“SEEKER” Interview by Christina Thompson
Right out of the gate, Mr. Bryce Lucien, you had to take a personal hiatus from the original Seeker band, only to come back and find your members had all moved on in their personal lives. This led you to recreate Seeker. What was it that drove you to keep moving forward? What gave you your “Never give up” attitude? It’s also no secret that Loss came from the aftermath of a friend’s suicide. The album, as a whole, is definitely darker, raw, and more moody than Unloved. Was this your catharsis? Most fans of metal (as represented in our MHF community), have also cited metal as being their “therapy”. Do you agree with this?
Andy, Alex, and myself needed the band. After everything we went through we were all completely devastated mentally, financially, physically. The band was the only thing that we had that mattered at all, so I don’t know how to put this other than we really didn’t have much of a choice. In order to heal and start moving forward with our lives again we had to do this. I know that I personally wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Andy, Alex, and the band.
Metal is definitely our therapy. It’s our everything really. All of my friends I have because of this band or touring with other bands. Almost all of my life experience as an adult has revolved around playing metal. The only reason that I’ve gotten to see the things I’ve seen and do what I’ve done has been because of metal.
You’ve become a three-piece band between Unloved and Loss with Andy Torres (guitarist), and Alex Curry (drummer), and put out your most brutal and honest album (Loss, 2016), is this the steady direction you see from Seeker?
Yeah definitely. Being a three piece is honestly the best thing we’ve ever done. It just makes so much more sense for us. There’s no more fighting, we’re tighter onstage, and honestly for years the core of the band has been me and Andy so now that there’s no one else in the band to try to make happy or compromise with we’re free to finally do everything we’ve ever wanted to do.
Victory Records hasn’t had the best reputation when dealing with bands. It has been said that Seeker is bringing credibility back to the label as far as metal goes. Do you feel like this is an honest assessment? Is this a huge pressure on you as a band?
We don’t really think about things like that. Especially now, we just write exactly what we want to write and present ourselves in a way that artistically fulfills us and represents the music the way that we think it should. If that happens to connect with people or make an impact in the world of metal then obviously we’re happy, but that’s not really a priority. We do this band completely for ourselves, so the only pressure we feel is from each other. We’re never happy with anything we do and are constantly trying improve every aspect of the band. That’s the only focus.
As for Victory’s reputation…I know everyone seems to enjoy taking a shit on them, but they don’t need us to restore their credibility in the metal and hardcore scene. If they never released another extreme album again they’d still have a very important place in that world because, whether anyone wants to admit or not, they’ve put out some of the most important heavy albums of all time. They treat us amazingly well and give us free reign to do whatever we want. I’ve been in bands for a long time, tour manage a lot of bands, manage a bunch of bands, and I’ve never dealt with a label that is more supportive or easy to work with. I’m extremely happy to have been with them for the last several years.
You have said “Void” was your favorite as far as video goes. Did you have any creative control? And what about with your music as well as videos—how much control over the entire process do you have?
I have pretty much absolute creative control. Victory is a great resource and sounding board for ideas, but they generally trust us to represent the band the way we think is best. “Void” is my favorite of the three videos just because it was such a blast to work on. The director Dustin Smith and myself came up with a killer shot list, tons of reference, and really had a good time shooting it. That’s not to say I don’t love the other videos though. Honestly, “Loss” may be tied with “Void” now. It’s absolutely gorgeous, and the type of video I’ve always wanted to do.
From the beginning, you were determined to make a mark on the metal scene and you have definitely done that! What top three things would you advise to fledgling bands on how to navigate the ever tumultuous world of metal? What should they prioritize in your view? What do you wish you had been told when first trying to break into the music scene?
Only write music that inspires and excites you. If you’re not doing this then there’s no point. It’s taken us almost six years to settle into our identity as a band because when we started we weren’t doing that. All of our members were on different pages musically. We were worried about getting popular. We were worried about keeping things digestible. We were worried about keeping everyone in the band happy. This left us with a back catalog of music that we will never play again and confused crowds. It was obvious when we got onstage that we weren’t being ourselves.
Whatever the style happens to be that connects with you and excites you throw yourself into it.
Your live show is absolutely the most important thing. Practice until you know each other’s playing inside and out. Develop a solid chemistry as musicians. You need to go onstage and perform your songs better than they were played on the album. And develop your own stage presence. Don’t do something just because you saw someone else do it. That always looks forced and, at least in the death metal world, is always the sign of a new band. Go out, be yourself, and let the energy of the music communicate itself through you.
Be responsible for your own band. It’s going to be a very long time until you need a manager. Run your own band, make your own decisions, learn the business, and truly take ownership of your art. Managers, booking agents, and labels will come, but while your band is trying to establish itself no one is going to know what you need or what you want better than you. Before you sign with anyone ask yourself “Is this person going to do more than I can, better than I will, and faster than me?” If the answer is no then why would you pay someone? This isn’t a business for the lazy. Don’t pick up a manager because you want someone to do the hard work for you. Build your own connections and carve out your own place in the industry. I’ve seen so many bands derailed by bad business deals they made early on in their career. Play the long game and build a real career for yourself, not just a fun couple of years.
