Visit the shop

Black Coast’s Charlie Hewitt: “You Have To Always Be Fighting For Something And I Think That We Are”

Jack Rogers
Jack Rogers 22 November 2021 at 16.54

"We’ve been through seven shades of shit and everything else you can imagine through our time, and we are still here"

Black Coast
have just released their debut album 'Outworld' and you simply need to hear it.

Bringing together all of the most dizzying and disorientating parts of nu-metal and pushing them through a destructively modern lens, it's an incredible collection of songs from a band that have dug their heels in and crafted their own niche. It's powerful, punishing and brimming with chest-thumping positivity, and only the beginning of what the next few years will hold for the band.

We sat down with vocalist Charlie Hewitt and guitarist Scott Pinnington to dissect its creation and the effect it has had on the two of them:

What was it that you initially wanted to be able to do with your debut album? How did that adapt as you got into the thick of it?
Charlie: "The early building blocks were based around us wanting to get away from where we had been in the past. We started out with the ‘Ill Minds’ EP, and that was a really quick process, but now we wanted to get back to where we started and why we started. I built my confidence up through that release, but I felt like I still had a lot of things that I still wanted to say but didn’t get across on it. Musically, we were selfish with the way we wrote this time around, whereas on ‘Ill Minds’, there was more thought of us needing to do certain things to please the crowd. This time there were no boundaries or blocks on what we were doing. I must have 1000 songs on my laptop, all ready to go in some form. So I was going over what I had, looking at the things that I had been through in the past and updating them as we went along and see what works out the best."

So, what sort of conversations were you having within the band to create that perfect something?
Charlie: "In many ways, the rest of the band leave me to it when writing lyrics. They know the base, but they leave me to my own devices in the same way that I leave them to their own devices musically. That’s how it has always worked, really, and then we all bring it together."

Scott: "It did feel like in the past we were being pigeonholed as the band that sounds like this band or that band. So the things we were talking about mainly were making sure that we were writing the music that we enjoyed more than anybody else. We had to write the music that if we were listening to it, we would love it. We were trying to find a way to make the songs we wrote sound big in the most simple and satisfying way."

So did seeing what the rest of the band were cooking up and the style that it was, inspire you more in terms of what you found yourself writing about?
Charlie: "It was nice to have it as a base. There was only one vocal style going all the way through it with the other stuff, and I knew that I wanted to do more. And to have the music feel more like a plethora of styles allowed me to get out my influences more so as well. I try to fit what the other boys want to make, but it’s still very much about getting my message across."

And that message is one of taking the right steps to help yourself and feel confident in that. How does it feel to know that you’re able to get such a personal and positive mindset across in such a heavy sound?
Charlie: "It feels amazing to be able to fit these things in the way that I want to say them and be at the same level as the music. That’s something that I’ve wanted to achieve for years. It’s stuff that has been on my chest for years, and finally getting the past out of there is so freeing. There are songs like ‘Addict’, which is from fucking years ago and talks about my father, who I haven’t spoken to in seven years now. Then there have been the issues that I have had personally with alcohol and addiction, and within the writing process, I was able to melt these things into one thing. All of the issues are now out and on the table. It doesn’t solve anything, don’t get me wrong, they are still there, but there is a catharsis in getting some of it out. If someone can relate, that’s awesome, but selfishly it’s helped me."

So as a whole, it must feel like being able to put this album together in the way that you have has been years in the making. But now you’ve been able to make it a reality, and there’s a special power in that…
Charlie: "It’s been exciting to release something that we genuinely feel is our strongest body of work."

Scott: "From now on and whatever this band does next, we all know how proud we are of what we have been able to do with this album. Whatever happens, we know that it is something fucking brilliant and put together something that other people aren’t doing. Also, knowing that Chazz is allowing people to connect with his lyrics is another thing as well. We all have problems, and that’s something that we can all share."

So what does it mean to the two of you to have an outlet like Black Coast within your lives to give you the chance to discover and share these things about yourselves?
Charlie: "I feel fortunate that we are all about to do that because it feels like many other bands and friends we have made have faded away from it. We’ve been through seven shades of shit and everything else you can imagine through our time, and we are still here. I’m still here, still doing this with my best mates, finding ways to carry on. As bad as it can sometimes get, knowing that the band is a constant factor and I can go to it to get something out is comforting. Many people don’t have that outlet to express that, and I feel very fortunate to have it for myself."

Scott: "It’s fucking everything. I have two things that I look forward to in life; seeing my kids and playing in the band. They are two massive portions of my life, and they keep me going. We’re a family. We’re brothers. We have been through it all, from relationships falling apart to things at home going wrong, but we have just been going. Many bands would have said, ‘We can’t do this', but we are always looking for the next step. And we feel like, with this step, we have hit the nail on the head."

And no matter what life throws at you, the constant is you as creatives and best mates being able to return to the thing you love and use it…
Charlie: "I’ve been in bands since I was 13. I have always needed music as that outlet, even after all these years. It’s a constant, and we do this because we love it. And because of that, we will never be a band that sits and waits. We always want to be busy and doing something because that’s when we feel like we are at our best. You always have to be fighting for something, and I think that we always are."

Scott: "If something is quiet, then we are asking why? We want to be touring as much as possible. We want to be working as much as possible. We want to be moving up and up and up. Some bands can play a couple of shows, and then they break through, but then for others, they need to work. We’re from Stoke, and that’s not a place where you hear many bands coming out. But we’re trying to show that it is possible for bands to do something and make it out of Stoke and put it on the map."

Rock Sound Online

More Rock Sound

View More