The Middle Coast taking final bow

Staple local act talks farewell show, future solo projects

The Middle Coast, comprised of Dylan MacDonald, Liam Duncan and Roman Clarke, will be playing their EP release and farewell show Feb. 2. This will mark their last performance as a band “for the foreseeable future.”

The band has been playing together for seven years, since high school.

“We’re all kind of sad about it, to some extent, because we’ve been doing it for so long […] We’ve learned so much and grown so much all together,” said Duncan.

“It’s a pretty special experience to have with your best buds.”

The Middle Coast worked hard to get better and perform as often as they could.

“At 19, or 18, or whatever, there was nothing other to do than tour, because none of our songs we wrote at that point certainly were not going to go to radio or anything like that,” said MacDonald.

They would record their shows, then watch them back taking notes on how to improve. Their work ethic as musicians, combined with their friendship, made them a long-lasting trio.

“I feel like I learned how to play music in this band,” said Duncan.

“It’s been totally life-changing in a really positive way for me.”

“We learned a lot about people for sure,” added MacDonald.

“It’s a strange relationship, being in a band, even more intimate than a romantic relationship in many ways. I’d probably say I know these dudes maybe better than any romantic partner I’ve ever been with. I’ve certainly been with them longer.”

“I’ve been your most consistent sleeping partner,” replied Duncan.

The three have been undergoing an adjustment period, transitioning from working as a band to working as separate solo artists.

“Life is definitely different,” said Clarke.

Clarke, Duncan and MacDonald went from rehearsing together around five days a week to working mostly alone in their own basements.

“What I’m noticing now that I’ve booked my own tour and done a bunch of stuff that I used to do for the Middle Coast for myself, writing grants, booking tours, making a record, it’s just a lot more pressure on one person,” said Duncan.

The accomplishments as solo artists are satisfying, but the three no longer experience their victories simultaneously.

“The shared wins and shared losses, they’re kind of unparalleled,” said MacDonald.

Despite the challenges of going solo, wrapping up the Middle Coast was necessary for the musicians.

“The whole process of realizing that the band was not necessarily the thing that I wanted to commit all my creative energy to […] was a massive exercise in learning how to be just like honest with yourself, and honest with the people that you care about,” said Clarke.

“At some point there’s just a realization that’s like, you only have so much creative energy and creative time,” said Duncan.

“If you look at a lot of people who end up doing really well, half the time they’ve all gone through, like, four different bands they’ve put their whole life into for years.”

The decision to wrap up the Middle Coast also gave the bandmates the opportunity to reflect on their experience as a band and their creative priorities, according to MacDonald.

Clarke will be releasing a record in April and touring as Joey Landreth’s drummer.

He has a few festivals lined up as a solo act, to be announced later.

“If I do pretty well you’ll probably hear my music in like an Ardene’s one day,” he joked. His music is a fusion of R&B, funk and pop.

Duncan is taking his sound in a more rock ’n’ roll direction. His first single will be coming out Feb. 8, followed by a record in June. He will be touring as a solo act in the spring and has some festival performances scheduled for the summer.

MacDonald’s upcoming solo record’s release date is undetermined. His record is mellower than the Middle Coast’s music, falling into the singer-songwriter or roots genre.

“I’m really proud of a lot of the work that we did, and we’ve had some pretty hilariously fun and weird experiences together,” said Duncan.

The release of their last EP and final show ends the Middle Coast’s run on a high note, where they will perform their favourite original songs.

Catch the Middle Coast’s final show at the Good Will Social Club Feb. 2. Online tickets are sold out. Limited physical tickets are still available at the Good Will box office.