Interview with Mike Hohnen
Seekae (aka Alex, John and George) were busy working away on their project when we caught up with them in their central Sydney studio.
Now well into 2012, the band is still riding the wave of their successful 2nd album +Dome, which infamously got leaked a month before the official release in March of 2011. Speaking of the album’s illegal online sharing, Seekae were at first unsure about the situation.
“It was very flattering to be honest. At first it was a bit, I don’t know, of a strange reaction because we didn’t quite believe it. But then, you know, it’s good to know people want to hear it, and if someone’s willing to break the law, that’s you know, good on them.”
However, when it comes to measuring their success, the band prefer to look toward live performance and the vibe from audience members.
“It’s been really good, we’ve been really fortunate. I think we’ve had a lot of fun playing gigs over the past year. That’s really our gauge when we play live.”
Thankfully the band have had the opportunity in the last year to showcase the album all over the world, including the States, UK and Japan.
“It’s always a kind of exciting thing playing in a different country cause the crowd responses are usually very different. I think it’s great, it’s just a really good excuse to kind of like see the world.”
Already the band has further plans to repeat the worldwide touring experience and particularly would like to return to Japanese audiences, who, compared to Australian audiences, thoughtfully listen to each song before exploding into ecstatic and extended applause at the end of each performance.
“You’ll think that they are bored out of their minds. Well this was at one festival and they were, like the crowd were deadly silent and then we finished and it was like this rapturous applause for like a minute almost. Then we’d have to go into another song.”
This year’s Sydney Vivid festival saw the band introduce live vocals for the first time into live performance, and for Seekae the need to develop artistically is the most important drive for the band.
“We always, especially with writing as well, we want to make sure each album is very different from the last. Every time we go and we do a big run of shows we want to make sure that we’re giving something new that we haven’t done before so people aren’t seeing the same shows.”
Additional to live vocals, the band has a collection of new synths and sounds that they found on their overseas journey, which they have incorporated into their performances.
“We’ve managed to get a bunch of old synthesisers on our last trip around the world. We’ve got all these new sounds that we’ve found. And we’ve got new drum machines and stuff as well. So I guess it’s very electronic sounding at this stage because we haven’t gone into the studio and recorded with them yet.”
The band has recently announced a series of Australian performance dates that will feature a bunch of new material.
“There’s still live percussion, and we’re working on the sounds we’re using live as well. So different instruments on stage, but again there’s going to be a bunch of new material that we’re going to be sort of, I wouldn’t say testing, but definitely we’re going to be playing for the first time. And it’s going to have vocals and different instruments as well.”
Seekae’s new songs are still developing, so the band finds it difficult to know exactly what the performances will be like. This element means that live performances will have an added sense of excitement and energy.
Seekae will be aptly playing on the Homebake 2012 line up this December along with other great Aussie acts including Kimbra, The Saints, Something for Kate, San Cisco, Sonic Animation, Sam Sparro, DZ Deathrays, Husky, Tim Minchin, Ball Park Music, Jinja Safari, Emma Louise, Hilltop Hoods, Angus Stone, Julia Stone, Bird Of Tokyo, Daniel Merriweather, Shapeshifter, Six60, The Bamboos, Tim Rogers, Pond, Diafrix, Full Tote Odds and for the first time in the festival’s history, headlined by an international act, Blondie.
Filmed, edited and produced by Daniel Taylor