Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Alanis Morissette, Shania Twain, The Weeknd, Justin Bieber… what do all of these artists have in common — besides their evident talent and success? Well, all of them grew up in the cold, North American country that is home to Niagara Falls, maple syrup, and Justin Trudeau. Pop punk band Seaway is no exception to the excellence that Canada produces. With four EPs, three LPs, a thriving fanbase, and a current tour with British pop punk gem Neck Deep, this band has everything, and more, going for them. I got to speak with Ryan Locke, the skilled lead vocalist and very artsy Instagrammer (@Reallocke), about some of the awesome things that he and his band are up to.
Seaway’s newest single, “London,” just dropped and the music video is just as amazing as the song. How did it come about?
We wanted to make a fun video that kind of juxtaposed the “too broke no fun” lyric, so we thought it would be funny to show us having a bit of a high-class weekend filled with skiing, wining and dining. The video snowballed from there once we brought the idea to Miguel (yeahfilms).
How did you come about doing the Punk Goes Pop album? It must have been really interesting to cover “Closer” by The Chainsmokers and Halsey, but you did an awesome job at it!
The Punk Goes records were something that we always loved growing up. We’ve always talked about cool songs to do if we ever got asked to do it, so when they asked us to do a song last year we had quite the list to pick from, but thought we could do the most with Closer.
You’ve all been friends since high school, but was becoming a successful rock band always the path you thought you would all take?
I think it was always the main goal, but a lot of hard work went into getting to where we are now, so the path wasn’t always clear when we were starting out.
Your latest album, Vacation, is a bit more mature sounding than your previous releases. How did you approach the record when writing and recording it?
Going into Vacation we definitely had a “make or break” mentality, so a lot more planning and developing went into the record. We were a lot more prepared for it than any previous release.
Under ‘Influences’ on the band’s Facebook page, it says “That scene in American Pie where Jim is running to Kevin’s house and Mutt starts playing in the background.” That is hilariously accurate. Can you explain how that came about?
I believe in the early days of the band, a reviewer called us “American Pie pop-punk” so we just ran with it!
Your music is timeless, classic, melodic, angsty pop punk. How do you maintain that sound in a music culture that is currently hip-hop and electronic based?
We’ve never really been influenced by hip-hop or electronic music, we’re a rock band; just gotta keep rockin’.
What is your favorite part of touring? What are you most excited about when going out on tour? You always seem to have so much fun playing your music, whether it be in a music video or on stage.
Aside from playing music every night with my best friends, I think the travel part is my favorite. Getting to go to Europe, Japan, and Australia to play music is a blessing.
How has your music progressed since you started? You’re about seven years into your career, how has your dynamic changed, if at all?
I think we still have the same energetic fun vibe, but the technical parts of our band have progressed and grown up with us.
Four EPs and three LPs later, what can we expect next from Seaway (other than your clear, constantly nostalgic, but original emo/punk sound)?
On Vacation we experimented with some new sounds and influences, moving forward you can expect Seaway to keep building on that.
What have you noticed about your shows or fans across the world? From your hometown, to America, to the UK…what stands out about the places you visit, the reactions from fans and the atmosphere at your concerts?
We always try and bring a feel-good, fun-having atmosphere to our shows, so seeing the fans have fun with us, whether we’re in Tokyo or Toronto, it’s great to see.
Speaking of fans, your fanbase is passionate and support you 100 percent; how important is it for you to make connections with them? Is there anything you would like to say to them?
It is super important to us. We always try and come hang out at the merch table after the show to meet the people that support our band.
Catch Seaway performing Feb. 1 at Electric Factory in Philadelphia, or Feb. 2 at PlayStation Theater in New York.