I usually like to weave interviews into an article – or usually on the blog, into a review – but this band’s interview is too great to cut and paste and leave you guys missing something. Therefore, please refer to my review in the previous post for some of my words on these dudes, and see below for their own words. Check after the interview for where to find them around the web – and where you can get their EP for free.
What brought you together as a band?
Andy: We’ve all been in other touring acts in the NC area, and Matt, Ashkon and I’s band (Aloretta) actually went on a tour with Sean’s old band back a couple years. TSA started as a music project between me, Matt and Ashkon and I think having that time to have gotten to know each other as musicians on tour, we all felt like seen would be been the best fit for us vocally and attitude wise.
You guys only formed in 2011, yet the entire time I was listening to your EP, I found myself turning up the volume more and more. What do you think you all have that sets you apart?
Andy – I think what sets us apart is the fact that we’re not overly focused on making a “career” out of music. Don’t get us wrong, we wear our feet raw promoting, love shows and love playing music together, but that’s all we really focus on right now. We’re not worried about making money, or impressing anybody; at this point in our music careers we’re focused on enjoying the ride, and we hope you’ll take it with us.
Who were some of your earliest musical influences?
Andy: Some of my earliest musical influences were Sum 41, New Found Glory and of course, Blink.
Ashkon: Some of my earliest influences were Incubus and LostProphets.
Matt: Well my earliest musical influences are of course Blink 182, New Found Glory and Greenday (but only the Dookie album)
Sean: Early influences would be Blink182, Green Day, and Simple Plan… Yeah, I said Simple Plan.
Why isn’t pop-punk dead?
Andy: Pop-Punk isn’t dead, it’s only getting more personal. Things like, the current state of the economy, the ever-increasing amount of pop/pop-punk bands and even pirating have a negative effect on some of us, but this dilemma gives rise to a certain kind of cultured, “hard-to-kill” mentality for certain acts. Bands such as The Wonder Years, Lions Lions and Hit The Lights, to name a few, combat this hard reality and are able to convey a certain kind of honesty and integrity in their music as a result. We think that this is what separates the boys from the men in our genera.
If you aren’t out to reinvent the game, what are you out to do?
Andy: We’re out to play the kind of music we enjoy, with the friends and fans we enjoy. Life is too short to worry about sticking to a genre, or trying to be “different” because someone says you should. We’re becoming more and more musically comfortable with each other every day, and we’re more focused on seeing where our minds take us and what we can create together, than worrying about living up to someone’s false expectations of what shelf our music should sit on.
What made you decide to release your EP for free? What impact has this had for you as a band?
Andy: There were a number of factors that made us decide to release our first album for free. We were inspired by artists such as Pretty Lights, whose music is free, as he is more focused on the creation of the music and the enjoyment of it by those who listen to it. That really struck a chord with us; it was really the way we wanted to introduce ourselves as a band. No dollar gimmick, we made the album for all of you and if we can enjoy it together then we’ve accomplished something awesome.
What’s your personal favorite song off the Home Stretch EP and why?
Andy: My favorite song off of Home Stretch has to be disaster. It was a song that lyrically, really translated the aggressive personalities of the instruments.
Ashkon : My favorite song off the EP is Disaster because we’re slaying whack ass bands that are selling everybody some bullshit gimmick making people think that the music they write is honest when it’s really just some corny, rainbow way for them to try to get some girls and make a lil’ money.
Matt: My personal favorite song on the EP is Crawl, only cause’ it’s the most fun to play live since it’s a no brainer on drums; but it’s still very catchy.
Sean: I love playing Follow Through live. It’s the first song in the set and it always gets me really jazzed up. I also ALWAYS fuck up the song and I love looking at Andy, Ashkon, and Matt’s face when I fuck it up. Priceless every time.
How important is it to you all to have such a hands-on interaction with your recordings?
Andy: It’s very important to our creative agenda that we have such a hands-on interaction with our material. Having the ability to return to a finished song over the course of weeks, maybe even months is crucial to our writing process. If something doesn’t sound right, or maybe we think something needs to be added, we go back and experiment. It’s kind of like a really long drawn out pre- production process, that finally ends when were comfortable with how the song sounds, which is rare now-a-days, in a world where you’re usually limited by your budget with an album.
The album flows together really well – the transitions are seamless. Was that a conscious decision or did it just materialize?
