The Creative Process #1 Seas of Years

When did you start making music and what was the contributor factor that made you to do so?

It’s hard to remember exactly but sometime in the early 90’s I started playing guitar and me and some friends tried to write some very basic (and very bad) songs. By 1997-98 it was finally starting to sound like music. Just listening to music and discovering new things made me want to be part of it.

How hard was it for you to create, record and release your first material?

The earliest songs had pretty random arrangements, just piling all kinds of riffs on top of eachother. Recording it was a lot of trial and error, but it still is. I started with an 8-track cassette recorder I used to carry with me to a friends house and he had some distortion pedals and a drum machine, and later we got a bigger mixingdesk and a soundcard and started recording more seriousely.

What is the main art form that influenced you in creating? Was it only music or did movies and other forms of art influenced your creative process?

Mostly music and nature, personally I don’t watch a lot of movies but sometimes they can be a source of inspiration too.

What are the steps that an idea takes before becoming a fully fledge song? And how does that idea affects the way you build an album from the ground up?

In Seas of Years, it is often a team effort, one of us makes a chord pattern or melody, then someone else adds another layer on top of it and so on. It can start from whichever end really. And once we get a few song ideas we look at the whole to make it a dynamic experience and try to fill in whatever is missing.

What do you consider the most important traits that a song and an album must have before you consider it to be completed?

That it evolves to stay interesting and has a certain amount of variations.

What are the actual steps that you take when you are creating? Do you need to enter or go to a certain setting in order to get creative?

We usually just sit down together in the studio. But I also like to travel to new places to get new impressions and moods.

Except art are there any other external or internal factors that influence you when you create, if so what are they?

Life situation, the overall mood I’m in, which guitar I’m playing and whether there’s beer around can influence the outcome!

What is your main motivation to create and be creative?

Oh, good question. Self expression maybe, I’m not very verbal so I like to express my thoughts and feelings through instruments. And possibly narcissism if you ask Freud, haha.

How long does it take to go from a song to an album from scratch to the fully recorded version?  

Anything from 3 months to a year or two!

Do you take multiple takes of the songs before settling on the final version or do you go with the flow and just do one take?

Usually with the drums we’ll do 4-5 takes and then edit together the parts we like most. When adding the other instruments, some things can be single takes, sometimes punching in parts or rerecording sections until they sound like they should.

During live shows what do you like to do more, experiment and improvise on the basis of the existing album and songs or you are more likely to recreate the recorded material as faithfully as possible?

Usually we try to do a pretty faithful recreation, some things we had to adapt and change because there may be a third guitar on the album which we don’t have live and some things may be slightly improvised too. Usually if I make a mistake I will try to evolve it into an improvisation and call it jazz.

What are the main ingredients that makes a live show special for you?

Good playing and sound if I’m in the audience, the audience and the stage/lights/sound from an on stage perspective!

Do new ideas appear during live performances? If so how to do you proceed in order to materialize them?

Rarely, I’m too focused on playing well and stepping on the right pedals!

What is the perfect time of day and weather that makes you creative?

Pretty much anything except rain. If it’s raining I prefer to listen to that instead of music! But summer or winter will maybe make for different types of songs. I get more creative late at night, though.

What are your future plans and what advice do you have for people that want to get into creating music?

Right now we are working on some new songs which will be recorded soon, after that it’s time for gigging again. After that, noone knows!
My best advice would be to learn to master your instrument to the level you need for the style of music you intend to create, and record your playing and compositions for a good outside perspective. Hearing your own mistakes clearly is a great way to evolve, and it’s easy and available to most these days.

seas of years

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