Bedfordshire rockers SEASONS have fully seized what they believe is probably their last chance to succeed in the music industry. The five-piece have largely come from a metal background but fine-tuned their sound to appeal to both their traditional audiences and a wider fan base with the upcoming release of EP What Goes Around.
SEASONS formed around six months ago as members of former bands got their heads together to put the project together. Guitarist Matt Turnbull, bassist Bradley Beech and drummer Antony Cardinal had previously played in a band together; Matt knew lead singer Grant Tuffs from another previous band; then fellow guitarist Steve Watts completed the quintet.
We spoke to Matt this week to find out more about the band, and he told us: “For most of us this is kind of our last shot at really achieving something. We’ve all been in bands for a while and have pretty heavy full-time jobs, so this has to be it and we want to give it 100%.
“We wrote down everything we wanted to achieve in terms of the live performance being on point, the harmonies we want, the demographics we want to go out to, then did behind the scenes work for about six months before we launched as a band. We wanted to come out as a band and be seen as professional from the word go, have music video plays, have good PR, good photography and just make sure that first impression counted.”
And that first impression certainly has counted. The band blends heavy rock riffs with catchy vocals and has really nailed its musical vision on What Goes Around. Lead single Empire and the catchy Fire are probably the heaviest tracks on the five-song EP, with big guitars supporting Tuffs’ rocky vocals. Their lighter side is prominent on Last Words, which starts off slowly but builds into a punky, guitar-led singalong track with a really catchy chorus.
Matt grew on pop-punk bands like Good Charlotte and Bowling For Soup and then grew into metal as a big fan of bands like Trivium and Killswitch Engage, and both genres have influenced the band’s approach.
Matt told us: “I think this band is the first time a lot of us have stepped into a more commercial scene. We were all in metal bands before, except for maybe Steve, and that’s why it’s so exciting for us. We’ve never done this music before but we still like to keep that twinge of metal in there every now and again with the odd riff that takes us back to our roots. Having a big influence from a lot of genres from metal to pop punk like Mallory Knox and Young Guns all helped create the sound of SEASONS.
“For example, on the first EP there’s a song called Sailed Ships which has a really heavy riff in the middle of it, so we feel like we’re bringing parts of metal over to music that would normally be considered commercial. We’re taking the best bits out of metal that we absolutely love and bringing it to a more commercial audience so more people get to hear it. There’s loads of great stuff in metal songs and we’re mashing it together with the so-called ‘nice’ side of music.”
We asked Matt about the new EP, and he told us: “The main thing is that we feel we’ve defined our sound a little more. With the first EP there was quite a lot of trial and error experimenting with sounds, going up and down between quite heavy songs like Sailed Ships and a song like Seven Years, which had a completely demographic.
“So on this EP we wanted a mix between those two to make it nice and radio-friendly, but then keeping a rocky edge to it so we’re not categorised as a ‘too light commercial band.’
SEASONS will be launching the new EP at The Garage in London with two fellow Bedfordshire-based bands More Than Most and Nineteen Fifty Eight on November 18th. That forms part of an upcoming tour with the latter and, like all good things, this came from meeting them in a pub.
Matt said: “We actually met them in a pub called Castle Tavern, which is renowned among the metal/rock scene in Luton, and at the time they were touring with a band called Young Kings, who are also from Luton. We saw their set and really enjoyed it and our managers got together for a chat and I’m delighted they managed to get us on tour with them, because it’s always nice to tour with good bands that have a really great atmosphere.
The band’s live performances are something they’ve really prided themselves on and have been a key factor in their formation.
Matt told us: “Live shows have always been something that’s really important to us. There’s so many bands that you listen to and you like them, but then you see them live and it’s a disappointment or the live performance doesn’t sound as good. The one thing we wanted to establish when we were coming onto the scene when we created SEASONS was we didn’t want to be one of those studio bands.
“Everything we do on the EP is live, there’s four of us doing vocals, we do three-part harmonies and there’s all kinds of vocals that are layered all over the sound and we don’t use back tracks – so everything that you hear is done by ourselves. So that’s something we really pride ourselves on, especially having four vocalists in the band layering it up live can be hard considering three of us are playing instruments as well. The tickboxes we wanted to achieve when we got together were to have high-energy but also nail that good sound.”
What Goes Around, which is released on November 18th, demonstrates this sound and energy in abundance, and the band will be well worth checking out on tour next month.