SEA – Keep guitar-oriented rock alive and kicking
Throwback, retro-oriented hard rock and heavy metal is in vogue once again. People digging out their parents and grandparents albums, hooking up the turntables, and spinning that vinyl makes Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, and others seem cool once again. Danish act Sea used those pioneers as inspiration to form a new band embodying that same spirit to keep guitar-oriented rock alive and kicking.
After taking in copious amounts of their self-titled debut record (and loving it), I felt the need to learn a little bit more about the band. Answering these questions is guitarist/ vocalist Anders Brink, a man ready to put his stamp on the community through the power of original songs.
What are your first memories surrounding music growing up – and when did you take the steps to move from a music fan into wanting to play and perform in the hard rock/ heavy metal style?
As long as I can remember, I’ve been both a music fan and a performing musician. My best memory from kindergarten was when I got to make my own guitar from some plywood, screws and nylon fishing line. I always forced my friends to play "band", instead of more normal child behavior like computer games, which I still suck at today.
When I was around 6 years old, I started playing classical music. My parents told me that the guitar was too difficult, so they choose the flute for me instead. I played in a child symphony orchestra and we played some big shows around Europe in the late 90’s and early 00’s.
Even though I played classical music, I still listened to my dad’s old Sabbath, Purple and Uriah Heep records all the time, and in my early teens I started playing guitar and was hooked on heavy metal right away.
Sea formed through two sets of childhood friends from two different Danish islands. Can you tell us about the way and circumstances that put you together – and how difficult of a process was it to come up with a band name?
Maico and I grew up together on Bornholm and played in a band together there. When the band broke up and we moved to Copenhagen, things stood a bit still for a while. We didn’t really know that many people in the Copenhagen music scene, so we started putting up ads on internet sites. We auditioned a lot of people and finally we found Anders and Jonas.
In the beginning we were called Stoneword. But many associated the name with stoner rock, so we wanted a new name that was simple and that people wouldn’t associate with anything, before listening to the music.
Your debut album contains 8 songs that have a lot of reminders of the 70’s scene from Deep Purple to Kansas, Black Sabbath to Led Zeppelin and Thin Lizzy – along with hints of current ‘retro’ style bands like Rival Sons. How did the songwriting and recording sessions go for the record- are there any particular highlights or stressful situations that you would like to share?
In the early days of the band, I would write most of the songs and lyrics. I still write the lyrics, but lately we’ve been working a lot more with songwriting collectively, while jamming in our rehearsal room. Often we find that the results are better when we discuss the songs together and tell what we like, and just as important, what we don’t like. With four large artist egos, this can sometimes be quite an exhausting and tense process, but the results are well worth it.
The recording of the record was a tough but great week. We recorded the whole album in a week – working 10 hours a day. When we were done, we definitely didn’t need to see each other for a little while, but it was all worth it.
What thoughts or subject matter do you like to explore in terms of Sea’s lyrics? Is it an easy or difficult process, especially writing in English when it’s not your first language?
I write about personal and psychological subjects, but also political and social issues come into play. So besides giving the listener a kick in the ass, the music also creates an opportunity for a more in depth listening.
Writing in English isn’t that difficult to me. As you know, we hear and speak English all the time here in Scandinavia, so it comes pretty naturally to me.
How would you describe your live show to others – and what is your outlook when it comes to performance versus the craft of songwriting?
In our live shows we really just try to keep it simple, focus on the music and show the crowd how much we appreciate their presence. I expect the same thing when I’m watching a concert myself. I wanna feel the artists’ passion for music and how much they’re enjoying the show.
Can you name five albums throughout the history of hard rock and heavy metal that you feel that you could never live without?
– Led Zeppelin: IV
– Black Sabbath: Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
– Judas Priest: Sad Wings of Destiny
– Metallica: Master of Puppets
– Skid Row: Slave to the Grind
How do you divide out the regular business duties for the band in comparison to the musical duties?
The business duties are of course something that we have to take seriously in an upcoming band like ours. In today’s music industry we have to do a lot of this work ourselves. The business duties aren’t always as enjoyable as the musical, so we try to divide them as evenly as possible in the band.
Where do you see the state of the music scene these days? What improvements would you like to see happen over the next few years to make things better for everyone overall?
Denmark hasn’t got the greatest scene for heavy rock and metal acts compared to for example Sweden. There’s of course a lot of good Danish rock and metal, but the bands rarely go all the way into the mainstream radio and out on the big stages. We will of course do our very best to impress as many of our fellow Danes as possible, but we are also very determined to play as many foreign shows as possible, to get our music as far out in the world as possible.
Tell us your favorite concert memories through the years – ones as a performer, as well as ones when you were in the audience?
We can start with my first big concert experience with Maico. It was Judas Priest’s Retribution Tour (re-union with Halford) in 2005. At that time we lived on Bornholm and we traveled to Copenhagen with a bunch of friends and had a great time.
As a performer I actually always enjoy our concerts while I’m playing. As long as I have a good sound on stage, I will always be in the zone. That said, the crowd is of course important. It’s always great to play for a "heavy metal" crowd, but I also enjoy playing for people who aren’t particularly "metal" fans, and trying to win them over with our music.
So far we’ve played a lot of shows in Denmark and we already have a lot booked for next year. We are also looking into booking some European gigs, so maybe we’ll see you out there.
Have you already started compiling ideas and songs for the follow up Sea album? If so, do you think you will expand upon the direction of your debut or are you content with where this record took you?
Yes, we already have a good handful of new songs in the making and we are very pleased about the way the new music is taking shape.
I would say that the new songs have a lot of the same qualities that you’ll find on our debut album, but we are definitely more confident in our own style and where we wanna go now.
Any final thoughts for the Eternal Terror readers?
We hope that you enjoy our record and we hope that we can come and play for you in Norway very soon.