We caught up with York band SEEP AWAY to chat about their chaotic live shows, performing live with only half a band, their favourite venues in the UK and why someone who likes folk music should check out their noisy hardcore punk vibes.
SEEP AWAY! How the hell are you guys?
Dom [Drums]: Good, man. Thanks for having us, you massive leg-end.
Jay [Vocals]: In Hell, thank you.
What is this wonderful noise that you’re calling SEEP AWAY all about?
Dom: It’s about making noise, man. Puuuuure noise! It’s catharsis. It’s energy. It’s proper raw. I love it! It’s a little Black Flag, and a little Turnstile. Some say grunge, metal and stoner rock – some say hardcore punk. I mean, most people say hardcore punk, and I think that’s where we fit! Haha! To be fair, none of us fuckin’ know!
Dani [Bass]: I think Max and I, in particular, are heavily influenced by thrash metal and hardcore punk but we like to play things a little slower, so we have a pretty doomy edge. It’s also an excellent release the anger that life tends to inflict and a means of quenching a creative thirst.
Jay: Seep Away is about frustration, hatred, rage and an explosion of psychosis. It’s all the things you wish you could do and say in civilised society but… well, you’d get locked up if you did. The amount of times I’d love to scream full-on in someones face for being a cunt but I’m too repressed to do so, now people come to see us for that privilege so it’s a form of therapy for us.
Max [Guitar]: It´s about writing the music we want and showing it off to the right people. During its genesis a lot of the riffage was influenced by dirgy goodness like Bongripper, and the structure by modern hardcore. Which is cool cos I don´t know of a band who´s doing doom driven hardcore, especially with our carnivalesque garnish. But some people just aren´t gonna be into it and guess what? They´re all cunts.
I’ve not seen you guys play yet, but from what I can see on Youtube, your live shows are pretty chaotic, right?
Dom: Chaos is the word, man. It’s a new experience every time, for all of us! For me, I love playing live and feeding off the energy of the crowd, but also of my bandmates, we’re people having a laugh and making a racket. It’s pretty flippin’ awesome to be able to do that! We’ve had some killer times, and we’ve had some rough as fuck times, but some incredible memories!
Dani: It is chaotic, for sure, as a punk gig should be. They’re so fun to play – it’s a chance to show off our songs but also let loose and have fun with them.
Jay: Imagine a jack in the box tightened to it’s absolute limit, full of bile, maniacal laughter and a tonne of the ‘C’ word, then let it go completely nuclear with a smattering of theatricality. That’s kind of what it’s like to see us live. If you think you’re gonna see a group taking themselves seriously then go back into the gents.
Max: If you´re brazen enough to label yourself as punk, your shows better be chaotic or you´re doing it wrong.
I gather that when you play live you have a varying line-up in terms of how many of you there are onstage. How does that work?
Dom: That’s life, man. We’re all super busy all the time with work, and trying to fit live shows, recordings and all that shit in there, it’s hard graft! When Max and I started, we wanted to do as many shows as we could, so if a band member pulled out, we’d find a way to still do the show! We’ve played as two (me and Max), three (me, Max and Dani as well as me, Max and Jay – we’ve even had another drummer in when I was working in the US!), and then the ultimate four-piece SA, which is the mother-flippin’ bomb! We’re absolutely the dog’s bollocks as a foursome, man. I mean, if the dog was mangey and mental.
Dani: When someone can’t make a gig, we just find ways to cover them. We’ve had Sellsword’s Alex Brandsen in on drums when Dom couldn’t make it, Max covers vocals when Jay can’t make it and bass is skipped over when I’m not there. God knows what we’d do if Max wasn’t there. But we’re at our best when we’re a four because our sound is much more complete and we can feed off each other’s energy best when we’re all together.
Jay: Ultimately I’d like us to be like akin to early 2000s hip-hop pioneers, The So Solid Crew. Featuring no less than 60 – 70 randomised band members on stage at any one time.
You’ve been busy playing shows across the North of England recently, have you got a particular favourite venue that you’ve played so far?
Dom: For me, The Adelphi in Hull is particularly special as I’m from Hull, and I always wanted to play there when I was younger. Rebellion in Manchester is a riot, and it looks awesome! I also loved the raw vibe of Temple of Boom in Leeds, and our spiritual home at The Fulford Arms in York; Fulford is always awesome! I really like The Station in Ashton-Under-Lyne too. The crowd, and people there are wonderful! I mean, in general playing live scares the shit out of me, but most of the crowds we’ve played to, and the promoters have been really cool. We’ve made some awesome mates so far, but we wouldn’t be anywhere without The Fulford, or our friends in York like Lisa Moxon, Aaron Brown [BGB] and Dave McDermott.
Dani: Fulford Arms will always be dear to us because that’s where we play most of our gigs. I love Temple of Boom too.
Jay: The other day, in Greggs when I started headbutting the tills and screaming at the sausage rolls. Dipped my dick in the soup of the day too. Was hot. Fantastic venue, great acoustics.
Max: Anywhere that´s hanging by a thread. The shitter the better. Temple of Boom in Leeds is my favourite though. Probably after seeing Backtrack tear it to shreds a few months before playing there ourselves.
You must have played with some pretty rad bands too, some that we might not have heard of – who should we check out?
