The Middle Coast
Friday, Jan. 8, 9 p.m.
Uniter Fiver showcase
Thursday, Jan. 14, 8 p.m.
Good Will Social Club
Admission $10, $5 for students
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 6/1/2016 (1984 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
When you first hear yacht-rock trio the Middle Coast, the classic, catchy melodies, ’70s-inspired grooves and the maturity of the harmonies make it hard to believe they are all under the age of 22.
But, in the iconic words of Indiana Jones: It’s not the years, honey, it’s the mileage.
The members of the Brandon-based group — recently voted one of the top five local bands on University of Winnipeg paper the Uniter’s annual Uniter Fiver list — have been playing together since their early teens, and have spent much of the last year touring coast to coast, logging more than 700 hours on the road and performing upwards of 150 shows.
During that time, they also started and finished their first full-length album.
"It was busy, but it was great," says keyboardist Liam Duncan, 19. "You learn so much every time you go out on the road — everything from the business side of music to how you’re playing. We record every show we do and we listen back to it afterwards to see what could be improved. I think that’s been a huge part of our improvement over the last year — constantly making things better."
Duncan and his bandmates, singer-guitarist Dylan MacDonald, 21, and drummer Roman Clarke, 19, were formerly known as Until Red — a name they hated from the moment they chose it, or rather, the moment they got it from an online band-name generator when they were about 14 years old.
The creation of the album was on the horizon and the members were ready to make a full-time commitment to the band — all sufficient motivation to consider renaming the group something that better encapsulated its sound and vision.
"We didn’t think it (Until Red) really represented us; we couldn’t think of any positive connotations to it. On top of that, it doesn’t have a good ring to it, it’s hard to remember and there’s no story behind it," Duncan says, rattling off a handful of reasons why their previous name was unanimously deemed a dud.
"Instead of a conversation starter, it was a conversation ender."
As for the moniker the Middle Coast, MacDonald says, "It’s just kind of our tribute to Manitoba, in a way. We’ve toured a lot through Canada, and people are always going on about how beautiful the East Coast is and how awesome the West Coast is, and we think that the middle coast is the best coast."
With the heavy task of renaming out of the way, the band is now sharply focused on its album.
Though there isn’t a set release date, and only the first single, Want You, is out for public consumption, the Middle Coast is optimistic about the album’s potential to reach the masses.
"We’re hoping for some good radio play and to make a big splash with this first album. We want to create a solid foundation here in Canada, keep touring and start establishing ourselves elsewhere, too," says Duncan.
"It’s kind of a jumping-off point in a way, just because we haven’t released anything other than a demo/EP sort of thing," adds MacDonald.
"We’re definitely looking forward to just getting music that we feel really stoked on out there."
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Erin Lebar is a multimedia producer who spends most of her time writing music- and culture-related stories for the Arts & Life section. She also co-hosts the Winnipeg Free Press's weekly pop-culture podcast, Bury the Lede.