Houston-based rockers Seldom’s Facebook page describes the band’s sound as progressive/alternative rock, with influences ranging from Chevelle to Deftones and Tool. With a new album due out in September, band members Bryan Murillo (drums), Carlos Hidalgo (bass), Matt Hernandez (guitar) and Mitch Atkinson (vocals) took a few minutes to talk with our Brandy Brown earlier this month.
The ONE Magazine: Your album will be released in September. What was your favorite part of the recording process?
Mitch: Besides finishing it? Honestly, the beginning was the best. We spent an entire weekend just tracking guitars and just coming up with some new ideas on how to make the songs better. When we were done, we had a better direction with the album, and it was exciting.
BB: Is the songwriting process mostly organic or does it start with one person and get added on to from there?
Carlos: Usually starts with one of us, then gets structured from there.
Matt: Yeah, our songwriting process is pretty basic and usually has started off with Carlos or I coming up with a single guitar riff or bass riff. We build from there, having ourselves a jam session and the song writes itself. After jamming for a bit, we go back and structure the song, placing each part in the right order. Once it’s all laid out, the song is ready for lyrics and vocal melodies. Mitch is the primary lyricist, but if anyone has something on their hearts or minds, we tend to throw that in there too. At the end, everyone has input on what to change and how to make it better. This is a group effort.
BB: What do you hope that fans will get out of the album?
Mitch: We named the album “Damaged” because each song deals with insecurity, negativity, and feeling lost and helpless that I think everyone deals with in one way or another. I hope that when someone listens to the album, maybe it provides some relief to know they aren’t alone, and that no matter how difficult things may be, they will get better.
BB: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
Mitch: Musically, Deftones, Lacuna Coil, and Tool are my biggest influences. Chino Moreno is the type of singer I want to be. I try to model my live performances off of vocalists like Chino, Kyo from Dir en Grey, and Til Lindemann from Rammstein. Non-musical – Edgar Allan Poe, HP Lovecraft, Chaucer, Dante and other classical authors.
Matt: I have too many musical influences to name from rock to hip hop, metal, pop and what not. Just know, that each artist and band has played a specific role.
Carlos: Brian Marshall, Cliff Burton, Jack Bruce, John Paul Jones, Les Claypool, John Entwistle, ATB, Armin Van Bureen, Eminem and many more.
Bryan: Musically, Incubus, Staind, Deftones, Tesseract, Karnivool, Fink, Dallas Green, Alter Bridge. Non Musically – My Family and my closest friends, which include my bandmates.
BB: In your opinion, what is the best way to promote your band and shows?
Matt: Not only are we heavily involved with social media, Facebook, Reverbnation, YouTube… etc., but we stress ourselves to get people to our shows. We create flyers and we do it old school by hanging them up and handing them out. If it wasn’t creepy, we would go door to door. At our shows, we sell merch and hand out FREE singles. We usually try to do something special for fans that make it out to shows, so you will have to come out to a show to possibly catch some free merch.
BB: Describe your show, visually and musically.
Bryan: In my opinion our shows take you through a roller coaster of emotions. We have songs that you can really head bang to and others where you can just groove to and really connect with and pay attention to the lyrics. The diversity in genres within our music writing process really stands out and I love how we are given the chance to connect with our audience through our music every time we get on stage.
Mitch: Visually, I would describe our shows as pretty high energy and engaging. We try to find ways to get the crowd involved in the show, and I try to match the intensity on stage by running around, head-banging, and just trying to visually represent the music and the songs. We’re usually exhausted even after a shorter 30 minute set because we believe in putting everything we have into our performance.
BB: As the singer I’ve heard you say that you have to “keep your eyes to the future” while performing and a lot of times not look at your band mates. Tell the readers why this is. I’m sure they’d love to know about on stage shenanigans. 🙂
Mitch: If I look at one of the guys, I’m going to laugh mid-song. It’s inevitable. At practice, we usually joke around and make faces and generally try to mess each other up, and that carries through. I’ll usually stand super close to Carlos or Matt and just sing right at them as creepily as I can, Carlos will point at Matt and laugh, Matt will usually try to mess with Bryan, and Bryan will typically just look at me and shake his head disapprovingly. It’s like a game of “who can keep a straight face the longest”. It also doesn’t help that Matt, Bryan, and Carlos are very funny guys, and none of us are usually very serious.
BB: What inspires you to do what you do?
Carlos: My small family and the love music.
Matt: My family — I don’t want to be a disappointment especially after the struggle there was growing up with divorced parents at a young age. My mother busted her ass to put dinner on the table and a roof over our heads. Same goes with my aunts who acted like moms to me. Also my father, who was the one to place me on a drum throne and teach me everything I know today about drums. He continues to do what he loves and that has left a stamp on my heart. All my friends that put their belief in me to do what I love. My faith.
BB: How does music affect you and the world around you?
Bryan: It affects every aspect of my life. Music has been the one thing I can always fall back on to make me feel better. Music IS my life. Music IS my therapy. Music IS what makes me smile. Music has helped me overcome situations in life, it’s helped me in so many ways and the fact that I’m blessed enough to play an instrument and communicate and connect with an audience full of strangers without using words is an amazing feeling. I wouldn’t trade it for the world!!
BB: If people want a copy of your album, how do they reach you? How can they keep up with Seldom?
Carlos: You can keep up with us on facebook, and we will be selling the album on iTunes and on our website that we’ll be revealing soon.
BB: What is the silliest movie you have seen and why?
Mitch: It’s a tie between “History of the World: Part 1” or “Spaceballs” because Mel Brooks movies are goofy, but still as funny today as they were when I first saw them.
Matt: I’ve seen a lot of crazy, stupid, silly movies, but that one that tops it off is “Hatchet 2”… Funny and true story, we were playing a gig in San Antonio, and this movie was on in the bar. So as we’re setting up and getting ready to play, this movie with its gory scenes, sex scenes, and hideous acting is getting more attention than the bands playing. No lie, as we were playing, I could not help but watch this movie and laugh at the stupidity of this movie.
Carlos: The “Hotshots” and the “Naked Gun” deries due to its “slapstick” style of comedy.
Bryan: I’d have to say the Ace Ventura movies, I think they’re hilarious and Jim Carrey is one of the funniest guys. I also like “Anchorman,” for some reason the stupid movies are the ones that are the funniest to me.
BB: One last question. In New Zealand, what do you think the sheep to orc ratio is?
Mitch: I don’t think it’s a coincidence that New Zealand became No. 1 in comprehensive human freedom at the same time that the sheep took up arms and rose up against the orc population. I don’t know what plans, if any, the sheep have for us, but I for one welcome our bleating, fluffy overlords.
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