The Situation I'm sitting in a corner of Capitol Hill's 22 Doors with three-quarters of the local indie-pop outfit Seapony--Danny Rowland and Jen Weidl, who've been a couple for six years, and new recruit John Bryan, who's been the band's drummer for only a little over a month (Seapony itself has only existed for about nine months). Bassist Ian Brewer, a vegan cheesemaker, didn't make it out tonight; he was too tired ("He's an old soul," Bryan says. "He reminds me of my grandpa," agrees Rowland.) I'm drinking a beer, alone; Rowland declines the waitress' offer to pour some Bailey's into his coffee--he and Weidl both don't drink.
Angel Ceballos Seapony--minus rookie member John Bryan.
How They Got Here At the risk of sounding like an airhead, I ask what, if they don't drink, they do.
"We watch a bunch of movies and walk places," says Rowland of he and Weidl. "We do a lot of daytime things, and then we're kind of worn out."
"We went to Cairo the other night and shared a 5-Hour Energy," points out Bryan.
Weidl says she tries to go to bed by 11 each night (Bryan--"Whoa.") but then again she's also got a fulltime career as an architect. She has an architecture degree but has also been playing guitar since she was 10. "I've always wanted to do music," she says. "I was super into grunge, like Soundgarden, Nirvana, and Hole. I would sit around and rock those out."Shop Talk Seapony played their very first show earlier this year opening for La Sera at the Sunset; the team from La Sera's label, Hardly Art, was in the audience and liked what they heard. Mere weeks later, they'd signed a record deal. This week, Seapony's debut, Go With Me, a collection of easygoing, summer-perfect songs (Rowland describes it as "family-friendly") was released.
Go With Me garnered a bit of criticism from Pitchfork for its simple, easy sounds, but the truth is, the music matches the band's personalities to a T. Bryan, who's a senior at UW, has got a youthful upbeatness to him, but Rowland and Weidl are two of the laxest, most temperate people I've ever met--in a totally sweet, relaxing, almost placidly Midwestern way (Rowland's from Oklahoma, Weidl's from Ohio). It makes sense that their music would be equally breezy and comfortable.
BTW Being laidback also means that they're a bit shy; both Rowland and Weidl admit to suffering from stage fright.
"The last show I was messing up [my parts] a lot because I was trying to think of what to say," says Weidl, who's the lead singer. "I was like, 'OK, after this song should I say something?'"
I point out that Harry Nilsson never played shows. "We could go that route. But we have these [shows] booked already," says Rowland. "It's sort of therapeutic, like conquering your fears or something. For our first show, it was seriously dreadful. It felt like somebody died right before we were about to play. But it doesn't feel like that anymore."
Seapony is playing an album release show this Thursday, June 2, at the Vera Project. 14 Iced Bears and Ghost Animal will open; the show begins at 7:30 p.m., and there is a $10 cover.