Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I’ll show you someone who has overcome adversity. – Lou Holtz
I’m not sure if the guys in Seasons After are football fans, but even if they’re not, I am sure they will agree with this quote from legendary football coach Lou Holtz. The guys had their music careers frozen in time for a few years while battling with their now former record label. It was a very dark period for the band and one in which they weren’t sure if they would continue on or not. Thank goodness they stuck it out and ended up releasing a new studio album in 2014 entitled Calamity Scars and Memoirs. After almost a year of constant touring, the phoenix has risen from the ashes and is souring high. The band’s recharged, refocused, hungry and riding a wave of momentum into 2016 that will see multiple releases from the band. I sat down with lead singer Tony Housh before a recent show in North Carolina and we discussed that dark period, coming out of it and what’s ahead for 2016.
I spoke with Chris (Dawson) about a year ago, I think it was just a couple weeks after the album came out, and the band had gone through this really dark period. It’s a year later and I was wondering if you could offer some reflection on where the band was then as compared where you are now?
Tony Housh: I don’t know if he told you the full story of what went on, but it’s the thing you hear about bands getting into with their label. We were supposed to release our album in June or July 2011 and we wrote all of this music and then we got shut down until December 2013. It was a bummer because we couldn’t go out and play, even as individuals, because we signed something that we shouldn’t have signed. It was definitely a dark period and a lot of the music that was written for this album was as well. We really played it safe with this album because we really didn’t know what we were going to do. What if we go too heavy? We are all naturally pretty heavy kind of guys, but we didn’t want to go too heavy because we wanted to build our career, but we did not know where we stood with radio and labels and such. We’ve written so much over this last year that our next record is already written and we are ready to track it. We’ve really learned a lot and it’s definitely not as dark as it used to be. I think the darkest thing to me now is the fact that we have to stop for a second and then get ready to go again.
You mentioned being careful not to go too heavy; is that referring to the lyrical side or the music side?
All of it man; we were really paranoid about what we did or didn’t do because we were going through the whole thing with the label deal and we went through the single-game. We were submitting music and having it came back to us each time with a no, then we would submit something else and it would get kicked back with a no. It’s too heavy or it was too this are it was too that, so we didn’t really know which way to go and we just played it extremely safe. Now, we are not scared, but that’s not to say that we would go really, really heavy blow your brains out type of stuff. We don’t have that fear now that we used to; we were just discussing the other day about going in and working on this new album in January. We are just going to do what we want to do because we understand what direction we want to go and how to get there. It has definitely been a ride, but I think we are getting our hands around exactly what we want.
So is that the plan to go into the studio in January and start putting this beast of an album together?
We will be out until mid-December and then we’re going to go home, but in January we’re going to go in and track about fifteen songs. We are actually going to do two different things; were going to do an acoustic EP and release that in between getting the full length finished. The acoustic EP will be a reflection of CSM (Calamity Scars and Memoirs) that we just did and we would like to do some of the stuff from the first album (Through Tomorrow) like “11:11” and also redo “Cry Little Sister.” There are stipulations with doing that, so right now we’re still looking to see if we might be able to mix some of that in. It’s just something a little different to do between the albums and something maybe for somebody else to chew on that may not listen to our other stuff.
It also seems like something that would help you keep the momentum going that you built up over the course of this year.
Yeah, we definitely don’t want to lose that! If you go back to when you guys first spoke, we didn’t have any momentum at that point because we had been basically dead for about three years. You know how that goes; you have to make a lot of noise to get people to listen to you. This whole year has not been about the stuff that a lot of people would think that we’re out here doing; we’re just trying to get that foundation built again for us to build on.
Well, CSM was a pretty good start to that because it was deep as far as single releases go. There was “Wake Me”, “So Long Goodbye”, “Lights Out” and “Weathered and Worn.”
“Wake Me” was a free download that we gave away just to get things going, “So Long Goodbye” got satellite airplay, “Lights Out” went to something like #54 and then “Weathered and Worn” was around #35 last week.
I remember asking Chris when we talked a year ago what the reaction had been so far to the new album and although it had been about two weeks, he said he was still waiting for the haters to come out. Did those haters eventually come out?
Most all of the reviews were very favorable, but there were a few that weren’t. I think I remember reading where he said that or maybe he just said it to me one time, but we really did sit back and wait for them to let us have it. You know, we changed so much from the first album, so I really did expect to get a lot more friction than we did. I’ve had some nasty things sent to me here and there, but it doesn’t really bother me because I’m kind of over it. Overall, it’s been really exciting and if it had not had been, I wouldn’t be doing another one. I have to be really honest with myself about all of this stuff because there’s just so much going on in life right now. If we had not gotten the reaction that we did from it, I don’t think I could have continued on with it.
Personally speaking, I think you guys have done it in a way that really proves what you’re all about and that is staying out there on the road, as tough as it may be at times, and proving yourself and winning these fans over at a live show. You really put in some mileage this year out on the road with different tours that you have been involved in.
We been on the Otherwise tour package from the beginning and we also did the Flaw tour as well, plus we did a lot of touring on our own. With us running our label and our business, our finances are a lot tighter than some of these other bands. We would like to be able to buy onto a tour, but currently it doesn’t make sense to us to spend $5000 or $6000 on a support slot. So, we do a lot of headlining and then we get something offered where we can actually get paid like this one or the deal with Flaw. We’re also doing a headlining run in November that goes into mid-December.
It definitely sounds like the dark period is over for you guys and there are a lot of exciting things on the horizon for the fans to look forward to. I guess will be getting the acoustic EP first and do we have an idea of when we are shooting to release the new studio album?
It may be spring or summer, but I think we might try to push some singles out first. We have about 45 songs that are sitting there, plus Jimmy (Beattie) had written about twenty more and shelved them at his house. He held onto them and put them back and he threw them all at me about two months ago and I fell in love with them. So, we have about 50 or 60 songs and some of them are really good and some of them suck balls, but we definitely have a surplus of material. The record itself is already picked out and we just have to re-track it and make it what it should be.
CONNECT WITH SEASONS AFTER ONLINE: