Sunday, October 23, 2016

A new season of change for a Highland Park band

The six Seasons/Photo by Nathan Solis

By Nathan Solis

Off of Avenue 43 outside the Lummis House sit the members of the Highland Park band Seasons. Six to a bench, surrounded by sycamore trees, hawks, squirrels and flowers the band answer questions on their next album, “Everything Changes” and how they’ve matured since releasing their first album in 2006.

“It’s definitely still Seasons, but it’s accentuating all our parts – the electronic, the rock, the chamber – it’s all been elevated,” said says lead singer Nik Garcia, whose band will play an acoustic set at Taix restaurant in Echo Park on Friday, March 29. “We might have been hinting at that before.”

To classify Seasons is to point out all their influences and techniques. Some live shows have as many as a dozen members on stage, with a string or brass section charging the rock and electronic aspects of the band. Various publications throw comparisons to groups like Radiohead, Mazzy Star, Chicago, Jimmy Eat World, Arcade Fire, Beach Boys and another Highland Park native, Beck.

And  how does the band respond to such compliments? Find out by reading their responses to these and other questions:

Nik: That’s really cool that they’re saying that, artists that we admire and respect. I don’t think it effects us in how we make music though.

Dayna Richards (Trumpet): And those bands are all so different. It’s cool to be compared with so many things. That you can’t really put your thumb on it.

Kaitlin Wolfberg (Violin): Chicago and Radiohead!

Nik: I can see how those would fit.

Jarret Villaneuva (Congas): Can you imagine someone saying that about their band?

Nik: Yeah, we’re like Chicago meets Radiohead.

Do I have this right – the band started when a few of you were jamming in a garage and then Nik happened to be nearby?

Adam Valentin Villanueva (Bass): Something like that, right? We were rehearsing at Erick (Morales – Drums) house and we had our friends over to listen to us and Nick would come over, and would hang out and have a few drinks, listen to music. We needed a singer and we asked him.

That being said, are you believers in fate? Another word for that being serendipity? That it was meant to be?

Nik: Yeah, kinda. We were all into the same music at the same time, we all lived next to each other, we were all mutual friends. It was all very organic. There was really no worry – we didn’t have to stress about finding people to play with.

Nathan: Ray, were you the one who showed up at Mr. T’s bowl as a fan first and then joined the band?

Ray Gurango (Piano): I was a friend of their’s first before I was a fan. Yeah, I’d show up to their shows, to their practices, hang out. Started playing with them and it was a lot of fun. I started playing the melodica, I don’t play that much anymore. I’d say sounds like a harmonica, but it has a keyboard attached to it, you blow into it, and sounds like an accordion.

Dayna, as trumpet, or the brass, what music did you grow up with while learning to play?

Dayna: I started really young, so I was listening to my parent’s music, which was 60’s Oldtown, male quartets, with those harmonies and moving parts. There was also classical too. As a kid I was more into jazz and as I got older I got more into the rock stuff. So I think I went in the reverse of what other kids go through.

After the first couple of EPs you added strings to Seasons. With the violin it varies in mood – it goes from sorrow-filled, doleful and then up to jaunty. Kaitlin, when did you find that you were comfortable with that?

Kaitlin: I had done some arrangements for a couple of songs in college. I had done “Thriller” which was awesome. Then I ended up recording that. I figured I might as well give it a shot and Seasons was the band to do it with. I hear so much orchestration already with this band, that it already writes itself, it just took the work figuring out what is it. The music is already sorrowful to joyous, so the strings have to do that too.

There’s a song of yours that goes, “My friends all around, my friends stick around, drink until morning … but it’s not where I want to be right now.” Does that refer to Highland Park? Does Highland Park play a large role in your music?

Adam: That’s the track “Places” off of our ‘Winter’ EP.

Nik: Yeah, that’s not necessarily a town, it’s home. Sometimes you don’t want to be at home. It’s a pretty simple lyric. But I love Highland Park. Everywhere we play I always make it a point to let people know we are from Highland Park and that’s where we got our start. I like to claim this area of Los Angeles, because this is our special little area, and I’m pretty proud of it.

Click here for a more in-depth interview with Seasons on Smashed Chair.

Nathan Solis is a Highland Park resident who writes about and photographs the L.A. music scene. You can find more of Solis stories, reviews and photos at Smashed Chair.

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  1. you guys are great. really enjoyed the sound. ill be one of the first to buy tickets when your at the greek..

  2. This is a fantastically talented band.
    Glad they are NELA based.


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