1. Dom Smith, the deviant of the drums and, so rumour tells me, dweller of shady slums. Tell us about thy musical career and how you came to be at your present stage, drumming for that fine unit, Seep Away?
Man, I love those shady slums! You don't know the half of it, bud! My musical career? Erm, I've spent years watching bands and admiring great hardworking artists doing it the DIY way in various local scenes in places that I've lived - bands like The Ladder (Chester), Obsessive Compulsive and Richard Lomax (Manchester), One Way Street, Digicore, Ben Leftwich, A Joker's Rage, ((RSJ)), Boss Caine, TC6, Bull, The Franceens (York), Brawlers, Officers, Petrol Bastard and Chambers (Leeds), as well as LIFE, Vulgarians, LUMER and Three Day Millionaires (Hull). There's also loads of great labels at work doing DIY stuff like Warren Records in Hull, Armalyte in London, and promoters like you around Manchester, and Big Gay Bear in York all doing it for the fuckin' love. Basically, all this work I was doing for the magazine [Soundsphere] from 2008 covering these acts and creatives (as well as loads more awesome music - rock, metal, goth, punk, indie and electro), and getting really inspired. All the while, I always wondered what it would be like to be in a band - always wondered if I could, you know?
In mid-2014, I was in a situation where a couple of years ago where one of my friends and colleagues, Heather Niven, and her friend Roz Walker, were looking for a drummer to help them out - they'd never been in a band before, and so it was easy, because it was a great period of experimentation making cool goth-blues [a bit like Portishead and Garbage meets Nirvana, I guess] - we came up with a name, Stickybackplastics, wrote some material together and created a first EP, Max Watt [who is also the guitarist in SEEP AWAY] joined us so we could take the material live, and we had some wonderful adventures together playing with the likes of Piano Wire and Comply Or Die. Here's a link to that stuff: https://stickybackplastics.bandcamp.com.
When I left York to move to Manchester, the band (for reasons myself and Max still don't entirely really understand - musical differences I think) kinda disbanded - we were all very busy, Heather's an amazing lady with loads on all the time, and Roz is an artist, always creating. Anyway, I think there's a little unfinished business there, and I'd love to do one more show with the stickies, just to see what would happen! Our last show was Halloween 2015!
In short, me and Max got kinda bored, we wanted to create something, and Max is a fucking genius in terms of coming up with quality riffs - he wanted to build something heavier, and that's what we've done, I think. In mid-2015 just before stickies finished up, I was moving to Manchester, with Max was living in Northallerton (there's always been distance between the band, as I now live in Chester). We decided that the band would be best based in York where we could find like minded people that we knew (I'd lived in York for seven years previous), and I spoke to some of my best friends in the area (Jay Sillence, vocals and Dani Barge, bass) - Jay had never sung before, and Dani hadn't been in a proper band before - and the chaos that is SEEP AWAY was born. Since last year, we've recorded two EPs, gigged at some of my favourite spaces and places [Fulford Arms [York], Adelphi and O'Riley's [Hull], Rebellion plus Star and Garter [Manchester] as well as the epic Station in Ashton. We've played with some of my favourite and emerging bands including ...And The Hangnails, Haxby Swango, 3DMs, Naked Six, Petrol Hoers, ...Let's Talk Daggers and some of the aforementioned like One Way Street, ((RSJ)) and Chambers - it's been an awesome experience.
Our hardcore-metal-punk fuck fest isn't pretty, mate (but we are)! We'll play hard, raw and passionate for anyone that'll have us. I'm doing it because I want to get better, and because why the fuck not? That's always been my way. I gotta push myself even if I'm scared. And I was scared to play drums at first, and I still get nervous playing shows like all the time. But regardless...I wanna play shows anyway, create terrific/terrible noise and meet good people until I can't do it anymore, and to be able to do that with my best mates is awesome.
2. If you were put on the spot and asked 'why the fuck are you in the music scene' what would you say and how do you feel about the DIY level that you are operating at?
I'd say I'm in it for the love, and honestly mate that's all I work for too. I'm a terrible business-man, I wanna help people - that's why I put on alternative bands in York for free, and that's why we put on major touring bands with DIY acts at Soundsphere magazine. Band-wise, SEEP AWAY is a bunch of people doing it for the love. We're under no illusions, we just wanna play hard and fast, make friends and have a few people come up at the end and say that was mint. If that happens, then we've done our job right.
