Interview with Sean Lynch (800beloved)
800beloved headline the Motor City Rocks showcase at PJ’s Lager House this Friday the 31st, which comprises of Sean Lynch, Anastasiya “Stacy” Metesheva, and Scott Masson (doing drummer double-duty with opening act The Juliets). The band made waves earlier this year with their warmly received debut LP Bouquet, a three years in the making effort inspired in part by Sean’s day job as a cosmetologist at a funeral home in Milford. Sean recently talked to MCR about his band’s upcoming release Everything Purple and not actually being as creepy as everyone thinks he is.
How’s everything going with the band?
We’ve got Scott Masson from OFFICE on drums now. Stacy’s the longest band member, and I’m still singing.
How’d the addition of Scott come about? I know he has a strong pop ear with OFFICE.
Scott and I grew up with each other in Milford. We went to high school with each other. He helped with some of the production on this new record, Everything Purple. We’re trying to work on it much faster than the last one. He knows what a nutcase I am so I’m just trying to use him to get things done quickly. It should be out in September.
The music aspect of it is pretty premeditated. The drums are lo-fi, much more of a 50’s or 60’s kinda surf sound to them. Pretty much all of the songs are about water and love, and, um I don’t know, like dreamy stuff. And purple. There’s only two or three themes on the whole record.
That seems to be a trend– I remember you referred to Bouquet as a template record. Everything was thematically and musically tied.
I like when records resonate with a theme and don’t jump around from genre to genre. We wanted people to feel like they were part of the room when it was recorded. The drums are all live, where the drums on Bouquet were all programmed– that’s why it had sort of a sterile vibe. We want this one to sound like some hyperactive kid drumming. There’s also no distortion on this record, it’s cleaner. The references for this one are everything from cheesy Cranberries stuff to Roy Orbison. It started out as an EP but it’s looking like it’s going to be 7 or 8 songs.
What formats will it be released in? You’ve released music as cassettes, and USB flash drives. You put a new song from Everything Purple on your Facebook today.
We are going to do a digital release first and then a physical release second. We might release it as one continuous track on iTunes so you have to buy the whole shebang. This one we want everything to blur together so songs would crossfade into others. People will have to listen to it straight through. We’ll see how that goes. People will probably get pissed off at us, though. I don’t really care about making money off this one, it’s more about getting a new record out there. I just want people to hear it and get all kissy and lovey with each other.
I used to be really calculated and everything had to be done and finished and shrink-wrapped. But Facebook is such a social thing. I just care that the sound quality is good and that I can get it out to people. I want people to know that we’re hyperactive. When I get on a computer I like to get things out there and see what people think. What’d you think of our new song?
“Everything Purple”? I liked it a lot. I thought it had more of an organic quality to it. Was that acoustic guitar I heard on it?
Yeah, there’s acoustic guitar on a lot of the songs. It’s just supposed to be surf-y and feel-good… and talk about purple things. I never really wanted to be dark and creepy. Stacy and I are not dark and creepy people. I was living in the funeral home when I first started recording Bouquet, so that all just kind of happened that way. A lot of these goth rock kids would come to our shows and wear mascara and stuff. We love those kids, but I’m not like that. I like… J.Crew catalogs and stuff like that! We didn’t want to lose that audience, but just because I work in a funeral home doesn’t mean I watch The Addams Family over and over.
I wanted to do something that was as light-sounding as The Sundays or The Smiths. The song “Everything Purple” is entirely unmixed. We just recorded and left it. Just put it in on a CD and hand it to a girl and see what she thinks. If she can hear the vocals and she can hear the words, that’s good enough.
Last time I talked to you, you mentioned not wanting to see the music anymore when you’re editing it. That’s not how people experience the music anyway, right?
Yeah, unless they’re on some good hallucinogenics or something. There’s a certain amount of stuff you can do on the computer that aren’t even relevant in the final track. For example, I could clean the files up on the screen, but when you close your eyes it doesn’t change the melody. I hope that’s how we do records from now on.
So the funeral home you work at belongs to your dad, who inherited the business from his dad. And not only that but your dad is the writer Thomas Lynch, and what’s the difference between rock n’ roll and poetry? So you really stuck in the family businesses.
There’s multiple business and multiple funeral homes, my grandfather started the business and all the kids just took over separate operations of each funeral home. I’m the third generation of Lynch funeral directors.
My dad writes poems and I write songs. If the literary aspect of my songwriting dissolved completely I don’t think my father would take me seriously. I don’t really write for his reaction, but I show him lines occasionally. Lyrics are important and words are underrated these days, and I usually write things that make sense in my head and heart, and maybe if it makes sense to him then it will make sense to someone else who experienced similar things. That’s why people listen to music.
Why is Stacy part of the core of the band? Did you just have a good musical chemistry together?
She just has a real fresh perspective to things. She’s just fun, and I’ve always liked that about her personality. And in the music, she thinks about things less… doing cool guitar poses. She treats it as it’s just fun. If a certain chord progression makes her feel this way, maybe it’ll make someone else feel that way. She’s unapologetic about how spacey and far out she is and I appreciate that about her. She likes a lot of folky, psychedelic, hippy stuff. And she works at Dairy Queen, so that helps.
So the lineup at the show will be you, Stacy, and Scott? No synthesizers?
We’ll only play two songs from Bouquet. They’re synth-heavy songs on the record, but they’re strong and hold up without it.
Do you have any other shows coming up aside from the MCR Showcase at PJ’s Lager House?
The Von Bondies asked us to open for them at the Magic Stick in August. Jason Stollsteimer saw us when we opened for A Place To Bury Strangers and stopped me and said he really liked the band. He was nice and said he’d love for 800beloved to open a Von Bondies show. I thought it was really sweet… like being asked out on a date.
So anything you want to say about your upcoming show at the Lager House?
I got a purple-ish guitar. I’m ready to go, I’m excited to play and we appreciate the invitation. When you’re in Milford it’s hard to get the word out about your band. We were a little stunned that they wanted us to headline, we don’t really think we’re good enough to headline. We don’t play a lot so when we do play it seems like something magical.
** This coming Friday night at PJ’s Lager House (July 31st) is the MotorCityRocks.com Summer Showcase featuring 800beloved, SikSik Nation, Almost Free and The Juliets.
“Show Me Evil” – 800beloved