Beantown post-metal explorers SEA cover a lot of open water on "Stone Ship," the stunning 12 minute epic shared below. There's the lachrymose crawl at the song's initial whisper. After some deliberation, harrowing doom as murky as the view at 20,000 fathoms at midnight. Later, cascading shoegaze crashes like a waterfall onto sharpened rocks below. Ultimately, the song's dredged from the depths of the cursed waters haunted by titans like Neurosis and Pelican. Fresh off of recent shows with FÓRN and Sea of Bones, SEA share a penchant for seismic riffs and funereal solemnity.
Erasing maritime borders, SEA are joining stoned German sludgepunk lycanthropes WeedWolf for a split LP, and "Stone Ship" is the release's emotional anchor. Armed with their new record and strong DIY sensibilities, SEA will be navigating across the Atlantic to meet their split-mates and embark on their first European tour. Listen to the emotion-flooding majesty of "Stone Ship" below. After, learn about Viking funerals and international good-will from SEA vocalist/bassist Steve LoVerme (also of Olde Growth).
Decibel: How did the members of SEA meet, and what was the band's musical focus when you formed?
Steve LoVerme: We all met while playing shows together in various bands. When we started playing together we just wanted to write music that was dark and heavy, with a good amount of space for experimentation. "Doom" and "post-metal" were a few words that got thrown around. We like to pack a lot of different musical ideas into a single song, but we try to do that in ways that feel natural and keep the songs interesting. It feels like we get a little bit better at doing this with each new song, and we're excited to keep writing.
What's the narrative or thematic focus of the lyrics in "Stone Ship?"
LoVerme: The main lyrical inspiration for "Stone Ship" is a written account of a Viking funeral by 10th-century Arab writer Ahmad ibn Fadlan. I was really taken by the idea of a cultural outsider observing the funerary rituals of a sea-faring people a world away from their homeland, and the account is incredibly vivid and detailed. I wrote those lyrics in the van when we were on tour last summer.
How did you meet WeedWolf and decide to release a split/tour together, and what commonality united you?
LoVerme: Bernd from Weedwolf used to run a DIY label and he contacted (LoVerme's bass and drum duo) Olde Growth a few years ago to see if we were interested in releasing something. We kept in touch and eventually started talking about doing a split and touring together. I think one of the main things that unites us is having a strong DIY approach to being in a band. We do pretty much everything ourselves, and the Weedwolf guys are the same way. They're handling the packaging for the split, and [guitarist] Liz [Doom] did the artwork and design. [WeedWolf have] toured around quite a bit and are pretty looped into the DIY touring circuit in Europe, so we felt completely comfortable letting them handle the booking. We're incredibly fortunate to have this opportunity, and we'll return the favor in a heartbeat whenever they decide to come and play in the sates.
What have you learned in the USA to prepare for the upcoming European tour?
LoVerme: We're never toured Europe before, but we know a lot of people who have and we've been asking around for advice about things like taking our instruments on planes. So far the consensus has been to travel with a gig bag and insist on taking it with you on the plane, as we've all heard horror stories – and seen pictures – of people opening up their checked hard cases the find their instruments all smashed up! We're having the WeedWolf guys print our shirts for the tour so that we don't have to worry about bringing merch, and we're using their backline as well.
Outside of the obvious, are there any items you insist on bringing when you're on tour?
LoVerme: [Drummer] Andrew [Muro] just got a GoPro that he plans on wearing while he's playing drums. Liz and I are both bringing cameras, so hopefully we'll have enough tour footage to make a sick music video! We've also been told that there will be a Play Station 4 in the van to keep us entertained. I'm looking forward doing some reading and hopefully working on some lyrics for the next record.
Order the SEA/WeedWolf split LP HERE.