After a dud of a Saturday night this September, my friend Emily and I were scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed and came across a link to the SoundCloud page of my fellow Hardey-Cushing alum Sean Seaver’s band. Upon first listening to Seaver’s Express’s single, “Parachute,” we knew we had to profile the band for The Gavel. The indie rock trio consists of BC sophomores Sean Seaver and Jacob Monk, as well as Berklee College of Music student Chris Southiere. On September 30th, the band released their first EP, also titled “Parachute,” which has generated growing buzz around BC’s campus, and with good reason.
Last week, we sat in on the band’s acoustic practice to conduct and film an interview, highlights from which you can watch in the above video. Seaver, the sarcastic spearhead of the operation, immediately set the tone of the interview by joking to his band mates, “We need to talk about how we played SXSW last year.” A comic bit followed with Chris describing the career-launching show they played with the Rolling Stones, and Jake acknowledging his former musical persona as a Beethoven cover artist—“I don’t even want to get into that, that was dark.” The three continued to feed off each other’s banter until they realized that they had been conducting their own interview for three minutes, leaving us laughing from behind the camera while we enjoyed the band’s pure entertainment value.
Ironically enough, throughout the interview and jam session, the band did exhibit the chemistry and dynamic of one that has been headlining the music festival circuit for years. The guys cracked jokes, brainstormed ideas for their next goof cover (Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop” came up as a possibility, but they welcome requests!), and broke out into spontaneous guitar riffs and Cajon rhythms. Not feeling the need to put on a too-cool front for the cameras, they had an open and easy-going air about themselves, giving honest answers to questions about their influences, ambitions, and feelings about the work they have produced thus far.
The foundation of the band traces back to Sean and Chris’s experiences jamming together in high school and performing at their school’s variety shows.
Sean continued to write music during his freshman year at BC, but needed a vocalist to perform the lyrics on his recordings. Sean sought out a singer by posting on the Class of 2016 Facebook page, and received interest from several students, leading him to Jake. Sean felt that Jake’s voice fit the vibe and style of the songs he had written, and the two formed a band with Sean as the lead guitarist, bringing Chris in as their drummer. In discussing the band’s progress to this point, Sean said, “I feel like we’re getting tighter as a group…it’s nice to see that, honestly, to see us actually grow.”
The group acquired its name from a family company that Sean’s great grandfather started in the 1940s, which lasted until around 1990. When Jake and Sean were trying to establish a band name over summer vacation, Sean stumbled upon a Seaver’s Express t-shirt. With the convenience of already having a logo design and some apparel, Sean decided to borrow the name from his family’s former business. “I’ve gotten a lot of crap from them about it,” he concedes, but the moniker stuck, and the band continued to develop as Seaver’s Express.
Sean cites The Strokes and Vampire Weekend as the two bands that he draws from most when making music; a fan of either of these Alt/Rock favorites can instantly recognize and appreciate their influences on the Parachute EP. Chris considers Jazz drummer Elvin Jones a major musical influence of his, and Jake lists Sum 41, Blink-182, and Jimmy Eat World as bands he listened to growing up that impacted his musical style.
When asked about the band’s intentions for the project going forward, Sean asserts, “We’re ambitious.” Chris, a Professional Music major at Berklee, is working on a clear path toward a career in the music industry. Sean and Jake, on the other hand, agree that they feel lucky to pursue practical career paths at BC while still getting the chance to have fun with music and use it as a creative outlet. Sean jokes to Chris, “Do you feel slighted that you go to music school and you’re in a band with two kids who don’t go to music school?”. Sean is an Economics and Political Science double major, while Jake has an Accounting concentration in CSOM with a minor in Faith, Peace and Justice. Yet Sean will not surrender to the limiting factor of practicality. “I want to stay as optimistic as possible…it’s not just for fun for me, honestly.” While Jake does not necessarily plan to pursue music as a profession, he is enjoying the process of making music and performing with Seaver’s Express, and keeps an open mind regarding where this experience will take him. “I’m just having fun right now…No matter where it leads, I’ve already learned so much.”
You can check out Seaver’s Express’s five-song EP on soundcloud.com/seaversexpress or facebook.com/seaversexpress. Band favorites include the second and third tracks, “We Begin” and “Take Me Too.” The band has two shows coming up this month, one at the Middle East Upstairs on October 13th, and the other at The Cantab Lounge on Thursday night, October 24th.
“We have for some reason probably gotten success a lot more quickly than we deserve,” Sean admits. But we think this band deserves all of the attention it has received and more, and we can’t wait to see where their open-ended artistic endeavor finds them next.
Video by Emily Olander and Emily Sadeghian/Gavel Media Staff
Images by Selma Rakovic via Facebook.