Sydney, N.S rock group Seek Out Ships was formed in 2005 as a two-piece acoustic act between long-time friends/bandmates Christopher Poirrier (drums) and David Daix (guitar, vocals). In 2009, after a four-year stint of “meandering between farting-around and complete dormancy,” the two decided to get a little more serious.
The band recruited Mark “John” Scott on bass and has been much more active of late, releasing some recordings and trying to spread word of the band.
Poirrier and Daix both joined us via e-mail this week.
1. What are you up to these days, musically or otherwise? (Feel free to plug whatever you’ve got coming up.)
D.D. - Um, considering we have been dormant for quite some time, I would say a lot is going on, I guess. Just practicing on a regular basis is a pretty big step for Seek Out (which we’ve been doing lately). We also have a full-length album in the works; the material is done, we just have to get some studio time set up. And maybe a short Maritime tour with our friends First to Fall.
2. How did you get into the music business and what was the first major lesson you learned once you got your feet wet?
D.D. - For a band with a nautical name there is not a lot of wetness going on in terms of the industry. haha We’ve been around for quite a while, but it feels to me like we are just getting started.
C.P. - I think, in regards to SOS, we haven’t really gotten our feet wet at all, as Dave mentioned. We’re finally starting to get the ball rolling. Personally, I’ve been in bands since I was 10 years old. I’d say the first real experience with the industry would be with my other band, Drowning Shakespeare. We’ve been together since January 2004 and have completed a few tours to Ontario. We’ve put out a few independent releases as well. I hope that the experience I’ve gained from that can be put to good use in SOS.
3. How did Seek Out Ships form?
D.D. - Well, me and Chris have been playing together for about 10 years now. At one point we went our separate ways musically but wanted to stay in touch, so we formed Seek Out Ships as a kind of extra reason to get together. And five years later, we wanted to start playing shows and our good friend Mark Scott picked up the bass for us and that was it.
4. What are the band’s musical influences?
D.D. - So many influences. Hmmm. What are some ones that will make us sound cool? haha. I guess our newer stuff is more influenced by artists and bands like Death Cab, Wintersleep, mewithoutYou, Neil Young, David Gray, Iron and Wine. I’ve also been listening to a lot of stuff I grew up with too: CCR, Bruce Springsteen and Steve Earle, stuff like that. A lot of the music people have heard from us is between two-five years old, so our new material is going to sound a bit different, but still sounds like us.
C.P. - For the record, I dislike David Gray. hahaha Dave will probably get mad at me for that one. In regards to SOS, my biggest influences would have to be The National, DCFC, Wintersleep and mewithoutYou. Mark just introduced me to a new band called Biffy Cyclo. Weird name, cool music though.
5. You guys released a four-song EP, you’ve recorded another and you mentioned having even more material coming down the pipe … are you noticing your sound develop or change at all as you guys continue to write and pump out new material at such a quick pace?
D.D. - Oops, answered that already. But, yeah, we are growing. I feel my writing style is changing a bit as I get older. Less songs about girls and more tunes about where I come from and where I want to go. Chris kind of grows with me too. It’s pretty cool. And Mark makes it all sound better than it is. hah
C.P. - I notice a huge change in our style, both musically and lyrically, but, especially lyrically. Although I don’t like to put labels on music, musically, we’re heading in a more “indie-rock” direction whereas before I thought our stuff was more “pop-rock.” The new material is still catchy and melodic, it just seems like it has more direction. It seems more mature. We’re working with dynamics and progression a lot more now. Lyrically, as Dave mentioned, we’re getting away from the “songs about girls” trend or whatever and moving into songs about life and experience. It’s refreshing.
6. If you weren’t in the music industry in some capacity, what would you be doing today?
D.D. - For my part, I’m not sure. Same thing I do now, I guess: dream of living in the country, writing tunes and planting a garden.
C.P. - Unfortunately, we’re not signed to Universal so I’m forced to work a job outside of the music industry. hahaha I’m heading back to college in September for Pharmacy Technology. Of course, SOS will continue to write, record, play shows, tour, whatever. We’re just having fun playing music together. It’s very laid back and stress free.
7. What song or album have you been listening to most lately?
D.D. - Buy A Ticket – Greg MacPherson
C.P. - Iron & Wine – Boy With a Coin, Wintersleep – New Inheritors, I’ve yet to pick up the new record from The National – High Violet, but, that will be purchased very soon, First To Fall - The Dream Song.
8. What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned recently?
C.P. - Of course, Dave bails on the toughest question. hahaha. Honestly, that’s a hard one. I keep replaying the books that I’ve read recently in my head and trying to manufacture something witty and/or intellectual to say. hahahaha. I’m going to take the easy way out and say, go read Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser.
9. What’s your favourite way to waste time?
D.D. - Laying in the shade on a warm spring day or watching my favourite movies again.
C.P. - I don’t consider it wasting time, but, I just love being with my fiancée and our friends. I love watching hockey and drinking a few beers. I love heading to my parents’ house for a barbecue and swimming. I love spending time with my dog. I love to travel. I’m just up for anything, anytime.
10. Finish the sentence below and please elaborate on what you mean:
The east coast music scene is …
C.P. - … hard to describe. I can’t comment on places outside of Sydney because I haven’t been on tour in over a year. From what I hear, things are great elsewhere. I take a place like Sydney and it saddens me to say that the all-ages scene is dying and has been for quite some time. There was a time when there used to be 10-15 all-ages shows per year. I think there have been four in the last 13 months. This concerns us because we don’t want to play bars. We’re going to end up putting on our own shows, which is fine by us, I just wish that there were more options for touring bands and other local bands who want to play the all ages scene.
11. What’s the next thing you want to accomplish, musically or otherwise?
D.D. - I want to make some solid recordings of our new tunes and let people hear them while they are fresh.
C.P. - I guess this is a good time to elaborate on our future plans which Dave touched on briefly in question one. Next up is our new record, which is yet to be named. We have nine brand-new songs fully written. We’ve been practicing those lately and they’re almost ready to be recorded. We’re recording in June. We’re shooting a video in July with our good friend and film production master, Matt Ingraham of MI Productions (check him out on Facebook). After that, we’re going to press the record. Probably going to use something eco-friendly as we think that is important.
Then we’ll make some T-shirts and hopefully hit the road for a Maritime tour with our friends in First To Fall (also, check these guys out on Facebook). We haven’t really thought beyond that, but, that’s a pretty good start. In closing, I just want to say that if anyone wants to check us out, our tunes can be hear at http://www.myspace.com/seekoutships and you can become a fan on Facebook by simply typing in Seek Out Ships.
Check back to EastCoastNoise.com next Friday for a chat with: Kyle MacDonald of Moncton’s Cop Shades