Richmond, Virginia trio Sea Of Storms kick off their summer tour tonight in Philadelphia (dates below). The band will be out in support of their debut LP Dead Weight which will be co-released by Self Aware Records and Tor Johnson on June 9. Dead Weight was recorded at The Etching Tin by Chris Compton and was mastered by Carl Saff. Sea of Storms was recently announced as one of several bands playing The Fest this fall, Sea Of Storms will also open for Planes Mistaken For Stars on July 23.
Featuring ex-members of Mouthbreather, Wow Owls, The Set-Up, Race The Sun, Sea Of Storms write songs that won’t ever be on the radio, although they should’ve been. Growing up in a post-Nevermind era throughout different Virginian cities, the members of Sea of Storms were gripping 7-inches from Richmond bands when they could and ripping off a variety of subgenres that blended together at the time in their high school bands.
When the 3/5 of the posthardcore outfit Mouthbreather formed Sea of Storms in 2012, they brought together a varied archive of influences from Jimmy Eat World to 400 Years to Coheed and Cambria. However, Dead Weight sounds nothing like these bands. What Dead Weight does sounds like is a rock record from a time when Danzig and Smashing Pumpkins were considered fresh, filtered through the distilled punk essence of late1990s angsty indie rockers such as The Get Up Kids.
While nodding to the past, Sea of Storms looks towards the future, looking to expand on their musical roots how they can. If you’re a fan of big guitars and songs that make you want to drive along open roads with the windows down, Dead Weight is the record you’ve been waiting for.
Ghettoblaster recently caught up with SoS singer/guitarist Brandon Peck to discuss the Richmond scene, the new record and their forthcoming tour. This is what he told us.
Are you guys from Richmond originally? What is the music scene like there?
Chris Brown is from just outside of Richmond, but grew up going to shows in the city. John Martin and I are transplants, but we’ve both lived here for about 15 years now, so it kind of feels like it at this point. There’s a lot of awesome metal here these days, and pop punk is still going strong.
How did you guys meet? Did you have a sound that you were hoping to capture?
We were all in a band together called Mouthbreather for several years, and when things began to slow down due to some of the other guys needing to focus on things like school and their careers, the three of us decided to try writing music in a different way. John hadn’t played bass in a band in several years, and I’d been interested in singing for a while. We wanted to do something more melodic and stripped down than Mouthbreather, and with a bigger sound, but our songs just kind of happened. I still don’t think that we have a song that defines our “sound” and I like that about our band. Even the stuff we’ve written since the record was recorded is exploring new ground musically.
When did you begin writing the material that would become Dead Weight?
It was about three years ago, I believe. We definitely took our time and this band wasn’t even really the focus until Mouthbreather eventually disbanded. We’ve ditched a few songs that didn’t really work for us, and reworked some stuff in that time.
Who engineered the album and what did they bring to the table?
Chris Compton recorded the record, and he did a stellar job of it. We tracked all the instruments at a spot called the Etching Tin that is this crazy little time capsule. It used to be a recording studio in the 70’s before it became a photography studio and storage for the rest of the building. When it was found by the guys who have it now, they realized it was still pretty much intact with shag carpet all over the walls and crazy wood paneling. It’s such a weird and awesome spot.
Is there a theme or underlying idea that ties Dead Weight together?
Overall, the theme of Dead Weight is loss. Loss of youth, loss of faith, loss of self, etc. It’s been a long time since I’ve had the opportunity to get some of this stuff off of my chest, so this record was definitely a bit of catharsis for me.
When did you become affiliated with Self Aware and Tor Johnson? How have they helped you guys achieve your goals?
This is the first record we’ve done with either of them, but Paul (Tor Johnson), Josh and Sarah (Self Aware) have been longtime friends. We are super excited that they decided to work with us on this record.
You’re about to head out on tour at the end of May. Is this your first tour?
No, we’ve toured through most of these places before. We’re pretty excited to get back to see some of our friends along the way.
What stops are you most excited about? Are you apprehensive about any of them?
Louisville, Providence, Philly and St. Augustine are all highlights for me. Those cities are always good to us, and we have a bunch of people we’re stoked to hang out with again.
What is the weirdest thing that has happened to you on tour?
One time we were in Gainesville Forida and hanging out at a buddy’s house after a show, and the conversation somehow turned towards ghost stories or creepy things in general. So we decided to all pile into his car and go to some super old, and super creepy cemetery nearby. We had all been drinking, so our friend drove, and on the way back we ended up getting pulled over by the cops. Our buddy got out of the car and was talking to the police for what seemed like forever before getting back in. Turns out he told the cop that we were all in bands and the cop started talking about how he had recently moved to town and didn’t know where shows were and all that stuff. He got our friend’s band’s Facebook info and let us go, and apparently he started turning up at shows around town after that and was a pretty chill dude. ACAB.
Will this be the only weeks long tour in support of Dead Weight or are you already planning more?
We’re doing these two weeks in June, a couple of shows in July and then touring down and back from The Fest in Gainesville this October. Maybe more if the opportunity presents itself (talent scouts, get in touch!)
You’ve got a couple other awesome shows coming up, including shows with Planes Mistaken For Stars and The Fest. Have you guys played with PMFS before? Are you fans?
Mouthbreather did a show for them years ago in Richmond. It was outside in an alley, and the police showed up while they were playing. I remember them finishing their set backlit by flashing blue lights. It was kind of surreal. But, no, Sea of Storms has never played a show with them. I’m real pumped to do so, and I think I speak for everyone when I say that we’re all big fans.
Have you played or attended Fest before? What are you most looking forward to about that?
We played two Fests ago, and we can’t wait to go back. It’s my favorite way to spend Halloween weekend.
Have you begun writing for your next release?
We’ve got a couple songs finished up. I think the next record is going to be pretty different.
(Visit the band here: https://www.facebook.com/SeaOfStorms
Catch the band live here:
June 1st-Philadelphia PA @ Kung Fu Neck Tie
June 2nd-New York NY @ Bushwick Public House
June 3rd-Providence RI @ AS220
June 4th-Boston MA @ O’Briens
June 5th-Rochester NY @ Vineyard Community Space
June 6th-Dayton OH @ Blind Bob’s with The Story Changes, Good Luck Year, and Arms Race
June 7th-Cincinnati OH @ Tacocracy
June 8th-Louisville KY @ Mag Bar
June 9th-Atlanta GA @ The Drunken Unicorn
June 10th-Gainesville FL @ Loosey’s
June 11th-St. Augustine FL @ Nobbys Tavern
June 12th-Charleston SC @ Tunnel of Lust
June 13th-Columbia SC @ New Brookland Tavern
June 14th-Greensboro NC @ Green Bean Coffee
July 23rd-Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter w/ Planes Mistaken for Stars
Oct 30th-Nov 1st-Gainesville, FL @ The Fest)