Ok, it’s getting down to the wire. You now officially have one day left to RSVP for our Seattle Bonfire Sessions with Tacocat, Seapony and the Fruit Bats. The event is going down Friday night, August 17th, at our favorite outdoor hang in the Seattle area, Bear Creek. You MUST RSVP to attend the event.
Before you come join us tomorrow night, here’s a little chance to get to know one of the featured bands, Seapony, and their front lady, Jen Weidl.
Q: How did you guys first meet? Talk a little bit about how you all knew each other, where you met, and how you eventually formed Seapony.
A: Danny and Ian met in the backwoods of Oklahoma in the late 90′s. They bonded over their love of Stevie Jackson and Bob Nastanovich. I met Danny when the band I was in made a myspace classified ad for a drummer. We tried out Danny and had set up a time to try out someone else, but the other guy never showed up. The band eventually broke up and Danny and I started writing some songs together with a couple guitars and a drum machine. Then we moved toSeattle where Ian was. Danny asked him to play bass and Seapony was born.
Q: How did you come up with the name “seapony.”
A: We thought of our favorite words and I wrote them all down and put them into a hat. The idea was to pick two words out, put them together, and that would be our band name. It would be like fate or destiny or whatever. But we ended up with things like “super frog” and “banana leaves”. So we had to change our strategy and picked two of the words that sounded good together and seemed to fit the music the best.
Q: As a band, did you find it challenging to break intoseattle’s indie rock scene?
A: We never really planned on playing shows or anything because we’re all really shy. I remember Danny asking Ian and I at some of our first practices if we thought we’d ever want to play shows. Ian and I would shrug our shoulders and say “I don’t know, not really.” Then bands we liked starting contacting us about opening for them and we started agreeing. Then local blogs/papers would write about the shows. I don’t really feel like we’re part of a scene really, but we’ve had lots of local support particularly from KEXP and our label, of course.
Q: You guys have said that you’re greatly influenced byseattle based grunge rock bands, citing nirvana in particular. What was it like being signed to Sub Pop’s child company Hardly Art?
A: I used to play Nirvana and Soundgarden songs on my guitar all the time when I was in junior high. I never wanted to go to dances or play sports or be a cheerleader. I just loved playing guitar. Kurt was my idol. That music got me through some really tough times growing up. As I got older, I stopped listening to all of those bands, but when we walked into that office and saw the logo, it all came back and I thought, “my preteen dream is sort of coming true!”
Q: Your first recordings were released on Double Denim records. Why did you guys decide to leave double denim in favor of Hardly art?
A: Double Denim contacted us about doing a limited edition 7” and we never really discussed anything further. So it wasn’t really like we left them. We started talking with Hardly Art soon after the Double Denim record came out. We thought it would be nice to work with someone local too.
Q: When did you play your first show, and what was it like?
A: Our first show was at the Sunset Tavern in Ballard, a neighborhood ofSeattle. We opened for La Sera and No Joy. I was excited, but also really nervous! Only like ten people ended up coming to that show, so that made things a little easier. Ruben from Hardly Art was there and they ended up offering us a record deal. I remember when No Joy was playing, there was one girl that was right up front while Danny, Ian, and I were watching from further back. She got mad that no one was up front and threw a beer can at us. But we played with her band couple weeks later and she apologized and said she remembered liking our set. We became friends.
Q: What upcoming shows are you guys excited for?
A: The JanSport bonfire show and our show in LA at the Echo, which is a Part Time Punks show. Those are always great. Michael that runs PTP is the best and the crowds are great. Also, Bumbershoot inSeattle! I mean, we’re pretty much opening for Tony Bennett.
Q: It seems like Seapony has formed a pretty solid fan base. When did you start getting attention from record labels/ talent scouts?
A: When we put songs on the internet. We made a bandcamp page and put four songs up, the “Seapony EP”. We had them available for free download. We didn’t really expect much of it. Then we noticed a lot of people were downloading it. Altered Zones, Double Denim, and lots of other blogs ended up writing about us. It happened really fast after that. The Internet is crazy!
Q: What do you think your best show was?
A: Our show last year in LA. Michael from PTP had a light show/projector set up, the crowd was singing along and they cheered for an encore. I’m always taken aback by the people that come support us and love the songs. I’m still surprised to have fans and people that pay to come see us play.This one time a guy in the front row head banged for every song. That was the best.
Q: After the success of your debut album, do you guys have any plans to hit the studio and record some new material?
A: We have a new album coming out Sept. 11th. It’s called “Falling” and you can pre-order at hardlyart.com. Danny recorded it in our apartment and Bob Schwenkler mixed it at Dub Narcotic Studio. K Records is a big inspiration for Danny and I, so that was surreal and exciting to work with him. Kramer mastered it. He’s a total legend.