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INTERVIEW: TONY HOUSH of Seasons After – October 2014

| 7 November 2014 | 1 Reply

Wichita, KS rockers Seasons After have a new disc out and a tour on the schedule.  Lucky for me I was given a few minutes of lead vocalist Tony Housh’s time while they were promoting the release around the drop date and lining up the live dates.  He gave some great insight into how the disc came together, what makes him click, and how the new material is being received…

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Toddstar: Well, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule for us, Tony. We really appreciate it.

Tony: Same here, man. Same here.

Toddstar: Let’s talk about it. Seasons After is dropping a new disc; they just dropped it, Calamities Scars and Memoirs. What can you tell us about the disc?

Tony: As far as the story goes behind it, I mean, it’s pretty personal to all of us. I don’t think that, we weren’t writing Calamities Scars and Memoirs while we were putting, over the years while we were writing all of this. We had 40 plus songs to choose from that we had kind of stock piled back. Once we got down to these 10 songs that everyone agreed with, we realized, ‘Hey, this is the story of what we just went through.’ Kind of the personal aspects of the individual members, and then the group aspect of the band. You know, the fight to try to get out and do what you enjoy, standing up for yourself, that kind of thing. It sort of, I guess you could say, it’s kind of a time capsule. That’s how I see it. When I listen to it, I’m like, ‘Wow, I remember this. I remember how when this song was written and what we were talking about in the situation we were dealing with on the back end of things.’ I would say that it’s a kind of a reflection of what we went through.

Toddstar: Six years between the debut release and this one. There’s been a lot of obvious changes in the band, but the sound, although it changes, still kind of returns to what Seasons After was like in the beginning. Is that something that you guys, obviously again, with the changes in the band and the format, is it something you guys said, ‘Let’s try and stay raw to what we are and move forward’ or is it just, it is what it is?

Tony: Well, you know, we went through a lot of, James Beattie, he wasn’t on the first album, and neither was myself. Bringing two different writers in, it brought a different sound, but you’ve still got Tim and Dawson sitting there that they’ve been there from day one. I think the meshing of the two sounds, you know, we don’t just, Jimmy and I don’t just walk in and throw a song down on the table and say, ‘This is the song.’ Each one gets pounded out and discussed, and I think that’s how it kind of goes back to kind of those metal roots, you know, that first album had, kind of the heavier riffs and things like that. I think that’s kind of how we stayed in that area, but in the beginning, we didn’t really know where we were headed. We were told to write for radio. That’s where this all started. Through the process of trying to get that achieved and get your budgets and all this other stuff, it created this other creature over a time span of a couple years. You know what I mean? I think it’s just a fine blend of two new members coming in and then two from the past, you know, just smashing those things together.

Toddstar: OK. Well going through, there’s several very strong songs. One of my favorites is “Lights Out.” I love the way that your vocals, especially when you’re in the chorus, kind of enhance all the instruments. There’s other songs like “One More Step,” where there’s just huge riffs that mingle in and there’s chugging guitars, and everything else. Then, you get other stuff where there’s just strong lyrical content, like “So Long Goodbye.” Are there any songs that really stand out to you that through the song writing process just really stood out and said, ‘This is going to be a killer track’?

Tony: Yes, there are obviously a couple of them. I’m married to all these songs emotionally, but there’s a song called “Weathered and Worn.” That one, it’s a slower song, but the meaning behind the song is really personal to me personally. It was actually my tryout song for the band. There were two songs, “So Long Goodbye” and “Weathered and Worn.” When I was going through the process in 2010 of trying to get the job. They sent those two songs to me just musically. Then, I was going through my own struggles at the time with relationship. You can obviously tell that through “So Long Goodbye.” Then, “Weathered and Worn.” I’m kind of a spiritually challenged person. I question a lot of things. That song is definitely close to my own heart. It’s one of the songs that, when I hear it, I’m like, ‘Someone has to relate to this.’

Toddstar: OK. Well those songs being so personal, are there any songs on the album that you just couldn’t seem to finish, just seemed hard to get the lyrics out, or hard to come up with a melody? Is there any song that just fought you tooth and nail?

Tony: Yeah, “My Last Words.” It’s a song that we recently did a lyric vid for. That one there has been through a lot of changes. On the very last day of tracking, we were out of time. There was no more time to work on this record. We rewrote that song and we kept the chorus, and the lyrics for the verses changed, the melodies changed. That was a lot of Jimmy. Jimmy just had, we always call it the asteroid smacking us in the head, like, ‘Hey, that’s it.’ That was one of the hard songs. I had a hard time really pinning it down, and Jimmy was able to come in behind me and say, ‘OK, this is what you want to say. Let’s try this.’ We were able to pound that song out that day, and what you have is what it is now.

Toddstar: That’s one of those songs that I think, even though, I mean, it’s obviously a strong rocker. I thought, I was wondering if it could open the disc, but the vocals are a little heavier on that track. What’s it like for you to take, you know, where you’re talking about “Weathered and Worn” or “So Long Goodbye,” where you got different songs are a little more personal, then you get something where you get just a heavy vocal like “My Last Words.” What kind of inspiration do you need to be able to lay down a heavy vocal like that?

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Tony: Well, the subject matter of that song is something that we’re all dealing with as individuals. It’s really personal to all of us, because that song is dealing with the fact of – and I can speak from my own, I’ll just say it from my own perspective. I have a family. I have a life outside of music, but over the years, music has become – I’ve never had a drug problem but it has become my drug. It’s that thing that I can’t stop doing. It affects the people around you. It can cause them unnecessary pain. When we get in to just really expressing it, like in “My Last Words,” it really is coming out that way. I really feel that way about it. I don’t have a problem, you know, getting a little heavier on the mic or whatever, because your soul is in it, you know.

