Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Interview w/ Seasick

How did seasick start? How have your influences changed from the bands
start to your latest record?

Mark: When seasick began there was no permanent drummer. There was one dude
who played on the very first demo to help out, then another dude who
played one show which I had attended at 120 Hamilton st in New
Brunswick. I believe I went to the show with Beneath the Street who
were also playing. A few months later I saw Nick and Matt at another
BTS show and asked them about seasick, they told me they needed a
drummer. At the time I was trying to learn but didn't own a kit, but
that didn't seem to matter and we had our first practice with me on
drums a few weeks later. At the time we were really into pretty much
straight up thrash and old hardcore, which is reflected on our split
with Don't Wake Up, with influences like DS 13, Limp Wrist, Das Oath,
Tear It Up, Down in Flames, Kamikaze and of course Negative Approach,
Black flag, Ramones, Minor Threat Etc. After that record and tour I
switched over to guitar and our style began to develop, our Bad
Brains, Bl'ast and Infest influences began to come out. We have always
tried to develop and push ourselves forward, maybe because we get
bored playing the same old thing really fast. We still play fast
hardcore but now we are much more open to developing our own thing
outside of some preconceived established sound. We hope the LP we are
currently writing reflects all of our interests, from Inside Out to Lungfish
to Spazz to Sun Ra, in a cohesive but heavy and brutal manor.

Nick: I think our progression as a band is fairly typical, in that our
sound is heavily influenced by whatever we're predominately listening
to. Since our musical interests aren't static, neither is the music
we produce.
In other words, ROIR..

Finish the sentence: America has fucked me because...

Mark: Of capitalist and state interest over that of the autonomy of people
and their desires, needs and ability to think.

Nick: has convinced the vast majority of my contemporaries that
civilization, as it is organized today, represents the apex of human
progress. As such, no one gives a fuck about anything beyond their
parochial, bastardized ideas of the good life. Though, of course,
America is not the sole proprietor of this particular form of

Matt: I've been spoiled by great savings everyday at Wal-Mart! Now when I go into a normal department store, say Macy's, I am disappointed by the lack of low prices.
- Hide quoted text -

Do you think current hardcore lacks responsibility? Do you think that
hardcore kids have more of a responsibility to be open minded?

Mark: I think in a lot of ways yes. Some kids just don't get that when there
is a mic in your hand or you are playing your set the things you say
and the way you conduct yourself have different if not greater
influence on those around them. Years and years of "big business"
ethics in hardcore have driven the scene to a point of complete apathy
and sometimes it can be easy to be dragged down with it. Hardcore is
something that is not a business and will thrive or fail based on the
choices we make, therefore collectively the scene is what we make of
it and our responsibility. Holding exclusive attitudes like ones that
are overly chauvinistic or spitting out homophobic language is
damaging to all of us because these actions limit us to a narrow white
hetero male stereotype that I got into this music to get away from.
Hardcore is not a locker room or a football field but in some places
it can be hard tell the difference.

Nick: This question is a can of worms. There is both a descriptive
and normative aspect to this question, but I take it you're more
interested in the later, which is whether hardcore SHOULD be
responsible, not whether it currently is or not. The answer to this
question depends on whether you think hardcore is more than a mere
music sub-genre. Since I view hardcore as a collection of values
antithetical to those predominately espoused in mainstream culture,
which includes the value of compassion (as opposed to that of
competition), my answer is yes, hardcore should be responsible. Snotty
self-destruction, macho-jock posturing, and excessive edge
pretentiousness are all fucking lame selfish tendencies that don't
belong in hardcore.

Matt: A middleground must be found where one can both "up the punx," but do so in a manner that is sensitive to social political problems.

What was your first memory of someone elses artistic ventures changing your life?

Mark: Probably when I was a baby or young toddler, I can't remember the
exact age or an exact moment, when my father would play me the
Beatles, Stones, Supremes, Cream, Hendrix, James Brown, Springsteen…
Even though I could hardly understand what it was as soon as I heard
music I was never the same, and hearing it is probably one of my first
ever feelings.

Nick: No clue. I don't think I've experienced an artistic epiphany,
or what have you.

Matt: Mark your answer is lame. Answer: Age - 12 Album - Significant Other Band - Limp Bizkit. Response: I didn't know bands could play this fast, and to this day I have yet to hear a band that could.

What is your favorite era of hardcore/past hardcore trend?

Mark: Being that I am a giant nerd Im into lots of "eras" and regions of
hardcore. Its almost funny to think of it in that way, maybe because
sometimes harecore can be so cheesey and awesome at the same time. You
could also look at the different "eras" of hardcore and see how
hardcore is always changing and evolving just like any other art form,
and there can be a great deal of significance in regional difference.
I really like "two thousand era thrash" aka the thrash revival, the
youth crew (and post youth crew) era, early DC, early SoCal and of
course New York Hardcore. But whats most important to me and my
favorite era is whats going on right now and the bands and people
involved currently, because that's whos really doing something. The
past is done, retro is poison. Also my favorite hardcore trend is
vegan straight edge kids wearing
Jnco's, earth crisis jerseys and jester hats. And don't forget devil
sticks. MOSH.

