Current Issue Details

Buy Current Issue

Features

Roadside Ecology Revisited: Dana Monteith on the Ominous Seapods Reunion

During the peak of the ‘90s jam scene, venues like the Wetlands hosted young bands of all shapes and sizes. The Ominous Seapods were one such outfit. Hailing from Upstate New York, they played their own brand of improvisational rock, catching eyes and ears with songs like “The Guide to Roadside Ecology” and “Bong Hits and Porn.” After the band broke up in 2001, co-founder and guitarist Dana Monteith moved to Australia in search of wide open spaces. However, when his former bandmates gave him a call, he was always willing to jump on a plane and get the Ominous Seapods back together.

This weekend in celebration of bassist Tom Pirozzi’s birthday, Monteith and the rest of the original lineup will play two shows in their former hometown of Albany, NY (on Friday, January 11 and Saturday, January 12 at Cohoes Music Hall) and a third show at Brooklyn Bowl (on Sunday, January 13). Ahead of these highly anticipated reunion concerts, Monteith discussed the band’s history, what to expect this weekend and the benefits of his new life down under.

You live in Australia now. What’s that like?

It’s pretty wicked. The sun is always shining there, pretty much. That’s one of the nicest things about it. It’s got a unique music culture, just very environmental. Music in Australia represents what it’s like living there, what the dirt looks like, the color of the sky.

It’s quite different than here in those regards. So yeah, it’s very interesting. I love it. I love the vastness of it.

I can’t imagine a place any more different than Upstate New York, which is where Ominous Seapods started.

Yeah [laughs] it’s pretty much the polar opposite. I bought a four-wheel drive when we moved there, and we’ll go out in the bush and there’s just nobody out there. We’ll go down on the beach and drive 25-30 kilometers along a beautiful beach that there’s other people in their four-wheel drives, people fishing and we’re right on the edge of the Indian Ocean looking out into this great vast space. I guess that’s the main thing that I see when I’m there. Yeah, it’s pretty wild. I invite everybody to come visit.

You guys are reuniting for three shows, what can fans expect from those performances?

It’s the original lineup, which is something cool. I don’t think we’ve done too many where it was just the original five members of the band. So we’re gonna dig deep into some of the older catalog, some of our favorites that we haven’t played in the other shows we’ve done over the past number of years. It’ll be like a whole new kind of take on it, channeling our experiences in life into that.

We had a rehearsal last night and it’s good to get back together. We haven’t hung out and played music together in nearly six years. And we’re all pretty excited to take the cruiser out on the road again and see what happens.

How were those rehearsals? Were you guys able to jump right back into things, or did you kind of have to work through some rust before you guys vibed again?

It was pretty natural when we just started playing. There’s always details that need to be ironed out. So going over key things, just talking about the vibe we were looking for. But it was pretty good. You could sense that there’s going to be some good energy happening and everybody’s really excited. I think what is amazing to us is that there’s still people interested in it and it still has a vibrancy to it and a life. And going back to the material now, we feel a lot of gratitude and excitement that people still like it.

We stood the test of time, I guess, and that’s kind of what these shows are saying. ‘Cause after six years, there’s still people who are really psyched and that’s a lot of fun to think about, that we’re gonna bring everybody together again and do this thing. It’s exciting in those regards. We’ll see how it goes. So yeah the rehearsal had some good energy. Tom, Brian and I went out to the local bar here in town and hung out. We know each other so well that we just step right into it like it was yesterday. You just hang out and you know how everybody plays and we were jamming. I know what Ted’s snare drum hits are and I know where Tom’s going, and Brian and Max. We have such a deep knowledge, musically, of each other. I think it was so special for us at the time that it’s still there, it still flows through.

I don’t know if you’re aware but a couple of years ago a bunch of Ominous Seapods fans got together and dug up all these old shows and posted them online. A lot of people haven’t even heard these shows since the original performance. How does it feel to have so many people committed to preserving the legacy of the band?

It’s awesome, a great feeling to know that people still care. You move, you do other things in life. I work in an underground gold mine in Western Australia, very far away from what I used to do. I live out in the desert two weeks out of every three and work underground and have this totally different crazy life with all these other kind of people in the mining industry who are unique characters. Australian gold miner’s a very unique breed. I’ve told them about the band and they’ve heard it, so there’s this interesting tie-in now that I’m going back to these gigs. And I’m like, “Check it out you can view it online!” So I’ve turned a few people onto the Seapods there and it’s pretty special.

I have a lot of gratitude towards these people. It means a lot to them to preserve our work and in turn you feel lucky in life to have that, that what you create still lives on. I’m sure there’s a lot of gratitude for many, many bands, that people are still psyched. Really at the end of the day, when you create anything, visual or writing, or anything, the fact that it can survive over time is pretty special.

« Previous 1 2 Next »

Show 5 Comments

Relix.com