Posted on 24 October 2012 by dubs
The Seeking keep the faith as they embark on U.S. tour and release debut album
Words by James Barone – Photo by Phill Mamula
Faith is a powerful thing. It drives people to do all kinds of things–both positive and negative. For Sacramento Christian hard rockers The Seeking, faith has been a nourishing force in the band members’ lives. The band stands to release its full-length debut, Yours Forever, on Nov. 6, 2012. Before that, they will launch on a mammoth cross-country excursion, touring in support of Woe, Is Me.
The tour begins in Atlanta on Nov. 2, 2012 and circumnavigates the United States before culminating in Greensboro, N.C. The trip will keep The Seeking busy, playing shows almost every day, and it’s so extensive that some of the band members (which include Taylor Green, vocals/screaming; Dylan Housewright, clean vocals/guitar; Grayson Smith, guitar; Shane Tiller, bass; and Ben Wood, drums) had quit their day jobs, taking a leap of faith in their music, so to speak.
It would be a nerve-wracking experience for anyone, diving headlong into a career in music, but considering the members of The Seeking range just 18 to 21 in age, it may even be more so.
“We’re probably going to cry,” Taylor Green joked in the first of two phone conversations about the band spending such an extended time away from family.
Green started the band with Housewright in 2010, the two still in high school. Green wasn’t sure what his role would be in the band they wanted to get together. He considered bass and guitar, but didn’t want to buy the gear. He even thought about drumming, but the physical coordination proved difficult.
“I was going to try to do drums, but the only thing I really needed to try to get down was the feet,” he said. “It’s the hardest freaking thing. I don’t know how Ben does it.”
Green had done more traditional singing in his church’s youth group, however, and settled on becoming Housewright’s vocal counterpoint in The Seeking. Though Green also provides traditional clean vocals, his guttural screams shake up Housewright’s soaringly melodic voice.
“Screaming showed up out of nowhere,” Green said. “I figured I’d just try it. I just went for it.”
It would seem Green made the right decision. The band signed to a label (Razor and Tie) in September, and when Submerge talked to Green, he and the band were in Los Angeles, recording with well-known producer John Feldmann, who’s worked with a litany of well known artists (The Used and Papa Roach this year alone) and is also the frontman for pop-punk stalwarts Goldfinger.
Listening to The Seeking’s Yours Forever reveals a barrage of heavy rock sounds–crushing guitars, pummeling breakdowns and snarling vocals–but the album’s most striking feature is its melodicism. It’s the band’s pop tendencies that The Seeking is working to bring out under Feldmann’s keen, catchy songwriting sensibilities. Green reported that the band was re-recording “Alone,” perhaps the most hook-laden track on Yours Forever, reworking it to make it even more radio-friendly as well as working on a new as-yet untitled song the band co-wrote with the producer that should be released in 2013. In the following interview, Green described what it was like working with Feldmann, offered clues into the band’s first music video and discussed matters of faith.
How has it been working with John Feldmann? What have you done in the studio so far?
Oh, it’s amazing. It’s an awesome experience working with him. The bands he’s recorded are legendary bands, and he’s done some solo artists as well. So far, it’s been awesome. We’ve done a lot of demoing the past couple days, and today we started doing the final product and it turned out really good. We’re laying down some drums, we got the bass track laid down in there. It’s turning out really well.
You mentioned a couple days ago that you were going to be working on “Alone.” Is that the track you’re going with for the radio?
We’re actually working on two songs. We’re releasing “Alone” on the album, the original one, but this one is redone a little bit. It’s going to have some new parts to it. It’s going to be released separately for something for radio–hopefully it will get there. We’ve got another song that we started completely from scratch, and it’s all ready to go. It’s all demoed out. That one sounds amazing as well.
You said you were working on rewriting the chorus for “Alone” with John Feldmann. How was it writing with him?
His writing is pretty cool. His studio is separate from his house–he works on his property–but he’ll go play his piano in his house. Dylan met up with him at the house and they worked something out. It’s definitely hot, and it’s definitely catchy, and it’s definitely awesome. It’s going to fit so well.
