Envy on the Coast guitarist discusses recent tour and love for The Paramount in Huntington

Envy on the Coast has been synonymous with the Long Island rock scene for two decades.

The Long Island band are known for their fiery guitar sound that burned down clubs like The Downtown and The Crazy Donkey in Farmingdale, VFW Halls and Temple Beth Am in Merrick from their formation in 2003 until their initial break-up in 2009. .

They’re usually labeled as emo or pop-punk, but founding guitarist Brian Byrne said he thought their sound was heavier, while noting that the band was inspired by the rock legends that came before them, in particular. Glassjaw.

“Glassjaw was obviously a big deal for us, as far as our rhythm section went,” Byrne said. “They, in my opinion, are one of the best rock and roll rhythm sections of all time.”

Byrne said he and frontman Ryan Hunter were kids of radio and MTV, absorbing everything hot and cool, like Taking Back Sunday or Third Eye Blind, the latter of which had a direct impact on Bryne as as a guitarist.

“I always tell people that the guitar plays on these first two [Third Eye Blind] records have kind of influenced everything I’ve done so far, ”Byrne said. “It’s kind of the big influence for me, playing in alternate chords and having weird, loud stuff happening with my guitar playing.”

A six-year break

After nearly a decade of growth and two alums to their credit, the group dissolved in 2010.

Byrne and Hunter have embarked on a series of projects, together and solo. In 2016, they released two classic Envy tracks for an encore during a show for the Hunter’s 1st Vows project.

“Obviously that elicited a pretty big reaction and we thought, ‘How do we start over? “,” Byrne said. “We both love attention, so we wanted to come back on stage and play those songs again.”

The following month, they announced they would be reviving Envy on the Coast and embarked on a reincarnation tour with three new members. The group has been an active force for the past five years, performing at festivals, clubs and theaters and releasing singles, EPs and a live album recorded at Paramount in Huntington in 2018.

‘3’ tracks and five shows

This past year has been a special year for fans of the band. The group released a three-track EP simply titled “3” and performed Riot Fest, Chain Fest, Irving Plaza and The Sinclair in Boston before their last stop at Paramount in Huntington on November 24.

At Paramount, the staples of the group’s two feature films, “Lucy Gray” and “Lowcountry”, made up most of the setlist. They also created new tracks, such as “Ghost” and the much loved “Temper Temper” from their debut EP.

While many Long Islanders filled the theater, the crowd included fans who traveled from across the country to see the band on their limited tour.

“I’ve been trying to fight for these tickets for about 12 years,” said Ty Richard, 27, of Lakeville, Connecticut. “The breakup happened and I was in the military when they got back together, so I couldn’t get out until last year and then I missed tickets. ”

The US Navy, who attended the show with his wife Ariana Richard, said he plans to have a tattoo of the lyrics “Throwing punches at ocean waves” from the song “The Gift of Paralysis”.

“Rather sensitive guys”

Of the three new tracks the band released, those lucky enough to reach the barrier on stage said they were most excited to hear “Flash Bang”.

“I moved to LA in the spring of this year and Ryan and I decided to write some new Envy songs just in anticipation of the shows, and because we thought it would be fun,” Byrne said of writing “Flash Bang.”

“We kind of hit a wall and he started playing with drum loops, and I was just doing riffs or whatever, and I played that guitar part on my baritone guitar which was really really simple – almost Lowcountry-esque pentatonic thing, ”he continued. “And it just worked, it looked kinda tough.”

Byrne said he and Hunter have a collaborative process when it comes to making new music. When Hunter comes up with guitar parts, Byrne will “make them a bit more harmonically dense and add my little frills.”

When it comes to writing lyrics today, Byrne said he and Hunter were always “pretty sensitive dudes,” but what inspires their lyrics today is quite different from their “Lucy Gray” days. .

“The topic of 15 years ago is certainly irrelevant to the things we have been doing recently,” he said. “But I think our process is now a little more refined and a little more mature and focused on bigger life issues than our immediate drama around our group of friends or our girlfriends – the things you write about. when you are 20 years old. “

“The most beautiful place on Long Island”

Prior to their tour stop last month, the last time Envy on the Coast performed at The Paramount was in 2018. The performance was released as a live album “Alive After All” in 2019 .

“This show was special because we were playing our two feature films in sequence, and we’ve never done that before, and probably never will,” Byrne said of the album’s release live. . “It was just kind of a realization, it just made sense. People love these songs and we’re a good live band and why not, you know?

Byrne’s relationship with The Paramount dates back to its opening in 2011. He worked as a production and stage manager until the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020.

“It is definitely the most beautiful place on Long Island by far and I have a personal relationship with this place,” he said. “For me it’s always going to be a special place to play – just because you know I broke my ass there, sweating, creating shows for other people. And then my band can play over there and demolish the place for a night, and it’s fun.

Fans who missed the opportunity to see the band on tour this year may have to wait a bit to see the rockers return to the stage.

“Getting back to the rhythm of things, especially after COVID, has been very difficult for both of us, and we both have other projects that we’re likely to pursue,” Byrne said. “So it will be nothing for us for the foreseeable future. “

Above: Brian Byrne in concert at Paramount on November 24.

About Raymond Lang

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