy in the first place is that Brian and I wanted to do different things creatively,” Hunter revealed to AP in 2016. “This does something that none of my projects in the past six years do, and I really want to do it again. I want to have that in my life.”
“It’s always been that dynamic between the two of us that drove [this] thing. That’s the reality of the creative process of the band.”
Purchase the EP here:
Physicals – http://envyonthecoast.merchnow.com
Digital – https://eotc.lnk.to/ritualPR
Learn more about Envy On The Coast in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! Where does this interview find the band today?
R – I’m at my home studio in LA. About to edit some footage for a good ole fashioned music video.
B – Running around doing errands dealing with Long Island drivers who have unanimously decided to make their own rules today.
What are some words you would use to describe 2017 so far? How differently did you all approach this year?
R – Absurd. I keep returning to that word. It’s really hard to ignore the unrest in the world right now, so everything I do feels really small and insignificant compared to all the heaviness around me. When Bri was in town a few weeks ago, we vented to each other that we both felt that way, so that helped. We’ve been shooting a lot of video stuff, and that’s been a really great outlet for that struggle.
B – Fucked. To echo what Ryan said, the idea of being a rock band (or doing anything artistic) feels vital and simultaneously futile against the current political and social landscape.
How do you think the sound of Envy on The Coast is different now? What about what drives you all to make music now? How has that shifted?
R – I feel that our sound has always evolved from record to record, so that’s no different now. It’s often felt like a detriment, but we don’t know any other way to do it. It’ll happen again on the next one. As for the drive, for me, it’s the same as it always was. I feel like most creators have something in them that just needs to get out. That’s at the core of it, always.
B – It’s different now because we’re different people. Our sound has naturally progressed as we’ve aged because we prioritize things differently.
What was it like getting back into the studio as Envy On The Coast as the long absence? Did the chemistry fall right back into place or was it completely different? Was there any nervous energy at all or just excitement and readiness?
R- It definitely felt like the chemistry fell right back into place. I didn’t feel any nervous energy or anything like that, but I think that was a direct result of the timing. Brian and I collaborated on many projects in the last 7 years, and it wasn’t always easy or natural. Often, I think we both felt like we needed to do our own thing, and we eventually did. So, having all those experiences eventually brought us to a place where it was exciting and natural to be working together again.
B – It was a lot of fun and super natural for us to make “Ritual” the way we did, with Mike Sapone. The studio experience did feel like it happened in a bit of a vacuum since a very large part of the writing had happened so long ago. It was like we had this ball clay that had already been formed into something resembling what we wanted and we were just there to facilitate the finer details to make the finished product.
I am always curious to know about a band’s sound and really their dynamics has been influenced by the city they all live and write their music. How do you think being a Long Island-based band has affected this group?
R- I think Long Island has played less of a part in our sound than it has in affecting our determination at the beginning. Long Island was a hot bed for a lot of music when we were in our teen years, so seeing that it was possible and tangible to get out there and do this thing that we loved to do on such a grand scale was really important for us. We watched and learned from other bands’ mistakes and were fortunate enough to have some mentors that helped steer us.
B – I think being from here will always shape how we approach music and how we see things. On the one hand you have so much natural beauty and serene landscape, and then you mix it with this rat-race suburban sprawl and there are some violent collisions. Being an artist here is not easy for the same reasons it’s not easy to be an artist anywhere, but it’s definitely highlighted here because there’s no place for young people to go. A lot of the scene that was cultivated when we were young has been starved out.
Later this month, you will be releasing a new EP called “Ritual.” Can you elaborate on how exactly it is a time capsule?
R – The material on the EP is part of a larger bulk of songs that Bri and I wrote 7 years ago, shortly after the band officially broke up. It was supposed to be the blueprints for a new project, but we realized that what we had made what was essentially the next EOTC stuff, so we shelved it. We felt these songs needed to see the light of day before we could officially move on.
B – It’s like finding this half-finished love poem from a relationship that already ran it’s course. There’s the raw emotion and there’s the perspective that 7 years will give you.
How do you think your already released singles, “Manic State Park” and “Virginia Girls” prepares your devoted fans for the rest of your forthcoming EP? What was the inspiration for those tracks in particular?
R – We’ve always had a lot of different personalities on our records, and I think that’s exemplified in both those songs. There’s other personalities to this EP as well, which I’m excited for people to hear. As far as inspiration, I’d like to let people continue to absorb the songs without divulging anything. I talk too much.
B – Ryan’s 100% right. He talks too much.
It must feel pretty incredible having your long-time fans be so thrilled that you are back to making music. What has that reception been like for you guys at recent shows? Are you surprised at all by the love from fans?
R – It’s been great. We’re very fortunate to have people who waited 7 years to see us, as well as people who are discovering us for the first time.
B – It’s been crazy. People’s reactions to our band always surprise me because there are some extremely devoted fans out there and our band means everything to them. It’s a bit jarring to have someone not be able to find the words to explain what a piece of music you wrote did for them. It’s an honor.
I’d love to more about the Planned Parenthood benefit show that you did back in December? What were some of the female artists that you covered? Where did the idea to do this concert come from?
R – We covered Fleetwood Mac, Sheryl Crow, Robyn, Mariah Carey and ‘TilTuesday. PP is an organization that needs help now more than ever, so it just made sense. Bri and I are momma’s boys with a lot of strong women in our lives, and that’s always been the case. The world we live in is not built equally for them, and it was just an opportunity for us to play a small part in helping to change that.
B – It was an idea we had because we felt like we wanted to honor these incredible artists without being patronizing or hokey about it. I think if we hadn’t had the idea to get Planned Parenthood involved, it may have came off as “here’s these two guys singing songs by females….great!”, but we were and still are genuinely concerned with that institution’s right to function and how it affects women all over this country.
Who are some of your favorite artists? Who would you all to work with in the future? What would be a dream collaboration for this band?
R – All time favorites are Stevie Wonder, Trent Reznor, Prince, ?uestlove, and the list goes on and on. I’d really love to work with Mark Ronson or Eric Valentine.
B – I’m a die hard Third Eye Blind fan. Spiritualized and My Bloody Valentine are also big inspirations for me as a guitar player. I’d kill to make a record with Eric Valentine or Blake Mills.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
R – That’s pretty broad, but recently I’ve felt like the music and art in our current world can be divided up into two categories: hope & distractions. Distractions are top 40 radio, memes, and Youtube series. I like distractions. They help you forget that the president of our country is a fucking asshole and we’re all gonna die. But hope is necessary too. Hope is Vince Staples, the Song Exploder podcast, and the new Chris Gethard comedy special. I feel like we create hope. I really don’t mean that in some sort of self aggrandizing way. We just often take the long way in making things that feel cathartic, and I think that’s why people listen to our band.
B – We’ve always been blessed to have a fan base that really gives a shit about what we’re going for. There’s not a lot of “I hope they make a record that sounds like _____” from them. They’re in our corner and rooting for us to do what we do and I hope they know that we’re in their corner as well. If that can come across in everything we do, then that’s what I want them to take away.
What advice would you give to someone just getting started on this music path? Or even to someone young that is thinking of becoming a musician one day?
R – Trust your gut. Always trust your gut.
B – Anyone that tells you that you “can’t” is talking to themselves. Study the craft of great songwriters, learn to love the details, trust your ears.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
R – The EP drops on June 30th and I have a wonderful dog named Forrest.
B – I have a crippling coffee addiction and Ryan has a dog named Forrest.