Andy: This album composition has been my brainchild since we started recording it. From the very beginning I knew I wanted the record to work as one cohesive element. Home Stretch is definitely a “Music Lovers” CD. It’s meant to be listened to from the first track, all the way to the last track. Not to say the songs don’t stand tall in their mix as a “single,” but we spent a lot of time with the smaller things like, song transitions, and really creating a sense of depth. It’s fun to listen to in headphones because you’ll always hear something new.
How do you feel about conceptual albums? Have you written one – or would you ever?
Andy: We think conceptual albums are cool. We love the idea of having one unifying theme throughout the whole album, you really feel like the songs are made for each other. We’ve openly discussed doing small 3 song free-releases, so I can imagine as that evolves, we’ll eventually do one.
What’s your live show like? What’s your favorite part of the live shows?
Andy: Our goal for our lives shows is to present our material in the most accurate way possible in reference to the CD. We see a lot of bands nowadays with spectacular recordings that can’t live up to them live – we think this is ridiculous. Everything you put on your album should be able to be reproduced live, no questions. Understanding, committing and practicing this mindset allows us have a much lighter, and relaxed mentality live. The confidence that comes from relentless practice really allows us to focus on the crowd and our performance, which is no doubt our favorite part of live shows.
What’s next for The Seasonal Affair in 2012?
Andy: Well, that’s a big question. As of right now we are in the midst of pre production for our new album. Once we’re comfortable with the amount of material we’ve produced, we’ll pick a couple songs and move forward with them. Though the pre-production will be all done by me, we will be branching out for our first time and tracking a couple songs with our good friend Drew Fulk at Think Sound Studios and will be bringing in Wil Andrews of the band Farewell (Epitaph) to help produce. We’ve got a couple other big things under wraps that we can’t openly discuss as of right now, but to conclude: we’re really stoked on the future, and can’t wait to mature among many great bands.
If you could make sure everyone knew one thing about your band, what would that be?
Andy: It would definitely be that we’re drama-free. We’re all best friends, and we treat everyone else like we know them. We’re not focused on doing what other people think we should do. To quote some new material you’ll be seeing in the future – “If you can hear my voice we’re relating.” It’s really how we think. We know where our road is going and everyone’s welcome to jump on for the ride.
What’s the top played song/album on your personal iTunes?
Andy: Well, my Mac just died, so I had to get a new one, which means I have basically no music. But if we’re being completely honest: “lying from you” by linking park is my most played right now. Don’t hate!
Ashkon: The top played song on my iTunes is Sippin on Some Sizzurp by Three 6 Mafia.
Matt: The top played song on my iTunes is Dumpweed, by Blink 182 and after that it’s Worst Song Ever, by Go Crash Audio.
Sean: The song that is the most played on my iTunes is Breath In by Hit The Lights. It’s an amazing song that gets me hyped up before shows and I usually will do vocal warm ups to it.
What’s the strangest thing on your personal iTunes or the thing your band mates would be surprised to see on there?
Andy: Yeah, it would definitely be the fact that the only stuff I have on my iTunes, aside from our pre production, is Linkin Park.
Ashkon: I don’t know that anything on my iTunes would surprise the homies in this band. They know all I listen to is Metal and Rap.
Matt: On my iTunes I listen to just about everything, but the strangest bands on my iTunes that the guys don’t know about is probably Ace of Base and New Kids on the Block; like, old school pop from the 90’s.
Sean: I’m usually pretty open about what’s on my iTunes, but I recently added One Direction to my library and I’ve kind of kept that on the hush hush. Those little dudes can sing!
What song would you most like to cover? What would you do differently with the track?
Andy: This is an interesting question, because we’re currently trying to find a song we can all agree on to cover. I personally would love to overhaul a good country song. They always have really bomb vocal hooks.
Ashkon: I wanna cover Nutz on ya Chin by Eazy-E.
Matt: I really don’t know of a song that I’d like to cover, but I definitely want it to be fun, upbeat one.
Sean: I would really like to cover Blink-182: Whats My Age Again. Only because I don’t think anyone has ever covered that song EVER. Or When I Come Around by Green Day. I’m cool with either.
Hit these guys up around the web: Facebook, Twitter, official site. Be sure to check out my review of their Home Stretch EP in the last post and get it for yourself over on their Facebook. Huge thanks to them for the awesome interview and the great tunes!