Recently, I was able to interview Bryce Lucien, vocalist for the Texas- metal band SEEKER. Bryce was kind enough to talk about their Victory Records debut “UNLOVED” and what inspired SEEKER in the development of the band. Enjoy the interview and for more information on SEEKER and please go to
1. Talk to me about “UNLOVED” and how that record came to be? (Follow-up: Was anything recorded that ended up being left off the record)
Unloved came out of a need to be able to do exactly what we wanted to do. We wanted to be a band that was able to completely let go, play what we wanted to play, and express what we wanted to express. "Unloved" is us trying to be at our most free.
Everything that we liked made it onto the record. We're extremely hard on ourselves, so if we weren't 100% confident in a riff then we got rid of it.
2. What bands inspired you to choose Metal instead of another genre of music?
The list of bands is huge, but when I was a really young kid it was band's like Metallica, Slayer, Pantera, and Soundgarden. That eventually got me into bands like Neurosis, Dillinger Escape Plan, Converge, The Locust, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and Isis which brought to where I'm at today.
3. With it being so early in the life of the band, how did it feel to be able to sign with such an established label such as Victory Records?
It felt amazing. We would have never imagined a label like Victory would care about what a band like us was doing, but they were ridiculously proactive about signing us and have been unbelievably supportive. They've been amazing about helping us achieve the sound and vision that we wanted and work ridiculously hard to promote our band, so we couldn't be happier with our decision to sign with them.
4. At what point did you realize that music is what you wanted your life to be consumed by?
The first time I heard Led Zeppelin I realized that nothing else in life was important. I was 11.
5. What is the best advice you have received from your peers in the industry?
Stay humble, never be content with where you're at artistically, always push yourself harder every night onstage, and keep as much control over your art and business as possible.
6. What is your favorite SEEKER lyric?
The lyrics to the song "Escape" are the most meaningful to me. I wrote those last and they still get a strong reaction from me onstage.
7. What bands do you listen to that would surprise people?
I listen to a ton of bands that sound nothing like us. Lately I've been listening to a ton of Chelsea Wolfe, The Kills, Bjork, U2, True Widow, Van Halen, and Grimes. I also listen to a ton of rap so Aesop Rock, Cage, Immortal Technique, Diabolic, El-P, Ruggedman, Tech 9, and Talib Kweli have been on constant rotation.
8. What does SEEKER have planned for 2014?
Constant touring. We've been on tour for about 3 weeks now, go home in a week, and then head back out in late February for 2 months. We're writing a little bit here and there, but touring is the priority.
11. International House of Pancakes
I hate sweet, syrupy breakfast nonsense like pancakes and waffles. Fuck that.
12. Dime bag Darrel
Best guitarist in the best metal band to ever live.
13. Would you rather watch porn starring your parents or watch porn starring yourself with your parents watching as well?
This question is ridiculously fucked up, so while I'm gonna say porn starring myself, I'm going to change the rules. It'll be fetish porn for people who like to watch people eat. This means that I will be seated fully clothed at a table in an asexual way with a platonic friend of mine. We will eat a delicious dinner while my parents watch from the corner of the room. I'm sure there's someone out there that can get off to that.
What a hell of a thing to wake up to. Huka Entertainment announced this morning the line-up for the 2014 edition of Rock the Ocean's 2014 Tortuga Music Festival which will take place on Ft. Lauderdale beach on April 12-13, 2014. The lineup includes country mega star Luke Bryan, returning 2013 artist Eric Church, Adult Alternative staples Train, Sheryl Crow and many more. Tickets go on sale this Friday, December 13th 2013 at 10am est. For more information on the lineup and information on how to buy tickets, please go to http://tortuga2014.wpengine.com/
Last night, I had the privilege of watching something special happen, something spiritual of sorts. I went to see San Antonio, TX band Hydra Melody open for Third Eye Blind in Fort Lauderdale, FL. After starting later than the ticket time stated, the five-piece band took the stage. The groove was immediately infectious and got the crowd moving from the opening song “Devil in Disguise” to the final bow. What makes this band special is that they get “it”. They worked hard to make a connection with the audience and they made that connection last night. Hydra Melody hypnotized the audience (including this writer) into a spiritual trance. Hydra Melody has what is lacking in many live performances and that is the connection that a band must make with the crowd is on the forefront of their minds. Blowing any placement in a specific genre out of the water with every changing song, seeing Hydra Melody is an experience like no other. You must see this band. You won't regret it.
