Mount Saint Elias is the project of singer/songwriter Joey Coe and his longtime collaborator Luna Fuentes. Josiah Johnson (formerly of The Head and The Heart) joined the project in 2019. The music fuses the acoustic-based and lyric-forward approach of the folk music Coe grew up with in Kentucky with the eclectic and gritty sounds of his adopted home of Oakland, CA. Band co-founder, best friend, and vocalist Tatyana Schmid passed away in a bicycle accident in May 2018, leading to a band hiatus, followed by a creative re-birth of the project.
In 2014, singer/songwriter Joey Coe finished a summer working as a cycling/hiking guide in Alaska and began the 9 day drive southward to the mainland US. Would he head back home to family and familiarity in Louisville, Kentucky - or to new shores in Oakland, California, where two new friends were moving to play music? As he started the long drive torn between two destinations, the sun rose over the Saint Elias mountains to his right, Radiohead came on the stereo, and Thom Yorke appeared in his passenger seat and said, 'GO WEST YOUNG MAN'.
And thus, the journey of the Mount Saint Elias musical project began. He steered his mighty vessel to Oakland, CA, moved in with his best friend Tatyana Schmid, booked a show a month later without having a band, and over the next few weeks cajoled his only 3 friends - Tatyana, Matteo Lovik, and the Chilean woman crashing on his couch - Luna Fuentes - to join his band.
The band released their first EP, Scraps From The Feast, in 2015 and toured the US later that year. The second EP, This Was Supposed to be Easier, arrived in 2016. In May of 2018, co-founder Tatyana Schmid transitioned into the non-physical form after a bicycle accident, sparking a fresh batch of songs when it became abundantly clear that we're all going to die, nothing really matters, and we might as well sing songs while we can. Josiah Johnson (The Head and the Heart) joined the band on bass and vocals in 2019.