The one thing that I wish someone had told me is this: None of the matters. It’s just a band, and you’re privileged to get to do this at all. Doing this requires a ton of sacrifice and you have to give it everything you have. Things will get stressful, relationships will be strained, and you will be uncomfortable, but don’t destroy yourself in the process.
I haven’t been graced with the opportunity to see you live, yet everything I have read about your shows indicates that Seeker puts on one helluva show, no matter if it is small crowd or a larger one.
Your passion clearly shines through! How do you prepare and maintain that energy?
We feed off the crowd so much that there’s really no plan when we go onstage. If it’s a great crowd then obviously we have a blast, and it’s a loud, aggressive metal show. With bad crowds we tend to just get angrier and focus our energy in a different way. The way we are onstage is just the way we are. If the shows didn’t make us react the way we do we wouldn’t tour.
Our pre-show rituals are pretty boring. I have some drinks, the other guys smoke shit loads of weed. We listen to stupid music. Hang out with the other bands. We’ve played so many shows that we just enjoy being on tour really. It’s not really until we step onstage that the switch flips.
On top of that, Loss seems to be more of a sprint than a marathon. It makes a go at the listener like a Hell-bent lightning strike, leaving the audience spent at the end. If we feel like this after listening, how are you after a show? How do you unwind? What do you listen to in your “off” time?
Andy is way more of a true metal warrior than me. That dudes downtime listening is pretty much Dissection, Hate Eternal, Dark Funeral, Napalm Death, and Cannibal Corpse or classic rock constantly. I’m not that badass. I obviously listen to a ton of metal. All of my favorite bands are metal bands, but on an average day I’ll also listen to Daughter, Bjork, The Kills, Danny Brown, Godspeed You Black Emperor, Health, The Cramps, Purity Ring… it’s all over the place. On tour I honestly don’t listen to much metal.
Post show I don’t really know. We just go right back to what we were doing before the set, albeit much more exhausted. We’re awful at unwinding so we usually just end up partying more. Lots of drinks in lots of vans in lots of parking lots.
How long have each of you been in music? Can you please give your fans one thing from each of you, about you, that you wish we all knew?
We’ve all been playing our instruments for 15-20 years, so we’ve been “in” music for a while. This year, almost to the day that I’m doing this interview, makes ten years of touring for me. I’ve been doing this a while. Andy has been in bands since high school and started touring with us four years ago. We actually met Alex on our first tour ever, and stayed friends. He’s been doing this for a long time.
There’s not much about us that people don’t already know that we think needs to be out there, but here’s three true facts about the band:
1. We once started an Indiegogo campaign so our drummer could get the Meatloaf “Bat Out of Hell II” album cover tattooed on his back. We canceled that, but goddamn was it funny.
2. When our old bass player joined the band we posted his phone number on our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and in every interview we did, told people to call and tell him “You’re my bottom bitch.” He got 800 phone calls and texts the day it went up on our socials, and ended up getting so many calls he had to change his number.
3. Our booking agent is a guy named Dan Defonce. He became Lambgoat famous for years because his name was turned into the adjective/verb “Defonced” which meant a tour lineup sucked and the route was horrible. He’s actually a great booking agent and one of my best friends, but we all thought it would be funny to get an outline of the US with the worst tour route ever drawn inside of it tattooed on ourselves. Through the middle of the tattoo it says “Defonced”. We made him get a special version that says “The Defonce”.
What, in your words, is your proudest moment as Seeker so far? Can you share a moment where you took a step back and thought, “Hell yeah! This is why I do this!”?
I’m so addicted to forward movement, and so hard on myself that until recently I haven’t taken any time to feel proud of the band or reflect on what we’ve done. I still feel like we have a long way to go, but I can honestly say that when I look at what we have coming up this year, and see the response that this album is getting on the road I feel like we’ve finally clawed our way to the beginning. We’ve headlined so many tours, gone out by ourselves so many times, and opened so many packages that we didn’t make any sense on. We’ve played hundreds of shows just trying to get to the point where we could finally go on tour with bands that we love and look up to.
It’s an ongoing process and my opinion of the band varies day to day, but I am excited that after all these years we’re finally seeing some real progress.
Finally, what is next for Seeker? How will you capitalize on the express train of massive doses of Doom and Thrash that is Loss and move forward? How else will you leave your fans reeling from the wild rollercoaster ride of your energy where we feel violently subdued at the end?
We’re going to continue pushing ourselves as hard as we possibly can. I want the next album to be faster, more extreme, more dense, more dynamic, more technical… Moving forward I want us to push our sound as far as it will go. We’ve reinvented the band in a huge way over the last few years, but now that we’ve finally settled into our identity and sound I’m excited to see where things go.
In the immediate we’re just focused on touring. We’ve got a headliner with The Grindmother in February and March. We’re going out with our friends Psycroptic in May. Cryptopsy in June. Should be going to Europe later this year. We’re gonna be busy, but I’m definitely ready to sit down and start writing again.
Thanks for taking the time to speak with our publication, we really appreciate it. Do you have any closing words or a message to you fans all over the World? Good luck with your future endeavors.
Thanks for checking us out and giving a shit about our band. See you on tour!
Christina Thompson / MHF