In summary, I'm in the music scene to help bands, and people in my daily life. I'm in the fortunate position where I can do that through the mag, as well as some of my other work! With the band, and musically I wanna meet exciting and innovative individuals, and to play with everything I have on stage, again because I think it's fucking cool to be able to do that! I think as well, I wanna keep my life interesting, and be interesting to others! Ha, ha!
3. Punk comes in many forms, it is a raped and pillaged product these days latched onto by many parasites. What does it mean to you and is music the be all and end all in keeping true to the punk ethos (whatever that is)? And to add, what are your thoughts on DIY and is it all part of the same shebang!
To be honest, man. I think punk is a movement, and a feeling, I think that's why it's lasted so long, and why its image and symbolism in mainstream society is so widely used (wrongly or rightly). There are different types of punk - there are artists that used punk as inspiration in their work, and there are people that use punk as an inspiration to fight for what they believe in, whether that's against animal testing, against government policy or whatever that maybe.
I'm never one to diss bands for morphing punk into whatever they want it to be, as a form of inspiration. As far as I'm concerned if a band sounds like fucking Blink-182 but when you see 'em on stage they've got the energy of Black Flag or Turnstile, then they can call themselves pop-punk, or punk-rock, whatever. If they give it their all, and leave their heart and soul on whatever stage they hit...blood and everything, that's punk as an ethos to me - it's anti-establishment, and it's about grafting as hard as you possibly fucking can [in art, music or whatever] to make something you want to happen...happen. No matter what the obstacle.
That said, when I see Slayer and whatever punk and metal bands' shirts in Primark now, I wanna vomit. I think that, going back to what I said before, the parasites that you talk about are the ones that have diluted the fashion and the image. Punk is so much more than the image. It's deeper. People that say that they are punk because they wear a Misfits shirt (because it looks cool as fuck), but exclusively listen to Justin Bieber....well, that's not very punk is it? I do however believe that you can use the punk ethos, but not necessarily listen to all punk music, and I do believe that just because you listen to Bieber alongside your C.O.F.F.I.N, Goldblade or Crass, doesn't mean you should be looked down upon. Again, the punk ethos is so open-minded and passionate, and that's what I love about it.
4. I am thinking of setting up a new golf tournament on the pap of Fat Hilda Horsewhipper? I have a 'Shrinking Device' called the 'Belittler 5000' which not only shrinks people down to any size but embarrasses them at the same time. I plan to de-size 12 people, humilate them with photographs of their naked parents, then give them a set of rubber golf clubs and set them off on an 18 hole adventure on the breasts of the said overweight twat. If you could enter, would you? How do you see the event panning out and what would your tactics be throughout the tit-based round?
Good question! Max and Jay would enter, doubtless - they'd love that! I'm short enough, Dave! I wouldn't last very long, because I'd get lost in the folds of fat, or to be fair because I happen to quite like the older BBW lady, I'd find a way to get lost in some other places on Hilda's body. I reckon she'd like what I could do with those golf clubs!
5. The best CD's you have listened to, books you have read, places you have visited and celebrities you have been responsible for the death of? 3 answers to each and whilst doing so please feel free to shove a weetabix up yer jacksie and describe?
I love Weetabix, so let's try this!
My favourite albums:
Incubus - Make Yourself
Marilyn Manson - Antichrist Superstar
King 810 - la petite mort or a conversation with god
My favourite books:
William Gibson's Neuromancer, anything by Gibson in fact. I read a lot of graphic novels, Batman: The Killing Joke (Alan Moore) is a fave, and because I've always been a massive goth, The Crow (James O'Barr).
Celebrities I'd get rid of:
I fucking hate celebrity culture, Dave, but I wouldn't kill anyone for my own amusement! Despite what I said earlier about people being able to like Bieber, because that's down to a person's personal preference, the people I'd make play your aforementioned game (for eternity) are...
Justin Bieber (fake as fuck...)
Kanye West (clever, but he puts other people down to ease his ego...)
