The Hazy Seas are a Chicago jangle pop/post-punk band who’ve been covered by the likes of Austin Town Hall, Janglepophub, and Obscure Sound. Gearing up for the release of their debut album, we asked them about their recording process, expectations, influences, touring future, and more.
COUNTERZINE: How are you today?
The Hazy Seas: Terrified.
CZ: Tell us a little about yourselves.
HS: We are living in Humboldt Park making tunes out of a coach house. Working day jobs and currently trying to plan a tour for March.
CZ: Who would you consider some of your foremost influences, musical or otherwise?
HS: Bloc Party – Silent Alarm, Moses from Deerhunter // Kevin Gates and Young Thug.
CZ: You’ve got a new song out titled “Heavy Heads”, the first you’ve released in what looks to be three and a half years. Could you tell us about it and why this one felt like the right song to re-emerge with, at least in the recordings space?
HS: Yeah, this song had multiple versions before it ended up what it is, it had completely different guitar parts but always had the same vocals/lyrics. We recorded it on a cassette 8-track after having a rough time trying to track to a computer and this was the first one we had where we were happy with the sound and direction. It also combines a lot of different elements that are used throughout the album.
CZ: “Heavy Heads” is the single for your first full-length album. What was the process of putting it together like for you?
HS: There was a bit of banging our heads against the wall, none of us felt too confident engineering the project but we were broke so we had to do what we had to do. It took a lot longer then we wanted because we started by trying to record it digitally with a computer and Logicpro and it just wasn’t feelin’ right. So we decided on getting an 8-track tape machine and starting from scratch. Still had a little trouble, but it sounds a bit more authentic we feel. We also were able to team up with Adam Stilson of Decade Studios who came through with some mixing.
CZ: Your debut singles back in 2016, “Evergreen” and “Kite Dodging”, had a bit of a mini takeoff by the standards of truly independent modern rock bands. Years later, is there pressure to match that initial buzz? Are you interested in meeting the expectations of early fans, or subverting them?
HS: [laughs] Nah, not really. We had only those two songs for a long time so it just feels good to get some new stuff out. We don’t want to put any crazy expectations or anything on ourselves because then they probably won’t happen. We’ve treated this project very organically since we started and have let the cards fall where they have so it will just feel good to have a full project released.
CZ: As far we know right now, the album is set to drop early January. That’s pretty soon. Can you share a hard date, or are we getting a soft surprise drop?
HS: Yeah, January 10th it will be available on all the streaming platforms and stuff. We’re going to have one more single released on January 3rd as well.
CZ: Any upcoming shows?
HS: We’re playing at The Empty Bottle in Chicago on January 6th as a release show. We’ll have some tapes and will be playing with fellow Chicago bands The Knees and Brass Calf. Should be a good time > = ]
CZ: What was your favorite artist or band that you’ve played a show with so far?
HS: We had a random show with Dan Deacon in Michigan pretty early on when our band started and he was cool as shit and super funny. I’d say playing with the bands Hoops and Hibou are towards the top as well. Shout-out our Chicago friends Exokays and Engine Summer.
CZ: You’ve largely played local venues in Chicago like Subterranean and The Empty Bottle. Chicago’s certainly not lacking in good places to play, but is touring in the near future of The Hazy Seas?
HS: Yes, we just got ourselves a van and our ready to hit the road. We would like to try and get to SXSW and tour around then in March.
CZ: If there was just one thing you wanted everyone to know about The Hazy Seas that hasn’t been covered, what would it be?
HS: Other than booking the tour, we hope to shop the album a bit and and start recording a full length studio album later this year. Thanks to everyone who has come out to one of our shows or bought merch from us, or helped us out with gear, we appreciate you! Keep tha family close.