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The Seth Alder Project work towards autonomy

By Sonya Hobson · January 18th, 2001 · Locals Only
  Seth Adler
Seth Adler

Local bands produce and release CDs all the time. We know because we go to the CD release parties. But what goes into making a CD? How long does it take? What is the toughest part of recording a CD?

According to Seth Alder, vocalist and bassist for the Seth Alder Project, "It's usually the financial burden -- trying to get things to sound right but knowing that the clock is ticking."

Alder says this frustration prompted him to start collecting his own equipment for a studio in his attic. He hopes having his own studio will allow for more "artistic spontaneity" in future productions.

OK. So now that we know about the most trying part, how about the most rewarding?

"I was driving to work not that long ago, and I remember hearing one of our songs on (local community radio station) WAIF," says Jeff Vanover, lead guitarist for the Seth Alder Project. "It just kind of took me by surprise, because I hadn't been told that it was given to the radio people."

Even though Alder says the CD has not been technically released yet, the band's first CD, Fury and the Sound, is now available in local stores (Border's in Tri-County, Everybody's Records, Buzz in Clifton -- the usual places).

Alder says the band is arranging a CD release party now, so a time and place will be announced sometime soon.

Fury and the Sound was created in two phases, according to drummer Ryan Stephenson. First, the material-gathering and creation phase lasted four or five months. The next phase, which included everything from raising money to buy the CD to designing it, took nearly a year. Now that they know what to expect and have a better idea of how to make it better, they have already begun working on material for their second CD.

"We've got about 75 percent of the material and we're going to do more of (the production) on our own," says Stephenson.

For their next CD, the members of the Seth Alder Project are also looking to make some changes stylistically.

Alder, who writes the band's lyrics, says that since the subject matter on the first album was mostly love and relationships, he is trying to stray from that for the next album.

Also, the band's members say the sound is changing. "We've got a lot more upbeat stuff now," says Stephenson.

Vanover came to the Seth Alder Project during the production of that first CD, so he plays on one or two tracks on Fury and the Sound. He replaced a mostly acoustic guitarist with his electric guitar, which he says makes the sound a bit more aggressive now. In general, Alder says the band is "somewhere in the Folk/Blues genre with Modern Rock influences."

The Seth Alder Project has been around for about two years now. Band members Alder, Vanover, Stephenson, and rhythm guitarist Nick Tuttle have been in other bands before, including the Tree Frogs.

According to Stephenson, in addition to working on new material, they are hoping to try a tour eastward this summer. "I think we could all learn a lot from traveling around," he says.

Actually, Stephenson and Vanover could be doing some traveling westward very soon. In addition to the Seth Alder Project, the two also play in a Johnny Cash tribute band that is auditioning for the a "Legends of Las Vegas" show. Stephenson says playing in two very different bands is good practice. "It's only going to make us better, the way I look at it," he says.

The Seth Alder Project recently played the grand reopening of Sudsy's. They're scheduled to play next at York Street Café on Jan. 27. Mohenjo Daro, an ethnic instrumental band, will open for them. Vanover says one of his most memorable shows with the Seth Alder Project was the last time they played with Mohenjo Daro.

"They played before us, and I could've just stayed there all night and listened to them," he says. In other words, this is definitely a show to see. ©



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