By Jhoni Jackson
The care with which Atlanta’s Sealions craft their synth-pop is supremely meticulous—a sonic time-warp to the darker days of ‘80s dance carefully embellished with modern trimmings. Each song is a perfect little pocket watch, a vintage timepiece cautiously comprised of parts as intricate and delicate as they are crucial: the subtle rolls of synth, the heartbeat drumming, the gentle strumming and the soft, often ghostly vocals. All the individual bits combined make for a resilient, quietly powerful machine you’ll carry forever.
The band released the full-length Strange Veins two years ago, and recently the corresponding artful video for “Golden”—watch it here.
This Friday at the EARL will mark the guys’ final show before a brief winter hibernation during which they’ll record a new EP. Check out what founders Jason Travis and Joey Patino had to say in response to our 5GB series.
What’s the first gig you ever attended?
Jason Travis: The first gig I ever attended was an outdoor festival show at Stone Mountain Park. Earth Jam ’95. I grew up 5 minutes from there and the lineup was pretty solid! G Love & the Special Sauce, Mike Watt (with Eddie Vedder and Dave Grohl as guest members), Luscious Jackson, Indigo Girls, and the late Jeff Buckley. His performance blew me away. I’ll never forget it.
Joey Patino: I went to see Crosby Stills and Nash with my dad when I was 11. Chicago opened.
What is the best gig that you ever played/performed?
JT: The best gig I’ve ever played was at The Tabernacle opening for Metric. Walking out to a packed house at one of my favorite hometown venues was incredible, and a total rush.
JP: I liked our record release show at 529. We’ve played bigger shows since then but at that one the crowd felt so alive and excited.
What is the best gig you have ever seen?
JT: Like the first gig I ever saw, the best also happened at Stone Mountain Park. Radiohead in 2001. First time seeing them, and not long after Kid A had come out. I was as close as I could get to the stage. Loved every minute and every note. A couple years ago I found a bootleg of that show. If I had to pick a 2nd favorite, it would probably have been Weezer on one of their first tours back in 1996.
JP: Hard to say. Radiohead at Stone Mountain was great, but I’m so turned off by them now that it has a bittersweet aspect to it. Both times I’ve seen The Presets they’ve been amazing.
What is the gig you would most like to play?
JT: Opening for an act you love and admire would play a huge part in a gig I’d most like to play. Having the opportunity to open for someone that shapes and inspires my own songwriting. Also, playing to a fantastic crowd would help. So let’s say my dream show would have been opening for Nirvana circa 1993, playing to a sold out crowd at The Omni in Atlanta (which has since been replaced by Philips Arena). That’s a dream of a past life. Of a 12 year old Jason.
JP: I want to open for Coldplay in South America somewhere haha. Seriously though I would do that. Any chance to play for big crowds or at a famous venue would be exciting.
What would be the lineup for your dream gig?
JT: The lineup of a dream gig would be a bunch of my favorite bands from the 80s and 90s. Ramones, New Order, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Refused. I just saw Pearl Jam and Foo Fighters as this year’s Music Midtown so that was actually part of a dream come true.
JP: I’d like for Freddy Mercury to come back to life, Ozzy to be young again, and see Black Sabbath open for Queen.
Sealions headline the EARL Friday, Nov. 23 with Moodrings and Tomahawk Deb supporting.