Nick: Favorite era, like every other hardcore kid, is probably early
80s hardcore. I can't pick a specific region though, because between
81 - 85 America was producing incredible bands that were all insanely
diverse. What I like most about that era is bands like the Big Boys,
Minutemen, Husker Du, played really weird shit and it was still
considered hardcore. Today, hardcore is defined much more narrowly.

Matt: My favorite trend is the acceptance of Jocks and Nikes.

Do you find it, as you get old, harder to balance hardcore and adulthood?

Mark: Well Im 23 years old now and it seems that most drop out around the
age of 22, so at this point I guess Im starting to be a bit of an
older dude at local shows which I have never encountered before. Going
to work early totally sucks when you have to drive an hour to see a
show and get home really late, but I still get the feeling when I see
an awesome band that Im really living my life and it makes me not care
that I will be tired and shitty all day at work, and fuck that place
anyway. I guess when I was a bit younger some would say hardcore and
DIY is just a phase but to me this is my lifestyle and Im still having
fun, probably more than ever because of how great it is here in New
Brunswick. HCHC!

Nick: Not really. I'm 23 years old and more involved now than I ever
was. I know hardcore is generally a youth oriented genre, but I
actually think it's getting more fun as I get older, because I'm no
longer some awkward 16 year old.

Matt: Not really, even with band, I still find the time to browse myspace for hours, which after talking to most of my friends with office jobs is pretty much all the adult world is anyway.

You guys are from New Jersey, is it a blessing or a curse to be from a state with a long and highly respected list of awesome bands?

Mark: I think its great that we are known for having so many good bands. I
tend to think that there are even more incredible bands than more
people know about or give credit to. Also, Dramarama (you know, that
"anything, anything" song) is from NJ, so think about that.

Nick: I don't think it matters either way. What is important though,
is that we currently have more incredible bands than any other state.
There is no better place to play than "America", New Brunswick on a
Saturday night.

Matt: Well, it certainly isn't a blessing, because regardless of how many bands come out of this state, people still think it's a shithole.

Your new record, "Ouroboros" is out now on Soulrebel Records. What was it like writing and recording the record?

Mark: The writing of the record was very meticulous. We wrote probably about
eleven songs and dropped many of them completely and re wrote several
of them at least five times. There is lots of pre writing, discussion
and arguing that goes into our writing process because when we write
that's really all we care about. We try to make each record better
than the last and Im very happy with how Ouroboros turned out. The
actual recording session was great. It was recorded in our old shed
that we threw shows in called Fuck Mountain in New Brunswick. Our
engineer was, as usual, Ryan Jones who is responsible for our "sound"
and he was great like always. Craig from Soulrebel was there for a lot
of the session to show his support and insight, and lots of our
friends came and did guest vocals (or guest violin in Erin's case).
When we finally got the vinyl and it looked great it was such a relief
because of all of the hard work, and now we are back in that mode
writing our first LP.

Nick: We are by no means a prolific band. We release very few songs,
because we put a lot of time into each one of them.

Matt: Writing and recording for Seasick is pretty much like pulling teeth for months, only to have a record that our drummer hates about 6 months later.
- Hide quoted text -

What was the coolest show you guys have played to date?

Mark: This summer at the house in New Brunswick called "America" we played a
show with Reproach, ANS, Killin It and Thriller and it was the most
fun ever. There were about 200 kids at that basement show, which is
probably some kind of record for New Brunswick basements because no
one around here can remember a basement show bigger than that.
Everyone seemed to have a great time, too. No fights, no cops, great
bands, no bullshit. The first time we played Seattle was awesome too.
We played with Said
Radio, Sunset Riders, Ceremony and Shipwreck and it was really
positive vibes all night, and a lot of great literature was there too.
We covered Cro Mags and the kids threw Nick around like the 50 pound
twig he is and it was hilarious and totally sweet.Also any show we
ever played at the Treehouse (RIP) in Georgia was
great. It sucks that it had to be closed down, it was a really cool
place. The kids who went there and put the shows on really gave all of
themselves to that place, especially Spanish Nick. It will be missed.

Nick: Those that Mark mentioned were all great. Two more come to my
mind. We play Rochester fairly regularly, but one time we played at
this bar with The State and Dead Tired. Rochester kids are crazy
about hardcore, and the show was absolutely nuts. When we played the
HCHC fest a few months back it was wild.

Given the opportunity, what show line up would you like to be apart of?

Mark: Even though I doubt they would care that much and it really doesn't
have to do anything with DIY, I would LOVE for us to play with the Bad
Brains at least once. Playing with Propagandhi would be totally rad
too. So I guess my dream show is Bad Brains, Propagandhi, Seasick, and
lets throw Killin' It on the show and have a fuckin party.

Nick: Seasick, Tragedy, and Propa-fucking-gandhi. Good call on that one.

Matt: I would like to be apart of one of those sweet heavenly jam sessions I've heard so much about. You know, where like Hendrix and Janis Joplin are playing and shit. It would be even sweeter now because most of the Ramones are dead and could get like Keith Moon or John Bonham to fill in.

Anything you want to add/shoutouts?

Nick: Hub City Hardcore. If you're not from NJ and you get the HCHC
skull and cross bones tattoo I will pay you and buy you a fat

Matt: My band. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to, once again, embarrass myself.

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