Seaway have been flying the flag for Canada’s pop punk scene for a while now. Their second album Colour Blind released last year in a bouncy reverie of 2000’s trills mixed with the power of modern pop. We spoke to Andrew Eichinger (guitar) and Ken Taylor (drums) about how much the album has changed things for Seaway.
So, you’re back in the UK with Knuckle Puck, how’re you feeling about the tour?
Andrew: Great! We’ve toured with these guys a lot, so we know them quite well now.
You’ve been here a few times since your debut album, how do you find your response in the UK?
Ken: I’d say the UK is one of our favourite markets to play. The kids here seem more enthusiastic to come to shows. There’s normally younger crowds who are really into coming to shows and having a good time. I think the scene here is probably stronger than most.
Andrew: It’s definitely better than Canada.
Ken: Yeah, we do better here than Canada.
Andrew: Canada’s like, hit or miss. It just depends each time.
What are some of your favourite things to do when you’re in the UK?
Ken: Well, we always try to not just show up at the show, play and go to the next city. We always try and see a bit of each city since there’s a lot of history in England. It’s always cool to walk around and just see everything.
Andrew: The last two tours we’ve made a point to go to the Lake District, and we went on two massive hikes, one time through so much snow. One was maybe five kilometres, but the second time it was summer and that was about ten kilometres up mountains.
You released Colour Blind last year, how was the response to that?
Ken: Colour Blind’s been good. It’s weird, we’ve only done one tour off of Colour Blind, in October. This is our first time in the UK with Colour Blind.
Andrew: It’s been really well received over here so we’ve been hoping that these shows will show us what we’ve been waiting for.
Have the musical influences on you guys changed much in the course of your career?
Ken: We’ve definitely stayed true to the influences that made us a band in the first place. We try not to pay too much attention to what other bands in the genre are doing because we’re trying to be our own entity and not copy what’s popular at the time
Andrew: I’d say what we listen to changes but we don’t let it affect what we’re writing too much.
Did you have any particular goals going into the writing of the album?
Andrew: We just wanted to stay relevant but also do our own thing. We wanted to mix the older and maybe mid-2000’s style of pop punk and emo with what’s going on today, y’know, blend the two. We also wanted to put more emphasis on melody and that kind of thing, being more pop driven. I think that’s not as relevant in this new pop punk scene.
Ken: We want to write catchy songs.
Were there any challenges or highlights that you faced in writing and recording the album?
Andrew: We went into the studio thinking we had more than we actually did. When we got in there we started pre-production and we realised that we had to do a lot more writing, so the whole thing took a lot longer. We were actually in the studio for a month, came here and did a tour, then had to go back and finish it off.
Ken: It was a long process, but the fact that we took our time worked out for us, I think.
What are your favourite songs to play live off of Colour Blind?
Ken: I’d say all of us really enjoy playing Airhead.
Andrew: It’s a strong opener, it comes in with a punch and it’s mid-tempo but not boring. We’ve only done one tour on this album cycle and the album actually came out during the tour so we didn’t get to play that many new songs; this is the first tour we’re playing a lot of material off of the album. It’ll help us decide which ones are our favourites.
You stated in a Reddit ‘Ask Me Anything’ even you ran that Sabrina The Teenage Bitch is one of your least favourite songs to play live. Why is that?
Ken: I think it’s one of those things that every band has a song that you wrote early in your career, and it’s not the song that you want to define your sound. It’s not that we don’t like the song, it’s just that the things that people love about that song aren’t the things we love about this band. So, we’re not playing Sabrina today… there are certain bands that clutch onto a song and feel that they have to play it, they owe it to their fans, but we think it’s more important to get people to realise that yeah, there was a song that helped get us on the map, but we’re writing better songs now.
Andrew: Yeah, that song did a lot for us at the beginning and it’s how a lot of people got to know about our band, but we feel like we’ve grown out of that song and we didn’t want to keep playing it just because. We still like it.
So, maybe in the future you’ll play it again?
Andrew: Oh, definitely. We’re not ruling it out.
There was quite a trend last year with more positivity in pop punk, what with Knuckle Puck’s and Neck Deep’s albums and your own of course. On your part was that a conscious choice?
Ken: I think so, yeah.
Andrew: From the start, we’ve always wanted to do that. Obviously you have to have sad songs – well, you don’t have to but the best music is often sad and heartfelt, but we kinda just tried to do a mix of both.
Do you think that the number of bands going in the pop punk scene and the popularity it causes is a good thing for the scene?
Ken: I think so, it helps it stay relevant. The bands that started the re-emergence of pop punk are probably in a place where they’re starting to get older and wanting to do different things in their lives. A lot of them are announcing final shows or hiatuses and stuff, but a lot of new bands are gaining more momentum. Not necessarily taking their place, but filling the gap that would be there if these bands had just broken up. We’re one of those bands. We were probably the first pop punk band in our area to take off but we’re not going to be the last and we wouldn’t want it to be that way, because otherwise that’s how scenes die. That’s what happened last time, it died because bands stop making that kind of music. That’s why in the late 2000s, there really wasn’t that much going down. Some people might think it’s over populated, but we’re all for new bands coming up and giving them a chance to make it large.
You mentioned that you’ve only been on tour with Colour Blind once, but has the album changed the outset of your live show much?
Andrew: I feel like it’s the same kind of vibe that it always has been which is fun, it’s positive, but I think that us playing the new songs gives us more energy, so hopefully that relays to the crowd. We’ll have to see, I guess.
Do you guys think that music has to have a meaning, or is music for music’s sake cool too?
Ken: I think there’s room for both. There are some bands that have really personal messages that people can relate to on a really deep level and there are also pop songs that we all love that are really about nothing. As long as it’s not boring, I think we’re all about it. We might have songs that people have no idea what they’re about because it’s just simple lines or whatever, but if it’s catchy and it keeps you jumping up and down and makes you want to go jump off the stage, that’s great.
In terms of you guys as a band, do you have a long term goal?
Andrew: I think that any band’s goal is just to be as big as they can be, doing what they want to do, and to be better all the time. We know we’ve worked really hard to do everything we’ve done as a band. We know it’s not easy, and that you have to work for what you can get. I think we’re just following that plan at the moment, keep working and keep writing songs, touring and hopefully it keeps happening.
If you guys had to cover a Knuckle Puck song, what would it be?
Andrew: Oh, what’s that song off of their first EP that we always talk about covering?
Andrew: Yeah! It would probably be Stuck.