Seattle Weekly: When did Sea.Mine, your excellent indie-pop band, begin?
Scott Teske (bassist): Our earliest incarnation was in February 2004. We were a trio; there's four of us now.
On your MySpace page, you list nine auxiliary members.
Teske: It's a little bit confusing. At the core, we're a rock trio, but we want a bit bigger sound, so we fill it out with guest musicians. We like to try anything. All those musicians perform with us live. In the studio, we stick with the core, but in order to replicate a lot of the things we do [on record], we invite other people to play with us.
When did you start writing songs?
Ian Bell (vocals and guitar): When I was 17. I'm 25 now. I'd never played an instrument before; it was mainly a crutch to get out ideas I had, emotionally.
Is that still the case, or do you approach it more cerebrally now?
Bell: I've learned a lot from Scott, because he grew up playing music and he's got a lot of background when it comes to the science and art of music.
When did you two meet?
Bell: We both [attended] U-Dub and met two or three years ago. We were both working on campus and [had] never made a musical connection until one day I decided to put together a band. I met him in the quad. He was carrying his bass. We both worked in the dorms: I worked in Hagget Hall as an R.A., which was as cool as it sounds, and he was down in the Mercer dorm. I was a senior, and he was a junior. He was studying for performance in upright bass, and I was going for a degree in wildlife biology in the school of forestry.
Do you break out weird biology facts to stump your bandmates with?
Bell: Occasionally! I study science because it's my own interest—I knew I was never going to do anything with it. My minor was quantitative science, which is another way of saying statistics. I get interested in mathy things, but nothing too crazy. I occasionally bring up fun facts.
Teske: Yeah, you do! We'll just be talking and he'll bring up a random fact about a little-known animal or whatnot, when we're rehearsing or when we're just hanging out.
Has this brought the band to any kind of realization, musically?
Teske: His science factoids? I wouldn't say that.