Alter The Press!


Interview: Seahorses!

With both members of Charlotte, North Carolina's Seahorses! being touring musicians for Steel Train (Justin Huey) and fun. (Emily Moore) for the majority of the year, the duo have still managed to record and self-release their first EP, 'Musical Beds Vol. I' as well play a handful of shows in the Charlotte area.

Just before playing a show overseas in London with fun., Emily sat down with Alter The Press to talk about how the band started, her background in music, the band's debut EP, performing onstage with Paramore and more.

Alter The Press: For anyone who doesn't know, who are Seahorses!?
Emily Moore: Seahorses! is just Justin (Huey) and I, just the two of us. We write and record everything ourselves. When we tour at some point, we'll have a touring band with us, which will be figured out later.

ATP: What made you want to start writing music?
Emily: It happened a long time ago. My dad is actually a blues musician in the US and I look up to him a lot, a lot of people in North Carolina do as well. He started showing me his music really early on, so I grew up around really fantastic music. I think early in middle school, I wanted to learn an instrument, and guitar was my first one, I picked it up and since then it's been my passion.

ATP: How did you and Justin meet?
Emily: Justin and I met because we played in bands separately around Charlotte, which is our home city in North Carolina. We played a lot of shows together. I was in a band at the time called The Verdict, and he was in a band called The Jukebox Here. We both ended up going to college together, so we kind of integrated since the beginning.

ATP: When did Seahorses! originate?
Emily: About two years ago. We were in college still, we both quit our bands so we could finish school and do other things in our lives. It was really easy, we were together all the time, and we both wrote a lot of music. At the time, he was getting into engineering; he has his own recording studio, which he runs out of his house. It was an idea one day and it turned out really well.

ATP: What are your influences with Seahorses!?
Emily: I know Justin takes a lot of influence from classic pop like The Beatles. We try to keep it pretty folky, but at the same time poppy. I personally love Motown a lot, so that's where I take my influence from.

ATP: You have put out one EP, 'Musical Beds Vol. I'. Who writes what in the band?
Emily: In the beginning, we don't do a whole lot of writing together; one of us will just bring a song. Justin is really good at adding instruments. I'll have an idea for what I want, like just me and an acoustic guitar, and Justin will write parts to it. My strong point is vocals, so we work on that together a lot. It's pretty divided; two of the songs on the record were strictly him, two of the songs were strictly me, and the last track was the two of us.

ATP: How would you describe the EP?
Emily: It’s songs we had for a while; we tried to do it pretty lo-fi. I think the next one will be in a real studio and will be a full-length. Justin is putting out an EP this summer while I'm away; it's a free download.

ATP: Have you got anything prepared for the full-length?
Emily: We are just writing at the moment. There is nothing set in stone yet.

ATP: How has the response been to the EP?
Emily: Surprisingly great. Without playing shows, it's hard to imagine where things will go, but it's been great on the internet, and we played a CD release show in Charlotte, and it turned out fantastic in our minds. It was a big blessing I think.

ATP: You have two new songs going online on June 22nd. Is this the only thing to expect from Seahorses! for a while?
Emily: Nothing right now, it's really hard when we're both away. He's with Steel Train most of the time, and I'm with fun. most of the time. This is our passion; Seahorses! doesn’t take priority right now unfortunately. I'll be home for the summer, so I'll be writing a lot, and that's definitely what I’ll be doing when we are home; but right now, our jobs are separate from our passions.

ATP: How did you hook up with fun.?
Emily: Basically, through Justin being in Steel Train. I knew the guys for a year, and when they decided to go on tour and needed a female musician, I was really willing and wanted to do it. It worked out pretty well.

ATP: Besides from fun. and Seahorses!, what are you doing?
Emily: I will work jobs at home to make money, but I'm on the road a lot, so that's pretty much my main thing. It's great; I love it.

ATP: With regards to touring with Seahorses!, has it just been local shows?
Emily: It has. We haven't played many live shows because we are barely at home, so when we are, it's usually focused on writing and recording. We definitely have the desire to tour in the future, but it might be pretty far away.

ATP: Is Seahorses! a side-project or your main band?
Emily: It is my main band, my main passion, because I'm doing the writing. What I'm doing at the moment, I love, and it's my job. fun. definitely takes up most of my time, but Seahorses is my main project.

ATP: Will you continue to self-release your music?
Emily: We've already spoken to certain people about putting something out in the future. I think we have some kind of interest from a certain standpoint but at the moment, I think we are going to self-release for a while.

ATP: At the moment everyone has been posting online the live video of you performing onstage with Paramore. How does it feel to have millions of people finding out about you through this performance?
Emily: A whole new experience, I've never experienced anything like it. It's great, Hayley (Williams, Paramore vocalist) is incredible and it was amazing. I'm glad someone got it on video.

ATP: Were you getting recognized from people at the Paramore tour?
Emily: Big on Twitter, just from Hayley tweeting about hanging out, I get 500 new followers. It's insane; I can't imagine anyone being Hayley.

'Musical Beds Vol. I' is out now.

- Jon Ableson

Alter The Press!