Courtney Love (c'mon, it'd be fucking hilarious to see her and the others navigating a mega-boob golf course!)
Can we add Farage, and Cameron to the game as well?
6. What are the 3 most crucial factors to being in band, maintaining fairness and coming up with a good song?
Oh, mate! There's certainly no right or wrong ways to do it!! I think you have to let everyone have a say, a band is a democracy - especially if everyone in the band comes in at the same time! In my view, each band member's gotta have a viewpoint, and to have the opportunity to bring something to the song. Coming up with a good song? Well, that's really fucking important, I don't even know if we've done that yet! Ha, ha!
It's important to be friends and socialise outside of the band as well, as often as you can so that you can come back reinvigorated and passionate when it's gig/recording time. Not everyone's gonna agree with these, but...
1) DON'T BE A DICK
2) LET EVERYONE HAVE A SAY, WHEREVER POSSIBLE
3) BE PREPARED TO SACRIFICE TIME AND ENERGY, YOU GOTTA MAKE SURE YOU (REALLY) LOVE IT.
7. Seep Away - their style, the ethos and their best song - promote sir, promote!
Our style? We're rough and ready - a mix between Bongripper and Black Flag.
Our ethos? See us if you can, survive if we let you. That's my take on it, anyway!
Best song? I'd say 'Snakes', but the others would say different! We've got a shitload of new material that we're gonna record at the end of the year, and it's ten times the stuff we've got out now.
8. Ideally what would be the best 10 band gig you could put on, where would it be and who would you put on the 'barred' list?
This is just mine, the rest of the band would have something so different!
Okay here's a weird line-up for you: Nine Inch Nails, Failure, Incubus, Silverchair, Bad Brains, Death Grips, Turnstile, Die Antwoord, Sneaker Pimps (festival exclusive reformation), De Staat
If you want me to pick a DIY one, right now that I could pull together myself: ...And The Hangnails, ((RSJ)), Chambers, The Franceens, Officers, Vulgarians, Brawlers, Cyanotic (over from the US on tour), The Howl And The Hum, Avalanche Party
9. Tell us about some of the best and worst gigs you have played and why strawberry jelly is far more political than the jockstrap of Albert Einstein?
Strawberry jelly is the answer to everything, Dave. You fucking know that. It's more knowledgeable, political and powerful than we could possibly imagine. Never mind Albert's jockstrap, that's got nothing on the power of the almighty strawberry jelly.
The best gig SEEP AWAY played was with our pop-punk buddies, One Way Street for their EP launch, the crowd was mega, and people were really into whatever the fuck it was we were doing! We've had some mega ones, the most recent one we did at the Station was awesome because we met some ace people! We played a house party sort of thing in York one time with ...Hangnails and Haxby Swango - that was a fucking cool DIY show.
The worst? We (me and Max) supported this like...super goth band, Rhombus in Stickybackplastics - we had a bunch of fucking issues that show, and the goths just didn't take to us at all. One woman purposefully had her back to us the entire show. What the fuck is that about?
10. If offering advice to any new fruits on the scene what would you say? And if selling them your band what 3 words would you use?
Here's the SA sales pitch in three words: Proper. Fucking. Chaos.
My advice for other bands:
Don't be a dick. Work hard. Take good press photos. Do your own press. Book your own shows. Learn how to do your own press by researching. When booking shows, research promoters that'll actually be interested in you. When e-mailing blogs research which ones will actually be interested in you. Go out with your band mates and hang out as much as possible, to chill. Be nice to the sound guy at any venue you play. Be nice to the promoter. Lend gear as much as possible. Stay and watch all the bands, as much as possible! Make time to rehearse, no matter how far you are away from each other. Take time to talk to anyone that comes to chat to you after a gig, you never know who you're gonna meet.
11. Nipplenob Muldoon jumped on a prune, so as to enlighten his brother....finish the poem please?
...he shat on his mother, and then they both went to school. Cool!
12. Push thy band, push thy cause and so help give birth to a boom of interest and intrigue in you, your band and the people you have melodically molested along the way.
Come see us because we'll fucking smash it, and you'll get to see my nipples. You wanna check us out, even after this!? Go here: https://seepaway.bandcamp.com/