Canadian band Seaway has been together since 2011 and released three albums during that time with their fourth studio album ‘Big Vibe’ under Pure Noise Records slated for release this October. The record is described as one that redefines Seaway. “For this record, we threw away the usual conventions of the scene, genre and just made the record we always wanted to make. As usual for Seaway, it is a dynamic collection of sound and inspiration that bleeds through from track to track. ‘Big Vibe’ is a feeling that doesn’t let up throughout the entire record, and we hope you feel it in your entire body.“ Frontman Ryan Locke adds, “This record is a big stepping stone for us. I think we’ve slowly carved our place in the scene and now we’re just trying to take the next big step, to wherever that may be.” It’s an album with earnest, heartfelt rock songs driven by sincere emotion and passion that was written mostly in the pandemic. Seaway are taking themselves to the next level and bringing their fans on for the ride. Locke spoke with B-Sides from his home in Toronto, Canada to talk about their upcoming album, artists that were influential during the process and more!
Hey Ryan, thanks for your time! How’s it going in Canada?
It’s been pretty good. We had it bad for a while. At the most, 500 cases a day in Toronto, but it’s dropped to 100. People have been really respectful around here. They’re wearing their masks. Everyone’s been taking it pretty seriously. We’re doing better than you guys [America].
September is known to be National Mental Health Awareness, aside from creating music, how have you been putting your mind at ease?
It’s been tough. I’m trying to get out and walk. Stay active as I can. Seeing friends from a distance helps a lot. I’m trying to stay informed, but also giving myself a break [looking at Twitter]. Sometimes surfing for new music. I try to take it day by day.
It’s been a while since the release of your last album Vacation (2017). Within those three years, how do you feel as artists taking it up the next level when it comes to writing new material and evolving your sound?
In 2019, we put out Fresh Produce and there were some b-sides. We did some reimagined versions of some older songs that sparked a lot of creativity for writing Big Vibe. We realized we can throw in some synths in different places or go bedroom indie-pop. It was a cool lesson to make Fresh Produce because we didn’t have to stick with the conventions of what we normally do. It was something new for us in making Big Vibe.
From what we hear, there’s a shift in sound for your upcoming album ‘Big Vibe’ from the traditional pop-punk sound that’s been a staple of Seaway to where 80s Power Pop is at the forefront. Were there any particular artists who shaped the record?
Like Cheap Trick is a big one and Tom Petty is an influence on our stuff. To be honest, we didn’t set out to make an 80s power pop record. It was stuff that we’re into and it bleed out into the influence of the record. There’s definitely a lot more on the record. Bands like that have always influenced us even on our Vacation record. I just think we let it ride a bit more on Big Vibe.
What was the recording process like during the pandemic?
It was strange because it was right before everything kind of shut down. We recorded it in January and finished it in Feburary, but the recording process was a little bit different. I mean we had all the usual demos going and a lot of room to write in the studio. It helped us to formulate the direction we wanted the record to go like those power-pop vibes. We were able to mold things together. After the shutdown in March, we were sitting at home and Andrew (guitarist) was working on a couple of extra songs. So he, myself, and Anton(producer) ended up getting back together and demoing out a couple of those songs. One of them ended up making it on the record and I honestly don’t think the record would be complete without that song “Mrs.David”. It’s obviously a huge tragedy in history about the shutdown situation, but we were able to get an extra song out of it that benefited the record.
Will there be another single dropping?
There’s actually a couple more. “Mrs. David” will be the final single, which will be released the same week Big Vibe is out on October 16th.
Which songs off ‘Big Vibe’ would inspire a TikTok dance?
The single “Big Vibe” has a lot of dancing. “Mrs. David” is a good one! Also, “Wild Things” too.
Let’s go through some random rapid-fire questions. In three words, describe the year 2020.
Pile of Sh**
Which Malcolm in the Middle character are you?
Bryan Cranston’s character Hal
Salt and vinegar or sour cream and onion?
Salt and Vinegar
Phone call or text?
It depends. I think both have their opportunities.
Emma Watson or Emma Stone?
Zombie apocalypse or murder hornets?