Catching Up With Austin Smith of A Sea Es
Tonight at 9 p.m., Fitzgerald's begins your torrid, drunken Halloween weekend with a free show featuring A Sea Es, Mystery Flavor, Poor Pilate and Candy Coated Mothership. Free for those of drinking age, that is. There will also be a $500 costume contest, great giveaways and, you know, tacos.
Headlining the bill is A Sea Es, a relatively new band to the Houston scene led by Austin Smith. You can check out the band's multilayered, Technicolor sound on their 11-track debut album, which is getting its proper release tonight at the show.
Fans of Animal Collective, Harry Nilsson, ELO, Frank Zappa, T. Rex and the Beach Boys will not be disappointed in this release.
I asked Smith about the genesis of A Sea Es, layering all that sound, and future plans. He and engineer Chris Longwood are already working on another A Sea Es release, plus a children's album.
Rocks Off: How did A Sea Es come to be?
Austin Smith: I started writing the album about two years ago by myself, after we began seeing hints of a "sound" I started recruiting people; some I had known from other projects and others I happened to meet and clicked with. We've been a band for a little over ten months, a little more than half [the] album was recorded during that time.
RO: This album is densely layered, without being cluttered.
AS: The production side was Christopher Longwood and myself. I would come in with the ideas and, most of the time, the writing and shape of the songs would happen simultaneously. Chris and I work very well together, we've learned each others ways of describing sound. I'll never work without him.
As the layering goes, for me, it's a good and bad thing. A lot of the time I'm reminded of being a kid in a candy store with five bucks, but [you] end up with $50 worth of candy. Simplicity to me is important, but there numerous ways to convey that, we're still trying to find the best way to get the best of both worlds without compromising the overall sound.
RO: How do you reproduce this album and material in a live setting?
AS: The musicians I work with are all very talented and add twists to the recorded versions of the songs. I have a looping station that I use for a couple of the songs so it's always a bit different, but very fun to play.
RO: You have a hint of '70s glam on this, especially on "Shark Attack." Like a T. Rex thing.
AS: I am a huge fan of glam rock, it's funny you hear it in "Shark Attack," but I take it as a compliment nonetheless.
Doors open at 8 p.m., www.fitzlivemusic.com.