The Black Coast is about to drop ‘quarantine model’ EP quickly

Fishtown’s The Black Coast combines rock and dirty blues into a heavy guitar and a vocally driven garage rock sound.

The two core members Stef Emery and Ryan Gaughan appear as a duo or with a full band and dive deep into explosive guitar riffs and soaring vocals to achieve a mix of grit and soul that speaks volumes.

Their debut album “And Counting” (under the band name La Capitaña) was released in 2012. Most recently, in late 2019 to 2020, they released a number of singles under their new name The Black Coast. In December 2020 they released their seven song album, which includes these singles, as well as several other new songs, “Dark Days | Dark nights. ”

The band has played many Philly venues including The TLA, Dobb’s, Bourbon and Branch, Ortliebs, Milkboy, and the recently closed Boot and Saddle. They’ll be releasing a quarantine-style acoustic EP in early 2021, which will feature a mix of songs from their freshman album as well as some songs from their new release.

PW recently met with Emery and Gaughan to discuss their careers and music.

Fishtown’s The Black Coast has performed in numerous locations across the city. | Image: Travis Chicken

Let’s go back to the beginning. Who were some of your early musical influences? When did you know you wanted to be a musician?

Stef: I started playing music at a young age, just before I was ten. In my early teens, I started doing a lot of classic rock and then I really found a love for singing. Although I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a musician, it wasn’t until I was a teenager that I felt that music had to be a dominant part of my life. Early influences were Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Cream … All this music from the 60s and 70s has just opened up a whole different world to me.

Ryan: I was probably 10 or so when I realized I wanted to do this. Blues was my first major influence. Buddy Guy, BB, to Stevie Ray. Finally I made my way to Hendrix, Black Sabbath and Zeppelin.

How did you two get together to make music? Why did you think it would fit well?

Stef: Ry and I met in high school and instantly bonded over a shared love for anything to do with rock and blues. We ended up doing a few coffee house shows together in high school and college. It was 2011 when we finally decided it was time to form an official band together. Since we had been best friends for so long and always only had the same styles of music, it was really an easy decision to form the band! We thought that if we could bring our love of music together and write songs we liked, maybe others would love them too. We were under the band name La Capitaña from 2011 to 2019 and recently rebranded to change our name and release our latest album “Dark Days | Dark nights. “

Ryan: We practiced for an acoustic set in a small studio where we both worked. As we went through the songs, all I remember is that I really wanted to hear more rock music for Stef. We’ve been best friends since we were 16 too so we knew it was going to work!

They have played many local venues that were closed during the pandemic. How did all the closings and restrictions affect you, besides not being able to perform in those places?

Ryan: It was hard not even to see each other! Go out for a drink, write together, let alone not play live. It was an isolating time but we found our own way to move on.

Stef: When the pandemic started we were preparing to plan a release show for the new album … It was obvious that we had to hold back indefinitely to do this. It was so different to releasing new music and not sharing it live, but using social media was the first way to keep in touch with our followers. And like Ry said, it was crazy not even to drink and make music together! We’re really looking forward to the day when we can be out there again and play these new songs live.

What is the Philly music scene like these days? Are there any local artists that you particularly follow or would like to work with in the future?

Stef and Ryan: We are so lucky to live in such a music driven city with so many incredibly talented artists. There are so many great musicians out there that we can call friends in this town and it was really inspiring to see how they adjusted to the closure. Everyone is forced to get even more creative with their music marketing in order to stay afloat and it’s so cool to see how some of these bands took on a difficult situation and turned it over to work for them.

To name a few Philly bands and artists we love these days … First off – our hard working drummer Branden King just released a single, “Grand New (This Year),” Secret American, The End of America, Roger Harvey, 49 Burning condors, the Menzinger … to name just a few.

Talk a little about the new album “Dark Days | Dark nights. “How did it come together in terms of the writing and production process?

Stef and Ryan: This new record was so much fun. We recorded it at Cambridge Sound Studios in South Philly with Jim Salamone and Todd Mecaughey. We really took the time to do it, thought a lot about the production and recording process and really saw it as the best representation of us as a band at the time. We wrote and recorded these songs over a period of about two years. Some came together very quickly, like the first single from the album, “The Entertainment (Caught Me by Surprise)” because we literally thought we were done with the record, and then we realized we didn’t quite have the stellar first single that we had we were looking for. Ry nailed a riff down in no time, had the melody and the hook, and we literally wrote the lyrics until three in the morning before we went into the studio to record them (which is our method because I’m on some remember late nights finishing the texts before a session the next day!). Overall, we just knew that this album had to represent where we came from with our first, but we also had to dig a little deeper into our love of rock music. We wanted to keep developing our sound instead of potentially falling into something that could stagnate.

Talk a little about the quarantine style album coming out soon. When do you expect it to be released and how will your fans get it?

Stef and Ryan: We came up with the idea of ​​making an EP with some old and new songs, all recorded at home, and releasing them as a kind of quarantine style collection. It will be a purely acoustic EP with some new settings from the older songs and stripped down versions of the new ones. We can even throw a brand new unreleased song on it. We’ll be releasing it in the next few months and it will be available wherever you stream your music!

What are the best ways for your fans to keep up to date with what you’re doing?

Stef and Ryan: We’re on all social media platforms, but Instagram is the one we are most active on and the one where we get back to our fans. Our music is streamed everywhere and we also have a website where you can find everything in one place!

Check out The Black Coast online at: