ROGUE SOUNDS: The Changing Seaons
The Messenger just launched voting for its annual Best of the Rogue contest. Last year’s winner for Best Band was Seaons, a victory earned in large part because the band’s boisterous delivery was so much fun to see live.
Strangely enough, the only ones not having fun were Seaons themselves.
“We had gotten trapped in an, ‘okay, we’re playing this set, but you have to play an hour and a half set,’ Which is easy when you’re playing ACDC’s greatest hits and people are filtering in and out; it’s not as easy when you are playing original music, and you have a vision,” says guitarist Micah McCaw.
“The only vision was to get out of that set so we could get our $150,” says Sean Siders, the band’s keyboardist and singer. “I’m glad we did it because now I know what I don’t want to do.”
That’s why when the band went to work on its new album, Aprilis, which it will release locally on Sat., February 13 at The Imperial Ballroom in Medford, the final show on a 3-week national tour, the band pretty much dropped everything else.
“We kind of locked ourselves away,” says Siders. “Not in a cabin, but we would work privately. And we started in last November, and we didn’t finish writing until February or March.”
That work shows. Aprilis is sprawling and ambitious, with production and chops far beyond the band’s years, moving seamlessly between piano ballads, roaring guitars, moody synths, complex vocal melodies, and bouncy fusion riffs. Unlabeled, Aprilis could easily be mistaken for a lost work from Electric Light Orchestra, or a new work from Muse, worlds apart from psych-rock and bluegrass revival currently en vogue.
“We want to live in places that aren’t as common anymore, musically,” says Siders. “We want to express different flavors that haven’t been talked about in the last decade. We want to recycle those styles. So people know that art is a real thing, not a commercial thing.”
And it’s no accident that places Seaons drew from for Aprilis are known for concept albums. Aprilis tells the story of a small tribe of survivors navigating the apocalypse and trying to seed humanity’s rebirth. The urge for a concept piece is something Siders says he took away from video game Final Fantasy 10, every bit as he did from bands like Pink Floyd.
“Every time I hear a song from that game, I get sucked in to that world,” he says. “I love that music, and I wanted to feel that world.”
McCaw felt similarly, though says he drew more on high concept sci-fi films like 2001: a Space Odyssey and Children of Men.
The band even says that the concept won’t end with Aprilis.
“The end of Sun Gun [Seaons’ first album], goes into Aprilis seamlessly,” says McCaw. “And we want to have that be a theme that continues on future albums. It’s a challenge. We have to take that riff and turn it into a song.”
“We had a lot of goals for this album, and I think we accomplished all of them,” says Siders.
Seaons album release show will consist of the band playing the album straight through from start to finish, as one single piece, which means not only that the story will survive intact, but that the band had to learn to replicate the trickery of the studio in a live setting.
“It’s fun to play. Cause there’s always some pedal you have to click,” says McCaw. “It keeps you in the moment. It’s incredibly challenging.”
6pm, Sat., February 13
Imperial Event Center, 40 N. Front St., Medford