Explore Liverpool music writer, Matt Jacobson interviews Seafoam Green about their new album ‘Martins Garden’, lockdown life and playing live in the future.
Seafoam Green’s upcoming long player – ‘
Martin’s Garden’ – is the band’s second studio record. Their debut was a collaboration with Rich Robinson, of the Black Crowes. And once again, Seafoam Green are collaborating with the artists residing in their own record collections – inspirations steeped in the culture of the Southern States.
Tyler Greenwell – founding member of Grammy Award winning Tedeschi Trucks Band – got wind of Seafoam Green preparing to make their next record, and made it known that he wanted to be involved. It wasn’t long before Seafoam Green were out recording in Atlanta, USA.
Seafoam Green are Irish songwriting duo Dave O’Grady and Muireann McDermott Long. The pair specialise in what we now call Americana. And if you are looking for blues, gospel, and folk, Seafoam Green have it and are ready to share it across the world.
I interviewed the duo about the new album, lockdown life and the future for Seafoam Green.
I’ve read, “If you want earthy, rootsy, blues, gospel, country, folk, Seafoam Green have it . Amalgamated, this is the sound of a glorious rock n’ soul revival “. Is there ever a risk to that amalgamation , that you could have too much of one and not the other so the balance isn’t right, or is it a natural flow and balance?
Dave: I don’t think there is any ‘risk’s anything if you’re just being yourself. This is what we sound like and that in itself is the hardest thing to do. A wise man once said ‘quit trying to be something and be something”.
The single , ‘House on the Hill’ , is a wonderful and true rock’n’roll song – is this a taste of what to expect from the album?
Dave: “wonderful and true rock’n’roll song”, you’re damn right it is! Haha thank you! it’s definitely one of the flavours that went into ‘Martin’s Garden’ but we try to explore a ton of sounds and vibes across the record.
Muireann: Absolutely, there are a few harder hitters on there, but it’s a bit of a liquorice all sorts kind of record, we go all the way up and way low down.
When setting out to write an album, is it a set determined direction in mind, or do you have a skeleton idea and it can be open to change along the way?
Dave: As ‘songwriters’, we write songs throughout our life and when we decide to make a record we take whatever pool of songs we have to that point and when we went into the studio with Tyler, we trust him completely so we let him choose the songs for the record.
Muireann: We write and write and write then try to stay out of the selection process as much as possible. If it sticks it stays.
Do you write together, or work separately and then bring your ideas to the studio to build on?
Dave: I write all the songs but she likes to take credit…
Muireann: I write all the songs for the band, I’m lucky to have a great backing partner in Dave.
Tyler Greenwell – founding member of Grammy Award winning Tedeschi Trucks Band wanted to be involved in the new record – how did that feel and what did Tyler add to the recording process?
Dave: To get a call from him to say he wanted to work with us was amazing! . Mind blowing stuff. He had a massive influence on the record in his own way. We created the perfect setting for us to do what we do and brought out the best in us. Just having him on drums next to me made me play the best guitar I have ever played. He didn’t interject with that many suggestions of change unless he felt that the song would really benefit.
Muireann: It felt other-worldly because when we first met in the studio and were vibing over TTB years ago. How often is it that you can watch your heroes smash a show at Wembley then walk into a studio and cut a record with them?
Could you tell us more about other musicians working with you on the album?
Dave: Tyler Greenwell on drums the rolling machine behind one of our favourite bands. Ted Pecchio on bass & Matt Slocum on an array of keyboards and piano, both Ted and Matt are incredible musicians and have played on some amazing records. I met the both when I was touring with Rich Robinson and they were in his band at the time. Spencer Pope played some keyboards on a few tunes too when we were adding some extra bits and he really brought some of himself to the record. Mr Derek Trucks who needs no introduction, graced (our 2nd single) Mine All Mine with his iconic sound and honestly made my life. It is still kinda crazy that he’s on our record.
Muireann: One word: DREAMTEAM
You also recorded in Atlanta, USA, was this move for further influence?
Dave: I already had a strong connection with Atlanta as that was the first place I co-wrote songs with Rich Robinson for our first record. So when Tyler wanted to record there I was more than at home.
Muireann: Does the party come to you or do you go to the party?
Has lockdown halted a creative mind or has it provided time to reflect and to find time to write and create further work?
Dave: The first lockdown for me was an absolute gift and I was more ‘production’ with my creating than I ever been, but I had a year of touring and experiences to work off. The second and third lockdown were much more difficult .
Muireann: Bit of both I suppose, lots of time to reflect, lots of new scenarios to navigate, just not much opportunity for adventure.
Your next gig, how will it feel to be back on the stage doing what you love?
Dave: I don’t know it will feel but I know it’s gonna be good.
Muireann: We’ve missed rocking out so much, and just before the world ended, we had just been out on tour in Spain with the four piece. It will be incredible to get back to that energy, now as a 6 piece.
And what next for Seafoam Green?
Dave: A fuck tonne of gigs and travels and maybe a third record sooner rather than later.
Muireann: We’ve got a tonne of single releases this year, our new record is coming out and we are going to get right back on the road! First thing’s first we re gonna play our first full band show back at Thornton Hough Village Hall on July 17th.
Thank you to Dave O’Grady, Muireann McDermott Long and Dave McTague at Mellowtone Records.
Explore more at:
Mine All Mine “ SINGLE – https://ditto.fm/mine-all-mine
CD PREORDER – https://store.mellowtonerecords.com/product/seafoam-green-martin-s-garden-cd-album
LP PREORDER – https://www.diggersfactory.com/vinyl/240136/seafoam-green-martins-garden