With the help of their awesome manager, Seeking Seven from Tupelo, Mississippi was kind enough to do an interview with me last week. Seeking Seven is a three piece Alternative Hard Rock band. We talked about shows, gear, and goals. Read below for what they had to say!
Who are the men behind Seeking Seven? What role do you play in the band?
Seeking Seven: Seeking Seven is Robbie Ross Guitar/Vocals, Dakota Clayton Bass/Vocals, and Jake Andrews Drums
Nice to meet everyone! How long has Seeking Seven been a band?
Robbie: The concept of Seeking Seven a band started in 2009… About a year later or so it started to come together after meeting Jake.
Jake: Yea I’ve been the drummer for nearly the entirety of the time Rob started this save a few months in the beginning.
Robbie: I consider mostly Seeking Seven really started then when Jake showed up.
Dakota: Going on 8 years now we’ve been a band.
Solid! So what inspired you to pursue music?
Jake: I have had a lifelong love of rhythm and making music. Art is my most clear method of expression. For me, the drums have never failed to surprise and excite me as I learn more over the years, and writing music with my brothers in this band has gone hand in hand with that.
Dakota: The thrill of getting to see new places and meet new people has been what has kept me on track to perfecting my craft.
Robbie: I can’t ever remember a time in my life where I didn’t dream of making music and performing. My earliest memories, no kidding, like at 3 years old… I wanted to make music. Banging on pots and pans… listening to drum work even when I was that little. I had older sisters who kept MTV on 24-7… I was exposed to a lot of music… I can’t imagine music not in my life.
What should we be expecting on the upcoming album?
Robie: Craziness (laughs)…
Dakota: Variety… Variety is what to expect off our upcoming album. It’s like we took all three of our favorite genres and mashed it into a ball, yet still giving it the “Seeking Seven” sound.
Jake: A much more raw and individualistic sound. We worked hard to preserve the energy of our live sets and craft tunes that were both powerful and varied. Lots of new influences all around!
Robbie: This new album honestly has been the absolute greatest thing I’ve ever been involved in. Like Jake said… it’s super raw… I think we all really wanted it that way. Today’s bands have a modern standard sounds that's cool, but we all really ignored that formula and just did what we wanted to do. People might hate it I don’t know but… it’s hands down the most favorite stuff we’ve ever written. I heard it said by a friend who I snuck a listen the other day who said they thought we’ve really found ourselves… I couldn’t agree more.
How is recording going so far?
Robbie: Stress free… I suppose it’s because we’ve really taken our time. We recorded in our home studio and to top that we decided not to rely on samples and dubs and treat the process as if we were recording on tape machines or something.
Jake: Previously, drum tracks were captured live and then doubled with MIDI before we had steady access to proper recording equipment. This record allowed us to record the drums entirely live and present them sample free, entirely unedited, which was a great deal of fun for me as a drummer and a challenge as well. Watching the tunes take shape and the ideas flow has been enlivening and I'm more than a little excited to let this thing be heard.
Dakota: It really has been great… I mean, we aren’t on any time stamp so we get to work at our own pace. It’s been nice to just sit down with the three of us and hash out these new songs.
Robbie: Yea that’s been the best part… having the time to focus on just writing a great song.
That's great, you guys! Keep it up. What is the best show you guys have played? Why?
Jake: Upon returning from the studio in 2012, we played a sort of homecoming show at a tiny bar called The Spot in Tupelo. Not knowing what to expect, we were blown away entirely by the ridiculous amount of people in the bar, having to turn some folks away to stay within fire code. The atmosphere was absolutely electric in that little room, and even though we've played larger rooms and bigger crowds, the amount of support and love we felt there was unreal and it solidified my confidence in my path as a musician.
Dakota: Dude… I was totally thinking of the same show (laughs). Hearing the chant of “Seven, Seven, Seven” that night still gives me goosebumps to this day.
Robbie: There’s some photos floating around somewhere on the internet of me crowd surfing across the entire venue floor. So epic. It’s always cool to hear someone dig our music, but when it’s hometown folks it’s just even more special. I’ll remember that night forever.
What is your most indispensable piece of gear for playing life?
Dakota: My most indispensable piece of gear has to be my newly acquired Alpha Omega pedal by Dark Glass. It adds such a much needed character for my bass tone which is crucial for a three piece band.
Robbie: My Mesa Triple Rec for sure… I mean it reminds me of an American Muscle Car… just straight raw power. I love it… I could do without any of my pedals if I needed to, but that mesa I can’t live without.
Jake: As a drummer, I need a good ride cymbal to cut Rob's wall of guitar fierceness. My Zildjian Ping Ride is kinda the best thing ever for that very reason: clear tone, beautiful crash, lots of gorgeous overtones. Plus I like to play the ride bell a lot and there aren't many ride cymbals with better sounding bells for my money.
What has been the biggest struggle for Seeking Seven?
Robbie: Honestly it’s been just to keep doing this. We’ve never been a band that only plays for money or whatever and because of that, it’s why we’ve been around as long as we have been. Having said that, no band can operate without some type of income. CD’s cost a lot to make, merch tables costs a lot to stock, even social media charges you to promote your stuff, festivals and tours costs a fortune to buy on to. All we’ve ever wanted was an opportunity to create music and play for as many people as possible… and we’ve done that… and we’re still doing it… It’s a constant struggle. Our desire to play music outweighs our desire to make money… I’m just so lucky to jam with these dudes here that understand feel the same.
Jake: Simply being a rock band in this era. Rock is in a sort of dark night of the soul. It either needs to evolve and catch up with today's music or it needs to be appreciated more for its raw honesty, as perhaps an alternative to the highly produced big budget pop tunes of today. Music listeners are more open minded than ever, but our challenge has always been our limited audience and slightly obscure base of operations in the rural south.
Dakota: The biggest struggle for Seeking Seven in my opinion would have to be playing in a dead market. It seems as though every bar or venue around here has a life expectancy of 3 years and then its shutdown for who knows how long or if it even opens back up at all.
Robbie: Yea all bands right now are suffering for lack of venues.
What is the ultimate goal for Seeking Seven?
Robbie: Just to keep doing this… I hope to never ever stop!!
Dakota: I hope to just touch as many people with our music as humanly possible. I want people to find the messages in our songs that help them in any and every way.
Jake: Our goal is to make raw, honest music, to play our instruments to our very best ability, and to always strive to push our sound forward and upward. Music is a continually evolving and living medium and being a part of this art form is the most exhilarating thing in the world to me.
Robbie: Yea… and to just keep doing this (laughs)
(laughs too) Alright, thanks for much doing this guys! Hopefully we can talk again soon
GIVE THE GUYS A FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM WITH @SEEKING7SEVEN AND VISIT THEIR WEBSITE FOR FURTHER UPDATES - WWW.SEEKING7SEVEN.COM