James Beattie is the guitarist for the hard rock/heavy metal band Season After. The group recently released their second full length album titled “Calamity Scars & Memoirs” and will be out touring in support of the release through December. Media Mikes spoke with James recently about the new album, the bands current tour and what they have planned for the coming year.
Adam Lawton: Can you give us a rundown of the band’s new album?
James Beattie: For the most part the album is about the struggles we were having in the bands down time. We weren’t sure if the band was going to keep going and there were several times where we felt like we were just being held down. The album is about not letting someone tell you what you can or can’t do or who you can or can’t be. It’s about pushing through all that stuff and making the best with what you have.
AL: Can you tell us about some of the setbacks the band experienced prior to the release of the new album?
JB: Our front man Chris left the band in 2010 leading us to pick up our current singer Tony Housh which has been fantastic. He is just really great to work with. We also lost our bassist and we picked up Jessie Saint which has also been really great. Not to take anything away from the former members but the process thus far has been pretty easy. The transition went a smoothly as we could have hoped for. At first we were a little unsure of how Tony was going to be received due to people perception on when a band changes it front man. We feel Tony has fit in well if not better for us as a band. We are very happy with the changes which have allowed us to move forward.
AL: Was there a conscious effort made to diversify this album from the previous due to the change in front men?
JB: I don’t think we concentrated on that very hard. It was more a matter of us all evolving from the time the first album was put out to the recording of the new one. The music might not be as heavy on this new album as compared to the first but that has nothing to do with the lineup change. That has more to do with the change in us as people. We didn’t really think about how we related to Tony or Chris as song writers but instead we focused on just always wanting to write good material. We had faith in what Tony brought to the table with each of the tracks whether it was more screaming type vocals or more melodic type vocals.
AL: What was it like for you balancing both your roles as band member and producer during the making of the album?
JB: That was something Dawson and I decided to do. It really wasn’t too crazy or hard. We were both obsessed with every little detail related to each song. Everyone in the band was that way. We knew from a production stand point what we wanted and where things needed to go. Everything just sort of fell in to place and it was a very natural transition for both Dawson and I.
AL: With all the changes the band has undergone over the past three years do you feel those things will impact the reception of the new album in any way?
JB: I think that hiatus was the difference for us. I feel that if we would have had all these changes happen with the lineup and then immediately tried to go in to the studio and blast out an album we may not have been received as well. There is always that stigma when a band changes singers. We certainly read quite a few things online wondering what happened to Chris and why did we make the change. We knew people don’t always understand the inner workings of things so we had time to address a lot of things while working on the new material and growing as a band.
AL: Can you tell us about the bands upcoming tour run and what other plans you guys might have going into the New Year?
JB: We have a run of show through December which was initially lined up prior to the album’s release. We wanted to get out there as soon as we could and get our feet wet again. We also want to make sure we get the word out about the new album and hopefully create a buzz around it. As far as plans for the New Year we are hoping to get our stuff to radio during the first couple months of the year from there the plan is to go as nonstop as we are able to.