Guns of the Seneca is a band from Louisiana, and the three-piece just released their first full-length album, Citizens of the Universe, back in March. It’s a mostly instrumental album that could best be described as harder progressive rock, but falls somewhere between alternative and metal.
The band is made up of bassist Grant Olivier, guitarist David Plair and drummer Britton Frost. Void recently caught up with Grant to find out a little more about Citizens of the Universe.
Q: Tell me a little about the history of the band. When did it start? Where did it start? How did y’all know each other? How did you meet?
A: David and I played briefly together in my last band. I recruited him after another guitarist suddenly quit. He joined Walk through Walls for the last year of that band’s existence. I knew after WTW disbanded that I wanted to continue playing with David. He and I started out as a two-piece, and after a few months, we recruited Britton to play drums. We had gone through a few drummers that didn’t quite mesh with our long-term goals or vision. Luckily, he fit right in and we formed “Guns of the Seneca.”
Did y’all tour for after your album release or are you planning on touring for it?
We digitally released “Citizens of the Universe” on March 27 last year, and we’ve just been writing new material since that release. We did not tour for its release, but we’re about to start playing more live shows around Louisiana, and hopefully we’ll venture to nearby states soon.
What’s the overall message, if any, of the album?
Since we’re mainly an instrumental group, most of our songs are based loosely on concepts or themes. All of us are captivated by space exploration and the prospect of habitable zones and planets. When David threw out the name for the album we ran with it, and since we’re equally passionate about space and the unknown, it makes sense. Our artwork for the album plays on that concept, as well as the meaning behind our opening track, “Tell them About the Frequencies (We’ve Found).” These songs were written independently over a long span of time and the process was different for each.
What inspired you guys to make this album?
After years of writing, playing shows and recording our own material, we wanted to finalize certain tracks and have a formal release. We didn’t necessarily have an underling inspiration to release it though.
Any particular tracks that stand out to you as favorites?
Overall, we’re all excited about how these songs ended up coming out and the response we’ve had since releasing this album. I think we all have certain tracks that we prefer over others, but collectively, we’re most satisfied with “Largo Parenchyma,” “The Vanishing of Isle de Jean Charles” and “Oneironaut.”
Individually our influences are all over the musical spectrum. We all have profound respect for legendary artists such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Miles Davis. More modern acts that we all like are bands such as Hella, Beck, Animal Collective, Battles, Fugazi, The Talking Heads, Radiohead, Flying Lotus, Death Grips and TV on the Radio.
What are your goals as musicians?
We’d like to continue writing more songs in the next few months, play more live gigs and start recording our next album. Since we do all of our own recording and mixing, we’re a little picky about our finished product, so we’ll probably take some time to finish up our second full length. Hopefully, we won’t have all of the technically difficulties that plagued us on our last album. We’re hoping to have another album ready to release later this year or early next year.
What’s the future hold? Any tours? Another album?
More writing, playing and as mentioned, yes … another album. We’ll certainly release a new single later this year.
Void’s favorite track:
“Tell Them About the Frequencies (We’ve Found)” has the most plays on their Soundcloud out of any track on the album — and for good reason. This track hits hard right off the bat to give the listener a feel for what to expect for the other eight tracks. It’s an instrumental thriller that’s sure to get you pumped.