Dom: Mothcob are great. I love Bone Cult, and Little Death Machine! It was cool to play with Hands Off Gretel too, and One Way Street! Manchester’s Tijuana Deathshot are sexy as fuck, and tight live. We also played Star and Garter with Impavidus and Asylum City Zoo, they were great. These Wicked Rivers from Derby are cool as fuck too. System Paralysis, Three Day Millionaires, Rivers Johansson from Hull are all killer as well. COFFIN from Australia were mega. I love Naked Six too. Good lads! Oooh, Chambers! Proper love Chambers! Humble Scoundrel from Leeds were ace. The Bastard Sons of York, as well. Petrol Hoooooers! And Petrol Bastard for that matter! Haha! We played with Saltwater Injection [from Ellesmere Port] the other week, and they were particularly special. Sexy beasts!
Dani: We’ve played with a lot of cool bands from a variety of genres. Mothcob and Three Day Millionaires are great hardcore punk bands but pretty different from each other. For some proper metal, Impavidus are excellent. Tijuana Deathshot are a great rock band. If you like Pixies-esque alt-rock, then definitely check out Fat Spatula. Also, I have never been more terrified following a band than I was going on stage after Humble Scoundrel – they’re awesome musically and tight live. No doubt, when I see this interview online, I’ll remember a bunch of other bands that I’ll regret not mentioning.
Max: Depends what you´re into. If you want metal, check out Deified, Impavidus, Sathamel, Scyre, or Deathmace. If you want the hardcore, go to Hex, Mothcob, Human Certainty, Total Disfunction, or TC6. Of course the more notorious bands such as Ona Snop and Lugubrious Children are both shit hot and deserve your attention if they don´t already have it.
We’re right at the start of a new year – what does 2017 hold for SEEP AWAY?
Dom: Max is gonna murder us all if we don’t learn some new shit – he’s come up with some amazing riffs, so we really need to get on that! We’ve got a select few shows so far this year, including Ousefest in York at the Fully, and a chance to play Bloodstock [in an M2M heat at Sanctuary Rock Bar in that there Burnley!] – but we’re gonna take a few months off and write, and possibly record new stuff, and then we’ll be back at it after summer!
Dani: Nail new songs. Play more gigs.
Jay: Bunch of new songs in our back pockets which need fine tuning so we can shake up the set. New EP release and some patches with new artwork on. Maybe, y’know? Get some sleep?
Max: Get our shit together and build the songs I wrote at last haha. Then hit the road hard. There´ll be a new EP at some point too that actually sounds like us and not weird as fuck.
Here at OFTR, we’re trying to be as diverse as possible with the music we’re covering. So, for anyone who is only here to check out our thoughts on a hip new pop-punk band or a Q&A with a folk singer and happens to have stumbled across this feature, why should they check out your band?
Dom: Because we’re raaaaaad! That’s what the pop-punk kids say isn’t it? We’re totes sick. If that doesn’t work for you…check us out because we’ll change your fuckin’ life, probably for the worse. But you don’t know until you try do you? YOLO ‘n’ that! As I like to say – though I totally ripped of 00s ECW wrestler Taz – I believe it holds true…SEE US IF YOU CAN, SURVIVE IF WE LET YOU.
Dani: To be honest, if pop punk or folk is your thing, you probably shouldn’t check us out. Not everyone is going to like us and I am fine with that. If you want everyone who ever hears your music to like it then don’t take it out of your bedroom. But if you like metal and proper punk, we straddle those two genres pretty well.
Jay: I’ve never been remotely alluded to as ‘hip’. Honestly, we’re not here to be liked or even appreciated, we’re just a bunch of grumpy fuckers who are deluded enough to think what we’ve got to say is valid. Which it is. If you’re frustrated with British middle class ineptitude and want to get your vicarious jollys through seeing someone losing their royal shit on stage then come see us. It might just stop you from murdering everyone you see on the street.
Max: Cos when we´re live, we come to fucking life. And that´s what´s missing today. People who actually go to gigs and support the bands from the ground up. I wanna be a live band, for true gig goers, including of course our gig family in York who are the best people ever.
Finally, in the event of a zombie apocalypse, what would your weapon of choice be and why?
Dom: With me having Cerebral Palsy, I walk with two sticks at all times, dude so I couldn’t hold much, and I’m slower than a tortoise doing cock push-ups when I try to run… yes, that’s pretty slow. The only weapon I could realistically use would be my head (my actual head), or my penis head, but humping zombies to try and defend myself is stupid, even by my standards! Unless… I just chopped off one leg, lay down and had a good go at beating them back with it? Hmmm. I mean, if I had like, Terminator machine legs which is a genuine life-goal of mine…to be a part-machine – I’d destroy all the fuckers with various parts of my mega metal exoskeleton. Mint.
Dani: Helicopter. Watch Day of the Dead and Planet Terror to understand why.
Jay: I’ve been binging Walking Dead so I know anything to hand can and will be a weapon. Can’t go wrong with a samurai sword or any long range weapon but as we know, in the advent of an apocalypse and the decline of society, it’s not the dead you should be scared of…
Max: I hate the whole ´zombie culture´ thing. It´s dumb. Every music mag, every blog, and every person you´ve ever known has some new and totally uninspired take on it. When people resort to that it makes me wonder what the fuck is even left to talk about anymore. So no. I won´t contribute to that mire of degenerating social veneer.
Check out SEEP AWAY on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/seepaway