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The Sea Life, one of BYT’s favorite DC bands, plays the 9:30 Club this Saturday with Drop Electric, Tone, and Janel and Anthony.

The band recently finished recording a forthcoming full-length. We traded e-mails with frontman Jon Weiss – who also spends time behind the scenes at Babe City Records – to ask him about it and more.

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What can you share about the new album? When and where was it recorded? How’s it sounding to your ears?

The new album was recorded with our good friend Tommy Sherrod of Full Glass Recording, who did our previous works [In Basements, Transitions, The Sea Life EP]. We recorded it in his basement studio over the last year and recently finished the record in late June.

I’m a big fan of the new album, and also can’t listen to it at the same time. It’s hard to describe my relationship with the new album. I’m a very self-critical person, so I mostly hear the flaws. The few people I’ve shown the album each seem attracted to different songs, so I think that’s a good sign. Maybe. Probably not. Maybe.

It’s been two years since the last Sea Life single. What sort of changes has the band gone through, either concretely or on a more personal level? Has your involvement with Witch Coast affected how you approach making music with the Sea Life?

Aw, man, too many changes to count. From drummers to a keyboardist to the feelings behind the songs and lyrics, it’s all constantly changing.

Witch Coast definitely taught me to tap into a side of my voice I previously didn’t know existed, and although this album is a big step forward from In Basements, I still feel like I don’t know how to use my voice. I’m learning, but it isn’t concrete.

I got so frustrated with my lyrics on this album, I almost scratched whole songs. I went a few weeks wondering if the album was even worth it, wondering if I could even sing at all. I then realized that would be selfish and would be a slap in the face to anyone who has supported us.

Then I started thinking about whether the songs are for people to hear or for myself to hear. That’s a struggle I’m still trying to figure out.

Eventually, with the help of band and Tommy, I pushed through to get something I like out of my voice on each song. Some of the songs are very different from each other, and a few I really hate to listen to, but I’m proud of each song nonetheless. They took a lot out of me, and I want to show people our hard work.

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What are your plans for putting the LP out in the world? Does it have a name?

Afraid I can’t announce the name just yet!

Plans are definitely cassette/vinyl/CD/digital, but haven’t decided on what outlet to release them on yet. The biggest internal debate on the release is: Do I let someone else release the songs and get to take a step back, at the cost of potentially compromising total control of everything? Or do I self-release on Babe City and see every step of the process and feel the blame if something goes wrong?

Everyone wants their album to have the perfect campaign. Maybe I do too, or maybe I’m over album publicity. That’s a dark world.

How would you describe your experience operating Babe City Records? What have been the highs and the lows?

I just feel lucky and happy that I’m surrounded by such incredible and hardworking people to be able to make this label actually work. I wouldn’t be able to do it alone, and I definitely can’t take all the credit. Erik Cativo, Peter Lillis and I live and breathe the label every fucking day, and living together just makes it all the more possible. Plus, our new team member, Jaclyn O’Connell is an incredible asset to the team, and has been working as hard as Erik and Peter and I from day one.

What are you most excited about going forward with label? What’s on the way?

Honestly, I’m so excited about them all and I can’t even mention a few of them.

This year, we have the following vinyl out: Foozle (today at Songbyrd), Bueno (next month), and a release I will name as —– — ——–  😉

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