Posted by: brad – Apr 19, 2017
It’s been a long, winding road for Those Manic Seas but after more than seven years the band is set to release their first full length LP, Telegenic.
“This band and evolved and changed a lot,” said Daniel Medley, the drummer and manager for the band. Medley has since moved to Nashville, TN, and the rest of the band’s current lineup - Drew Rollo and Justin Jones - have similarly taken to the wandering life as they continued to hammer away at the new record.
Band members have come and gone over the years, but with over 200 shows under their belt they’re finally ready to release the genre-bending record that includes old favorites as well as previously unheard tracks.
First birthed in 2010, Those Manic Seas first gained traction with their frenetic shows and standout "lead singer," Killroy, a mannequin with a TV for a head that acts as the band’s vocalist. They’ve released tracks like a dripping faucet with a 7 inch and a digital single or two over the years, but until now, the only way to hear the band at its full potential was through one of their live gigs.
And all the while, touring and moving and swapping members, Telegenic was being written and recorded, rerecorded and rewritten, mastered and remixed.
"It’s seven years of my life, I can’t give up till it’s at least released,” said Medley. "I’m proud as hell of it.”
Written with old and new members, many tracks were retooled when folks joined. In all, the band had three different guitar players and two bassists but Medley and Killroy (who is currently stashed in Medley’s attic) stayed as constants.
“We kept finding improvements… nothing was really written one way or another, no-one came in with a full track,” he said.
Ironically, in an 2014 interview with the band, former basset Todd Baker described the record's theme as a matter of "Change and loss... So much has been lost and gained.”
Sure enough that seems to have unfolded in the 11 track, indie release that drops this Friday.
“Each few songs is almost a year of my life,” said Medley. "I’ve lost friendships, I’ve lost all kinds of stuff, through the tracks, through the whole process.”
Notable songs include “Firecracker,” produced by Darren King of Mutemath. An idol of Medley’s, King helped them shortly after they broke from a North Carolina based label that hoped to turn them into a Richmond-punk band rather than the post-indie/prog sound they had cultivated.
Meanwhile, “Outlier,” a single released about a year ago, has Sound of Music’s John Morand in the liner notes.
Most of the mixing happened in Nashville with Guster’s Joe Pisapia at a studio where Medley has found steady work.
Those many hands have lead to this debut release that Medley admitted was hard to finally achieve.
“Everybody was always saying release it and move on to the next one.” he said, noting that seems to be the format of most artists these days with the ease of distort on platforms like Bandcamp and soundcloud. "I’d rather spend five years on something that I want to listen to front and back forever rather than just move on to the next thing.”
Medley is pumped on the new record, and they’re returning to Richmond for their first live show since last summer as well when they come to The Camel on 4/27. They’ll then hit the road for another 24 dates as they continue to support the new release.
Keep up with the band on Facebook here.
Words by Brad Kutner