Ticket Giveaway, Interview with Sea Wolf
Sea Wolf, a project of Alex Church, is currently touring through the West Coast in promotion of the newest album Old World Romance.
The band will pass through Crescent Ballroom on Sunday, Jan. 27 with The Donnies The Amys, and The Spec is giving one lucky reader a pair of tickets to the show.
Below, read our interview with Sea Wolf to learn about his recording experience, the mystery behind the album cover art and his thoughts on crazy dancing fans. Also, don’t forget to enter to win a pair of tickets to the upcoming Phoenix show…
The Spec: Do you feel that your surroundings ever inspire the music itself, aside from the lyrics?
Sea Wolf: I would say so. My surroundings are places I’ve been, things I’m remembering, the feeling of the weather or just the scenery. They sort of set the mood for my songs. I think that’s why there’s a lot of that in the music and the lyrics as well.
TS: Who are some of your favorite contemporary musicians?
SW: I really love The National. They’ve been around for a little while, but they’re making great records. Their last record was my favorite one of theirs. I think Sufjan Stevens is really great. I actually really like the new Bat for Lashes record. That’s probably my favorite indie record of last year. Cat Power is also great. I also love Animal Collective.
TS: What is your favorite part about performing live?
SW: It’s always fun to perform live when the audience is being rambunctious. Sometimes the audience members, while still excited to see you, are very polite and quiet. That’s nice, but at the same time, it’s hard to muster up a lot of energy when you’re not feeling like everybody else is doing the same. So I would say my favorite part of performing live is kind of having a sense of sharing the excitement or the feeling of the song with the audience and the people I’m playing with.
TS: As far as your live band goes, do the musicians you perform with switch around often?
SW: Yeah, it tends to go per album. Like each album cycle there tends to be a new person or two that comes into the mix. Joey Ficken and Lisa Fendelander, Joey’s the drummer and Lisa’s the keyboard player, they’ve been with me since the first album and I don’t anticipate them leaving anytime soon. It kind of varies though. It depends on people’s lives and how happy I am with what’s going on.
TS: Are you OK with being able to switch in different people, if you need to?
SW: Absolutely, I mean it’s not necessarily easy to do, but it is sort of the nature of Sea Wolf. At the end of the day, I get all of the credit, and it’s my project, so I totally understand when people need to move on and do other things. At the same time, it gives me the freedom of firing someone if I’m not happy with them. But if I was in a band where everybody was equally invested and received equal amounts of credit, then you’re kind of stuck with who you have. It’s mostly good. I like to create an environment where it feels kind of like a real band and like a family, but that’s mostly about picking people who have sort of symbiotic personalities and work ethic, and it makes it more fun on tour too.
TS: Concerning your new album Old World Romance, I heard that you opted to be the primary producer and recorder of that album. How was that experience?
SW: It was great. Actually, I’d done something similar on the first album, Leaves in the River, purely because I didn’t have a label and nobody really knew who Sea Wolf was, but I did have a computer with ProTools so decided to start writing songs and recording them as I did them. In the end, once I put Sea Wolf out there, I got a label and Phil Ek, the producer, came in toward the end of that recording process and helped sort of shape everything up a little bit. But for the most part, that record was me producing it so it wasn’t something I hadn’t done before. After I’d done the first album, I felt like I’d learned a lot and I had a lot more confidence in being able to do it again myself. The reason I decided to do it for Old World Romance was because I wanted to return to longer recording and writing process that I had done for Leaves in the River.
TS: Do you have any goals for this new year of 2013?
SW: Just to continue to try and play as much as I can and to do as many quality shows as possible. I guess one goal I have is to make the live show more exciting, sort of expand on the production value of the show. I think that tour by tour it will probably get increasingly better.
TS: So are you OK with crazy dancing fans?
SW: Definitely. Because crazy, dancing fans are fun… their energy can be contagious and kind of rile the rest of the crowd up, and I’m totally cool with that.
TS: I’m curious about your cover art for Old World Romance. Did you do that?
SW: No. Every Sea Wolf album has featured the artwork of an artist. The first record featured my friend James Sterling Pitt’s art. The second album was done by Charlie Roberts. The new record is by Corey Arnold who’s a photographer. With the exception of Corey, the first two albums and the first EP (also done by James) I had a dialogue with them while they were doing the artwork, so it was made specifically for those albums.
For the new record, I knew that I wanted a photograph and I wanted to try and go about it in the way I had before, but I figured that a photo would have to already exist, rather than me telling them what to take. It came down to me looking for different photographers and finding some work that I liked. I really liked Corey’s work in general and this photo stood out to me as having a lot of album-cover potential. I really love the simplicity and dramatic grandeur of it. It has kind of a mystery and is suggestive of something, which I think is appropriate for it.
Purchase Old World Romance on iTunes or at seawolfmusic.com.
Sea Wolf will be performing at Crescent Ballroom on Sunday, Jan. 27 with The Donnies The Amys. Purchase tickets online, $14-$16, or enter our giveaway below…
a Rafflecopter giveaway
*THIS EVENT IS 21+. One winner will be selected using a random number generator and contacted by email on Friday, Jan. 25.