John Seymour (The Fire Apes) Interview
What artists have influenced your sound? Who are your musical heroes?
JS: I have bothers that are 10 and 12 years my senior. When I was approximately 6 years old, I remember finding Sgt. Pepper’s near the stereo. The cover was fascinating and I was excited about just hearing what it sounded like. It was a very surreal experience – so cliché – but very true – Years later, I found the cover – but no record – My oldest brother came to the rescue and brought home a new copy. I was so excited to here it again. I then became obsessed with The Beatles – it was the only thing I wanted to hear. Each album was a “new ” record to me. It was literally all I listened to at the time. My brother would come home with other music – just to try and get me to listen to something else – to no avail – I would have none of it. Until… he brought home The Doors’ greatest hits. It was magical all over again with another band. I was mesmerized by the feeling of the songs. I found the lyrics fascinating and the mood of the inimitable Door’s records captivating. Later, the original line up of The Pretenders (first two albums and the EP) influenced me and had a similar impacted. James Honey-Scott’s lead guitar on those records were tremendously influential – both the sound and the melodic, “chordsy” leads he played – – then the Clash’s first record(and subsequent London Calling) , The Beach Boys, Blur, Oasis, and Burt Bacharach…
Do you pick up tips from other bands you’ve toured from? Tell us a little bit about your recent experience on the road.
JS: We are gearing up for a tour – we’ve been going over new songs of mine – arranging them in different ways – refining them live in our hometown – getting the live show where we want it – I’ll have some stories after the tours this summer I’m sure! As far as tips from other bands – well… perhaps more than tips – confirmations of things that I thought were true – We played with Smash Mouth, Modern English, and recently Sugarcult. We discussed the variables that are necessary for a long successful tour – how luck (or whatever you want to call it) plays such a role in regards to “success” on any level.
I started writing songs for myself – I never intended on playing them live or recording them. It was simply an outlet for me. It wasn’t until later that I thought it may be interesting to form a band to see how it felt. I have found that talking to other bands has made me realize that most bands go through the same experiences and processes if you do it long enough.
Are you planning on touring in New York soon?
JS: The tour in June is still in the planning stages – but should include most of the east coast – and certainly NYC.
What do you find works best for your creative process when bringing a song together? Does it evolve from jams, riffs, lyrics?
JS: I never sit down and try to write anything that sounds like something – I know it has to do with a subconscious amalgam of influences – but it’s just how I feel at the time – Surprisingly to me – I find that the lyrics to a chorus or bridge or part of a verse come with the melody – certainly not all the time – but very often that’s the way it seems to work for me. Sometimes I’ll just play a chord and a melody comes along – Many times songs are inspired by what I’m reading at the time. I really enjoy literature – it inspires me – and I’ll write a song based on the way the book made me feel – or think about .
This is a great EP — are you planning a long album in the near future?
JS: Thank you!! ..and – Sure! ASAP – I quite literally have hundreds of songs that I can’t wait to record – hopefully by the fall I’ll have something recorded and perhaps even released – at least that’s the goal – I love the studio – and the process.