Being part of lifestyle retailer Pacific Sunwear’s first ever Pac Tour has been a cool gig for Long Island’s Envy on the Coast. “There’s been a great turnout and stuff,” says frontman Ryan Hunter.
But it hasn’t necessarily translated into lots of PacSun swag for the participating bands.
“No, we haven’t actually received any goodies, and I don’t know if that’s part of the deal,” Hunter, 21, says with a laugh. “It’s like, ‘Throw me some board shirts, dude,’ right? I think we got Alternative Press hoodies and stuff like that on the AP tour, but I don’t know what we’re gonna get on this one.”
Mostly, Hunter notes, Envy on the Coast gets a high-profile chance to continue promoting “Lucy Gray,” the debut album by the group, which formed in high school before Hunter and guitarist Sal Bossio attended Hofstra University — subsequently dropping out to dedicate themselves to the band.
Still, Envy on the Coast’s music retains a certain collegiate intellect. Hunter’s lyrics display his literature studies; “Lucy Gray’s” title even comes from a William Wordsworth poem, while the song “... Because All Suffering is Sweet to Me” quotes Saint Therese de Lisieux and “I’m Breathing ... Are You Breathing Too?” references the Robert Boli play “A Man For All Seasons.” But Hunter says he and his bandmates hope they’re never seen as too smart for the mosh pit.
“That’s a constant, eminent thought in all our heads,” he says. “We just hope we don’t come off in an arrogant, pretentious way. But it’s a fact that right now what’s popular isn’t necessarily filled with substance. That’s not a new thing; it’s been going on for a long time.
“We just think it’s OK to give our fans something more to think about and dig into while they’re listening to us, that’s all.”
The Pac Tour, featuring The Audition, Envy on the Coast, Danger Radio and Another Day Late, plays at 5:30 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 9) at the Shelter, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Tickets are $13. Call (313) 961-6358 or visit www.livenation.com.
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