Big things are in store for California’s Haunted Summer– between a headlining tour and the long awaited release of their full-length album the band is about to blow everyone away. Earlier this month I had the opportunity to meet up with Bridgette Moody and John Seasons during their stop in Seattle for their headlining show at our beloved Barboza. The bright couple were some of the easiest people I’ve ever talked to, here’s what they shared with us!
Thank you for taking the time to talk with me today, I’ll jump right in… what did it take for you guys to discover what sound you wanted for your music?
B: That was kind of the magical part of it really- that at the time we were just fiddling around wanting to make music for ourselves… just to jam out and we just seemed to be on a similar page…
J: There were big changes implemented from where we came from musically before [to] how we approached Haunted Summer. For example, I would play with a pick and play solos in the last band I was in. With this band I’ve never used a pick I only use my hands…. it kind of creates this new element of the music being a little more intimate even though we have a full band. I’m just not like laying into the guitar you know?
B: We really wanted to make it more about feeling… in other bands we were in its just fun, and it is what it is, but to convey what we were feeling at the time it really took a couple steps and taking it as slow and as delicately as we could.
J: Just making it as much about the songs as possible… there is nothing wrong with being in a fun divey band where its all upbeat or whatever. For us, we wanted to prove it to ourselves that we could write songs that we were actually happy with and that are songs. They have a beginning and an end- with other bands it was like 9 min songs where you’re like where the fuck is the end?
That’s something I’ve noticed in your music is that in your lyrics you’re really writing a story…
B: That’s why we take our time with things because there is nothing worse- especially as a singer- than singing shit that doesn’t mean anything to you. So we take as long as we need until every single bit feels like “I could probably sing this forever and it’ll be okay”.
How does being husband and wife and making music together feel?
B: It’s a bit of everything but we really consider ourselves incredibly lucky to be able to experience something like this together. I think that’s the hardest thing usually- is that people are on different paths or just trying to find that balance and support because that’s when it’s [relationships] truly beautiful and we just lucked out that we were doing the same thing!
J: That’s probably also the biggest issue in any band too is leaving your significant other behind and being on the road. It always creates issues. Being married and working together and creating music together has its struggles- like any relationship- but it’s a blessing because we never have to leave each other. So any time we are experiencing anything as a band- we are experiencing it together.
B: We are really lucky and its been an amazing way to see the world together.
J: I think it’s healthy from a marriage standpoint of being able to share our artistic things or just being able to share something.
Creatively do you guys bounce off each other?
Both: Absolutely, yes.
In a relationship you know each other in a way no one else does so creatively would you say that it helps you… nurture your vision?
B: Definitely- we can read each others minds without really going into things. I think we would both say its definitely the best creative process we’ve been a part of.
J: And we are open to each other too, like we’ve written songs about things in the past. Hard stuff- things when we’ve got burned in relationships or life and it’s not like I would ever be like “Hey what’s that song about is it about, your ex boyfriend or something?” We are open to being nostalgic or like you said bringing a story into it… I’ve said it before but our songs are like diary entries. I think when people latch onto our music that is a big aspect of why- because they can relate or it makes them feel something.
I hope that’s what every artist strives for! Since you take your time with your music what was it like recording your EP vs your full length?
B: The EP was a magical time. The songs came out really quickly- we sent a couple friends demos and we ended up getting an offer opening up for Os Mutantes and it was before we even had the gear to play live. We didn’t even know what to do. From that moment on it was really “we gotta focus”….
J: There’s still been a couple things we’ve had to turn down like we were on our honey moon and we got an offer to open for Cocorosie in Paris and we weren’t ready… I’ve learned to respect that because you know- you leave a big moment like that and you might regret it but you know that at that point you’re not ready.
B: I think it has to do with a certain level of integrity… you don’t want to present something that doesn’t feel somewhat right.
J: It would have sent the wrong message too because it would have been like- “Oh that band is an acoustic band with just a singer?” Now at least we know our sound enough to be able to play as just two people or a full band and still keep it as our sound.
How far are you guys on tour?
J: Uhhh… fuck what days it?
B: [Laughs]… I think its 10 days in
J: or 11…
B: It’s been amazing man- the first place we got to go to was in Tahoe area and that place was just super super cool. It was some cabin lodge in the wilderness. We were hanging out with the bar owners until 3am singing songs around the bonfire… it was a great way to kick off tour.
J: Driving through conditions we haven’t driven through before…like snowstorms… has been crazy. The van like almost became a boat and there’s those moments where you’re just like “Fuck!” but it’s been awesome and we’ve been wanting to do it.
What are your expectations for once the album comes out? Or what are your hopes?
J: To make a good enough full length that we are proud of. We are extremely proud of the EP you know- we had to prove it to ourselves that it could be something. That’s how we approach anything, we have to be happy with it first… if we aren’t happy with it then it doesn’t matter if anyone else is happy with it.
When was the last time you guys were here?
B: We were just here…
J: We played at EMP museum right? In the Sky Church.
B: I think it was Toolbox theatre last time…
Have you been to Barboza before?
B: I’ve walked in!
J: It will be great, we play Barboza tomorrow then we come back on the 28th to play Neumos to open up for another band.
That’s great! I think Barboza will be awesome because it’s small and intimate which fits your sound…
B: Yeah we tend to prefer those type of venues!
Be sure to check them out with Chicano Batman at Neumos this Thursday, tickets are still available! Photo courtesy of Jason Andrew of Seismic Sound.