Toddstar: Let’s talk about you for a minute, Tony. Who made you want to pick up a microphone and stand there and be a rock star for a living?

Tony: Well, I started singing in church, and I didn’t even know what rock music was. 16 or 17, I started singing, and I went through the whole grunge phase, but I would say the guy that just blew my mind, you probably have heard this from a lot of vocalists, but Corey Taylor blew my mind. When I heard the versatility that that guy had, I’m like, ‘Wow, this dude can scream and do it right. He can turn right around and sing and deliver.’ His lyrics are just out of this world. When I found Slipknot, things changed for me. I started looking at things differently and wanting to be better and push harder and wanted that to be my life. That was something I wanted to wake up to every day. I’ve got several other vocalists, but Corey Taylor was a big influence of mine just because of his talent and his versatility.

Toddstar: Very cool. That said, being a Slipknot fan, if you could go back, and looking back at what your style is and the way you write, the way you sang, can you back through the history of time and put your stamp on any album, what would it be?

Tony: My stamp on any album. I would say that, you’re talking about as for another act? That would have to be Cold’s Year of the Spider. I love that album.

Toddstar: I do, too. Great album. Any plans to take Calamities Scars and Memoirs out on the road?

Tony: Yes, right now, we’re doing, tomorrow we leave out for three dates. Basically, we’re just trying to get our calendar filled up right now, you know, getting our touring feet back under us, you know, get back into that swing and that routine of doing that every day, after you’ve had years off from it. It takes a little bit of time to get your set lined out and get comfortable with and be good at what you’re doing every single night. We’re basically using this time to the first of the year to line out and get ourselves in that position. We’re hoping at the first of the year to go full-on as hard and as fast as we can, anywhere we can go. If they’ll let us play, we’re going to do it.

Toddstar: Very cool. If you could create a line-up of you guys and two other bands that you think would mesh well with what Seasons After is all about, who would you like to go out on the road with?

Tony: Well, we played a gig this last weekend with Flaw, and they’re just starting to move around again. I would love to gig with those guys. I’m first of all a big fan of theirs, and I feel like their music, we’re not the same but it is sort of the same. Does that make sense? They have the big melodic choruses. Then, they’ve got the throw downs and those kinds of things. I would love to hit the road with Flaw, and don’t think I didn’t try to make it happen last weekend, because we’d be in, you know. You never know, but yeah, I would love to hit the road with Flaw, for sure.

Toddstar: When you’re out on stage, are there any songs from the new album that are just coming off really well, that the fans are really getting into?

Tony: “My Last Words,” we did the lyric vid. I don’t recall the day. It’s been several weeks, but that one seems to have a good response. “So Long Goodbye” has a good response. “Break to Survive,” people really tend to get into that. We haven’t really so far ran into a lot of negative reaction to what we’re doing. That’s a good thing, you know. Right now, I really can’t say that there’s any song that is the song. “Lights Out,” definitely people tend to respond to. I think that has to do with that driving chorus, you know, that dum-dum-dum-dum-dum. You know what I mean? It gets people’s head bobbing. There’s several that people are into. I couldn’t tell you which one is the big daddy or whatever, you know.

Toddstar: You guys have the new disc out. You got the new video out, which you mentioned. You got the lyric video out, which is a cool, cool song to have a video to. I’d love to see it live action, but we get what we get. You guys are hitting some dates. Like you said, you just had Flaw. You’re hoping to book some more shows. Then, do a lot after the first of the year. With all this going on in your life, things seem to be pointing onward and upward for you guys. Right now, for you, Tony, what’s the meaning of life?

Tony: My meaning of life right now is I spent a long time, all of us did, but from a personal aspect, since November of 2010, I’ve been focused like a laser beam on this thing. This has been a major, man; it’s just been a big deal in my own life. It’s really turned life upside for me. Right now, I want to get out what we created and get the message out that the album holds, you know. It doesn’t push a message of drugs and alcohol and get laid and all these of other things. We’re trying to speak something real. We want to get that out to people, you know. Stand up for yourself. Be something. Don’t be what others are telling you to be. Don’t listen to the television and all the garbage out there that you’re pumped full every day. We want people to know that you’re an individual. Stand up for what you are and be something. Don’t fall to that other side of things and that’s important to me, to express that right now. Through this album, I hope that we get to do that.

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Toddstar: So do I. I can’t wait until you guys bring this monster to Detroit. Well that said, Tony, I’d like to thank you again for taking the time out. I wish you well with your dates that you guys are lining up. Again, hope to see you in Detroit, and I’m really wishing you guys a lot of good will with the new album.

Tony: We appreciate it, man. Thanks for having me around.

Toddstar: Thanks, Tony. We’ll talk to you soon, and time to Calamities Scars and Memoirs for another spin.

Tony: All righty. Thank you, sir.

 

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About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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  1. I met Tony through my best friend 3 -4 years ago. I am a full time musician myself so the two of us have a lot to talk about. I was blown away the first time I heard him sing. His heart and soul is really in to the music and I’m even more impressed with the way he carries himself on a personal level… I have no doubt that we will measure his success at the highest level in a very short time…See you in Orlando on my Birthday Tony. Randy and I want to ride in your tour bus..Later

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