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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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July 2010 - January 2013
The Season Premiere's Major Alterations
Thursday, January 13, 2011

Imagine a band that goes through so many lineup changes that not a single original member is left. That’s the story behind The Season Premier, which currently has zero original members, but a ton of support from the musicians who started it. Currently the band is made up of what they feel is the finalized lineup; singer Justin Garza, drummer Riley Knapp, guitarist Travis Wilson, and bassist Terrence Wilson.

I recently sat down with Justin and Travis to find out how the band came to have that current lineup, the process they put themselves through before deciding on it, and their plans to create a Mayan civilization.

Adam Bernard: Justin, The Season Premier is your baby, so to speak. Tell everyone about the origins of the band.
Justin: It’s kind of funny, it wasn’t originally my band. About a year, year and a half ago, I became the singer, but knew what I wanted to do with the whole direction and the sound, and where I wanted it to go, and where I wanted to take it as a career, and just made it real serious. We started playing show and things started taking off and we got to the point where our old guitarist, who had originally started the band, was like hey, we just don’t know if we can commit to this, we don’t really know if we have what it takes at the moment to take this further as far as the commitment level that you and Riley (the band’s drummer) really bring to the table. At the time Riley and I kinda had done everything as far as the creative process for the band, so we found a couple new dudes and it’s been that way for not too long now and it’s been great. It feels better than ever.

AB: So there are technically no original members of the band left.
Justin: There are no original members of The Season Premier. I came in, and Riley came in, at a late time. We both own the name for it, trademarked it, and they (the original members) were totally cool with it. They were like, this is your guys’ thing. Clearly you guys can do it. They were really supportive about it, which made it much easier.
Travis: This whole thing’s been in the works since July or August, that’s when Justin and I started talking and he came to me with the opportunity and the idea of me playing and assisting writing because he felt like they wanted me to take it to another level. I didn’t want to jump into anything right away because playing music is something I really want to do as a career and I wanted to find the right group of guys to do it with, I wasn’t gonna settle, so before I committed we spent a lot of time together and we wrote music to make sure that our styles matched and that we had the same vision. A lot of problems with bands now is not getting along and really we just wanted to make sure that we got along and that we could be honest with each other, and call each other out on certain things, and hold each other accountable for our role in the band, and eventually it just came together and it was a no brainer for me to join. After that we were looking for a bass player and my brother Terrence had played bass with me in high school bands and stuff like that. He was in the pre-med department at Arizona State University and had over the summer decided that wasn’t what he wanted to do, so he was at a crossroads in his life, changing majors, or what he wanted to do, and when I presented it to him it couldn’t have been a better time, he was like “I’ve been thinking about this and I’d really love to play again.” He started talking to Riley and Justin to do the same thing I did, make sure this was the right spot for him, and it all just fit together and we banged out a bunch of songs that I think are rad.

AB: It sounds like you really thought everything through, you didn’t just put an ad up on CraigsList.
Justin: It was a long long long process. We had some people help us out with not so much the organizing, but kind of figuring out how to make a smooth transition because he had gained some buzz and gotten some exposure in the past from when the previous members were there and we didn’t want to come to a standstill and become irrelevant like a lot of bands do when they just fall off and you’re like “what the hell happened to that band?” We didn’t want to be that band, so we were like, how can we still create buzz? Let’s go record. We had the old guys record a couple more songs with us, released those, and created some more buzz, but at the same time it was kind of like me and Riley were in two bands. We were playing with the old dudes, but we knew that they were leaving soon, and we were writing and recording and building content for the new Season Premier. It was really hectic. We were extremely organized. I have two fat white boards in my room that I write everything down on; deadlines, how things are gonna look. We’re just organized like crazy, and we don’t really sleep anymore {laughs}. Our new motto is we can sleep when we achieve the success that we really want. There’s plenty of time to sleep once we’ve hit where we want to be.

AB: But then you’re going to want to enjoy all of that, so you won’t even sleep then.
Justin: Exactly! We’ll be up all night enjoying it.

AB: Other than writing music together, what kind of process did you have for gelling? Were there team bonding exercises? Trust falls? Group retreats?
Travis: We hang out almost every day. We go through our goals, and what we need to accomplish together to meet deadlines, and to stay on top of it, and to stay proactive on everything. We’re always writing, always doing something. Now that we’re all real dedicated and this is what we want to do, every day we try to do something, as small as it is, just something to better the band. That’s what we’ve been doing and we’ve had a lot of positive response from fans and people in the industry taking notice. It’s really exciting.

AB: The new single is “Streets of Gold.” Doesn’t this seem like an expensive way to create roadways?
Travis: Absolutely.
Justin: But if you’re gonna do it you’re just gonna go balls to the wall, right?

AB: It worked in Munchkinland.
Travis: We’re trying to build a Mayan civilization where it’s all just gold and riches.

AB: If you do that it will end in a year and a half, though. So there are plusses and minuses. It’ll look really good for a couple weeks.
Travis: We’re gonna rewrite the calendar, too. That’s another deadline we’re trying to meet right now.

AB: Take out the whole daylight savings nonsense. Wait, you live in Arizona, you don’t even have to deal with it.
Justin: No, we don’t. However, the other day I was extremely late to a meeting because my iPhone didn’t reset because daylight savings occurred and I was an hour late, which kind of sucks, so I guess that kind of affected me in a way.

AB: Ugh. Getting back to “Streets of Gold,” why don’t you close this interview by telling everyone what the song is all about?
Justin: Travis was originally doing solo stuff and was going to use it for that project. He brought it to us, had a verse and a chorus, and then I helped him finish the rest of it.
Travis: I love all types of music and I'm not downing pop music at all, but I really feel like on some levels, kids deep down want something more, everybody does. They want something better for themselves. I was out on tour with a band, just filling in playing guitar, and I was writing the whole time, stuff for me, and I really wanted to take our sound to a level where it could be fun and exciting and also have a positive message to where kids could really get into it and be inspired and talk about something other than going to the club and drinking. The song is about running from whatever holds you back and the chorus is “cuz the whole world says I can’t, I bet I can be free from everything on the streets of gold.” It really emphasizes the fact that whatever you’re struggling with, whatever habits, whatever’s going down in your life, you can make the change and you can find an outlet that you can focus on that will allow you to live and be the person that you respect, so when you look at yourself in mirror you feel good. It’s basically a fun, groovy song that can also push a positive message.

Story originally ran on SubstreamMusicPress.com.

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