I have always been curious as to why people complain about what songs a band plays. I know that people, me included, pay money to go to concerts. However, when people lose their minds at how a certain band did not play a certain song and how that ruined the whole show, they cross the line. An artist can do whatever they want. Die hard Bruce Springsteen fans are not a fan of him playing Born in The USA every night. Yet, if a casual fan went to their 1st or 2nd show and did not hear it, then, the show would have been a bust. Are you serious? You are not in the band, they are.
This past weekend, the 1st annual Rock the Ocean’s Tortuga Music Festival took place on the beach in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Here is my review of this amazing event:
DAY 1 Gloriana – Having never seen this band before, I made sure not to miss their set. Starting late due to a typical South Florida rainstorm, the band (brothers Mike and Tom Gossin, along with Rachel Reinert) did not miss a beat. Their vocal harmonies are akin to Crosby, Stills & Nash and are much more raw and natural than contemporaries Rascal Flatts. Having to cut their set short, Gloriana closed with their newest single “Kiss you Good Night”. Michael Franti & Spearhead- The biggest thing I like about this band is that they are not sufferers of LSD (Lead Singer Disease). Franti may be the figurehead of the Spear, he does not leave his band in the dust as many other fame seeking lead singers tend to do. Franti moves to the beat and thrives off of what his band gives him. I am a firm believer that if his band did not give him a beat, He would not move. I hope to see them back next year at Tortuga. Eli Young Band- I am not quite sure what was off about this set? The more I think about it, I believe the sound might not have been right. The band hit their infamous harmonies and sang and performed with unmatched passion and drive, but, the sound could have been much better. I really want to see them again and hope it is a better experience. Kenny Chesney- If I had to describe Kenny Chesney’s Saturday night closing set, I would describe it as PERFECT. I will say this, Chesney is not my favorite artist, but, his passion and drive to make each show he performs mean something is something that can and should be respected. Beginning with “Feel Like A Rock Star”, Kenny had the crowd in the palm of his hand. At one point, Chesney grabbed a “No Shoes Nation” flag (name of his latest tour and forthcoming album) and waved it back and forth. Chesney has a relationship with his live audience that can’t be matched by many. This was proven more evident than ever on Saturday night. Playing a somewhat generic set list throughout the last several tours (give or take a few songs), Chesney has a knack for making the shows seem everything but generic. From the video screen highlighting local hangout spots to referencing specific events in his life that took place in and around the festival grounds, Chesney was a perfect end to a first night.
DAY 2 Brett Eldredge- Having never heard or seen of Sunday’s opening act, I was absolutely blown away. It takes a lot of nerve to open a stage where Eric Church, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Jake Owen would later play, but, you never saw it throughout Eldredge’s hour set. Coming on stage dressed in a long sleeve shirt, it was not long before it was soaked. It seemed like it was soaked more with a passion for performing for his fans than sweat. As with Chesney the night before, Eldredge used the extended stage to his advantage. He would get closer and closer to the crowd taking them higher and higher with his amazing voice. That voice. That voice was amazing. It sucks when you go to show and the singer can’t really sing, but, this was not the case with Edlredge. He has such amazing command over his voice. No wonder why he is out on the road with Taylor Swift in the coming weeks. This is what other vocalist should look at when needing help. Check Brett out at https://www.facebook.com/bretteldredge and go and see him any chance you get. Kip Moore- As with headliner Eric Church, Kip Moore is a country music Bruce Springsteen. Writing from the heart and using his life experiences more often than other songwriters, Moore allows the listened to step inside his life with not guard. This is what a real songwriter sounds like. Not some manufactured bullshit that they are forced to contribute 3 words too, but, a heart and soul kind of songwriter who does not take no for an answer. Grace Potter- In a White Stripes-type of setup, Grace Potter was joined by Nocturnals drummer Matt Burr for her Sunday afternoon set. Grace Potter does not walk onto a stage, she struts onto a stage. As soon as Potter and Burr kicked into the opening song “God Is Gonna Cut You Down”, it sounded like they had commanded the lightning and thunder from the previous day’s storms and projected it from their respective instruments. Talented does not even begin to describe Potter. She belongs on any top guitar player list right along with anybody else. In addition to Potter’s guitar work, Burr’s drumming sounded like an explosion of organized chaos. Sometimes chaos is not such a bad