Tell me about this new song you guys started from scratch. Was it based on any ideas you and the band had kicking around?
We had some ideas, but we came in and we didn’t really get a chance to show them. He [Feldmann] started off asking us some questions when we first got there and took off and started writing. We came together and figured everything out. It’s all from scratch. We started writing it when we got here. It’s turning out awesome.
What kind of stuff did John ask you guys to get you going?
He just wanted to get to know us a little bit, to see what kind of band we were. We covered the fact that we were a Christian band. He asked us about how we grew up and what type of music we started playing and how were we before we got signed, and how we’re evolving. He went off and started recording stuff. The chorus is definitely the catchiest part, but it’s a really pop-y side to us. We think people are going to dig it.
You guys seem to be exploring the pop-ier side of things. You were saying that you came from a heavier music background. Is it fun for you to do something outside of your comfort zone?
It’s really fun. We’ve been playing a style for so long, and we definitely see ourselves staying in that style for a while, but this is something that’s different from the album. It’s way pop-ier than the album, but it’s fun to go in there and throw down some singing–no screaming at all.
You’re going to be filming your first music video on Sunday. What song are you shooting the video for?
It’s going to be for the title track, “Yours Forever.” I’m not sure where it’s going to be yet, but it’s somewhere in SoCal. It’s going to be fun.
Did you have a hand in the concept of the video?
Yeah, we picked the concept a couple weeks ago. We had about three concepts to choose from, and this one fit the meaning of the lyrics more. The other two didn’t fit the lyrics too well, but this one definitely did.
Can you talk about the concept more?
I don’t think so [laughs]. I’m not too sure what I’m allowed to talk about. The lyrics are about God talking to us… I’ll get into a little bit. I believe it’s about a girl, and something happens where she could lose her life. Right at the last minute, or right after she dies, her life flashes before her eyes, and then the music video kicks in, like everything kicks in, to what she sees in her future. It flashes to her at the end, to her before her dying, and then the video changes from there, and there’s a twist to it. I’m really excited about it. It’s a cool concept.
A lot of your music deals with your faith. Is that the band’s first goal when it comes to making music? Are you concerned with expressing that?
Definitely. We want people to know that we express our faith through our music. We’re not like those preaching bands, like For Today, but when we play, we want to show people that we’re there to love on them, and God is there to love on them. We’re here for a reason, not just to play music, but we’re here to be a shoulder to cry on or a friend to them. We’re trying to show God’s love through the band to them. It’s just an opportunity to show people that they’re not alone in struggle, that if they want to try God out, we definitely encourage that. Just, not make them feel uncomfortable when they come to watch us, that we’re there to simply hang out with them and talk with them about anything. If they want to have faith in the Lord, then we’re there to encourage them. Faith is a huge thing with the band. It’s something we want people to recognize.
Was music one of the things that helped you discover your own faith?
Yeah. I became a Christian when I was young, but nothing really hit me until I started high school, and even then, I wasn’t in any bands or anything. I grew up in a Christian home. My parents didn’t, but when I was born, they became Christian and their faiths grew as well. They didn’t pressure me like a lot of parents would. It was more of a choice for myself. I was always a clean-cut kid. In high school, I thought for a long time I’ve been faking it, but let me see what it is to really put myself [into faith]. It was an awesome experience. I grew to love the Lord. Music is one thing I want to do with the band, because I knew it would get me out of my comfort zone of just staying in my hometown and going to church and being on the worship team. I wanted to step outside my comfort zone and see where God could take me. I trust Him to take me out on the road…and see what He could do with me. It’s an awesome opportunity, and it’s going to change my life.
The Sacramento area will get a few chances to see The Seeking live. First, they play with Jonny Craig for a two-night stint at Luigi’s Fungarden on Oct. 26 and 27, 2012. The band returns on Nov. 19, 2012 with Woe, Is Me at Ace of Spades. The Seeking has also set up a donation page to raise money for gas during their long arduous trek across America. Help keep the fuel tank full by going to http://www.indiegogo.com/theseeking. For more show info, go to http://www.facebook.com/theseeking.