Seaway: And Their Amazing Technicolour Pop-Punk
After building up a solid reputation as one of the hotter commodities of Canadian pop-punk, these no-frills northerners Seaway are taking their sound global on an impressive new album. BLUNT spoke with frontman Ryan Locke about going Colour Blind and working with one of the band’s biggest influences.
Were Drake to run a little further out of the 6 – with his woes in tow, of course – there’s a good chance he might come across Seaway. The Oakville quintet have slowly but surely built up a name for themselves over the past few years as ones to watch in the realm of pop-punk thanks to a solid touring schedule and a stylistic blend of a ’90s sugar-rush and 2010s realist grit. Their second LP, Colour Blind, is a further development of the band’s sound; it adds a further texture and a wider array of dynamics to an already sharp and assured sound. It can be traced back – at least in some ways – to the band’s choice of producers, going with Four Year Strong’s Alan Day and Brighter Brightest’s Derek Hoffman to work the boards.
“That was a pretty cool experience for us,” says Ryan Locke, the band’s lead vocalist. “Everything else that we’ve recorded up to this point has been done in a basement studio with a good friend of ours. There were no hard feelings in deciding to work with other people – we still love him, and he’s always been so easy to work with. This time, though, we wanted to pick it up a little bit. It just so happened that Alan was getting into production around the time that we were touring with Four Year Strong and thinking about who we wanted to work with on the album. He approached us when he found out and told us that he’d love to work with us, so we just took it from there.”
Colour Blind follows on from the band’s debut LP, 2013’s Hoser, and marks a considerable step-up for Seaway both sonically and stylistically. Although Locke jokes about his limited lyrical themes (“It’s a record about growing pains… and girls… and growing up… and… girls…”), his bandmates have certainly not slouched in the creative process. Although it dragged on for a little longer than perhaps they could have anticipated, the final destination proved to be well worth the journey.
“It would have been last winter when we started getting the ball rolling,” says Locke in regards to how far back writing for Colour Blind began. “Generally, a song begins with Andrew [Eichinger] and Patrick [Carleton], our guitar players. They’re the ones who tend to come to the band with new ideas and jam them out with the rest of the guys. We only had a few ideas here and there, though, as we were on the road pretty heavily throughout last year. We’d worked out a bit of it while writing on the road, but we decided that we needed one month at home, jamming every single day until we had something tangible. We had that, another month of touring and then a month in the studio. This record kind of comes from a few different places in that regard, going from stuff that we put together on the road all the way up to stuff that was sorted and finalised while we were recording. It was kind of different to how we do things normally, but it ended up being really fun.”
As we speak, the band are making their way across North America in support of Colour Blind. Although they try and pull from as many of their releases as they can, it’s no secret to anyone that they are particularly excited about playing songs from their brand new album – so much so, that the songs began creeping into setlists even before the record was due out. Locke confirms that, while it took a bit of getting used to for fans, each night the band plays Colour Blind songs they see gradual, noticeable improvement – both in terms of the band’s playing and the crowd’s response.
“The reaction’s been pretty great so far,” he says. “Even the week before the record came out, we were really wanting to play these new songs. It was kind of mixed when we first started doing them, but night after night we saw more and more kids getting into it. By the time the album came out, people were getting just as into it as we’d hoped. It’s early days, but it can only get better from here.”
Colour Blind is out now through Pure Noise/Sony.