thing. Lynyrd Skynyrd- This band is much more than the sum of it’s parts. It has to be. With only one original member (Gary Rossington) still with the band, Lynyrd Skynyrd still has something to prove and they did so on Sunday. Playing just as hard and ferociously as anytime I had seen them before, they were not content to just play through the hits, collect a paycheck and go home. Lynyrd Skynyrd knows the reason they are still able to do what they want to do, and that is because of the fans. Opening with “Last of A Dying Breed” off of their latest album, Skynyrd made it sound like anything off of “Pronounced” or “Street Survivors”. The crowd was into their set from start to finish. I was one of them. Jake Owen- You know your watching a Florida boy perform when instead of coming on stage in the customary jeans,t-shirt and expensive sunglasses, Ownen appeared on stage wearing board shorts, a tank top and cheap shades. Enhancing what was already a party atmosphere, he turned it up to another level. At any point Owen could have passed out from exhaustion and the crowd would have understood. Jake Owen has taken notes from recent tour mates Kenny Chesney and Jason Aldean on how to take the crowd higher than they thought they could go. The pride in Owen’s eyes while performing in front of what was essentially a hometown crowd could not be ignored. Eric Church- or as the shirt that was being sold at the merchandise tent read “ERIC FU*KING CHURCH”. This was absolutely the best show of the weekend. Church delivers a brand of country music that should be described more as “grab you by the throat and let you go when I am done” Rock and Roll. After the third song, Church promised the crowd that “If you give everything you’ve got, my band and I will give everything we’ve got”. Church delivered on that promise. When closing with his recent hit “Springsteen” and singing a snippet of the namesake’s “Born To Run”, Church finished with “I will remember Tortuga”. I will remember too.
The inaugural “Rock the Ocean’s Tortuga Music Festival” will take place on a sunny beach in Fort Lauderdale, FL on April 13th and 14th 2013. Besides taking place on the beach, here are a few other reasons why you should attend:
It is a hell of an accomplishment to snag top notch talent such as Kenny Chesney and Eric Church to play your festival in its rookie year, but, to have artists such as southern rock gods Lynyrd Skynyrd, budding guitar virtuoso Gary Clark Jr, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite along with more than 20 other amazing artists grace the stage, that makes for a great festival.
While other music festivals are pricing the “average joe” out of attending, Tortuga has done an amazing job of keeping the ticket price reasonable ($149 for a GA weekend pass and $99 for a single day pass) all while delivering a great lineup. I would hope that other festival promoters will take notice of this.
While there will be plenty of partying next weekend, the reason this festival is taking place is to facilitate awareness of the conservation of our oceans. Partnering with The Guy Harvey Foundation( Tortuga will bring awareness and educate the public on how they can play a part in keeping our beautiful beaches and waterways clean and safe.
So with this being my first blog entry of the new year, I would like to talk about excuses. Like the old saying goes "excuses are like ass holes, everyone has them". Well, this could not be more truer in the world of music. You, the reader of this blog, know exactly what I am talking about. Your friend thinks or even you might think you are in a really good band and you think they should be bigger than they are. They keep playing the same shitty songs in the same dive bars and expect that somehow Jesus Christ himself will walk in and sign them to a major record deal. And when that does not happen, the excuses start to roll off the tongue. "My is just as good as that band" or "They paid somebody off". Well, Your band is not as good as you think and cahnces are some money did exchange hands. It all comes down to people taking hard work and determination and replacing it with EXCUSES. In real life, whether in music or not, excuses get you nothing. They do not get you signed. They do not get that great guitar player at your local bar noticed. NOTHING. The only thing that gets you what you want is YOU. A great example would be a country artist by the name of Chris Cagle. Some of you may be wondering "Who the hell is this guy'? Well, google him. Anyway, He had a string of top 10 hits in his career then his success started to dwindle. He decided to become a farmer. Well, after doing that for a few years, he decided to get back into music. Chris got signed to another label and is contiually churning out good(there is such a thing) country music. One thing he never did was make excuses for why his records were not selling or why his shows were not sold out. He did not have time for excuses. He only had time for the music.
This is just one of countless examples of people who actually cared more about the music than they did about being famous. So, next time you see your "favorite" band play to a half empty bar of 20 people, there is a reason for that.