Better late than never, right? We recently had the man Sean Hall (ex-Elitist) as our first ever Solo Artist of the Week and we’re here to celebrate it! Sean is a ridiculously talented musician / artist tackling a number of projects at all times. His most recent musical effort “Beneath The Solace” is beyond nuts. If you haven’t listened yet, get on it!
Speak of the devil, here’s a chance to win a free download of said music! In association with Sean, we’re giving away a total of 10 free downloads to 10 lucky winners. Go ahead and see how to enter below.
We’ve also included an in-depth interview for your informative pleasure.
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SH = Sean Hall
MT = Mike Thall
MT – We’re here with our first ever solo Artist of the Week, Sean Hall! How’s it going man?
SH – Great man! Stoked to be the first solo artist of the week! Got some downtime so thought it’d be a good time to start this interview!
MT – Let’s start off with the big news. You just dropped a beastly EP “Beneath The Solace” last month. Can you tell us about what went into making it?
SH – Of course man, It dropped July 16th, My process seems to always seem like its going to go smoothly, but of course never does hah. When i started writing the album I knew i didn’t want to go the DJENT route like my last album Terrestrial. Tons of kids wanted that i know, But i knew if i made another DJENT album , Majority of kids would probably just say its not as good as the first. Personally i felt Terrestrial was lacking in true composition, and a good foundation of skills i knew i had. So this album, went i started writing my first thought was, lose the 7 string, go back to my roots with a 6 string. Then tuning i knew i wanted heavy but clarity so i did drop B. Actually when i first started writing the album i thought i was catering to vocals, cause i was working with JT Cavey at first with the first single CLOCKS “which is now Embers”. I wasn’t totally satisfied with the rest of the material coming out that JT and I were producing. Even JT thought the his vocals weren’t catering enough for the songs. So we decided to part ways. Then i picked up Bryan West on vocals to see if that would work. He got me a rough mix of what is now Awaken the Sleeper, and i must say it was kick ass. But his time frame wasn’t working for me. He was in another band, has a job etc.. So wasn’t able to produce the songs fast enough for when i wanted to release. So after all the vocal tryouts and work going into them, I eventually decided instrumental was the way to go. Expect obviously Winter & Eden: The Descent, in which Julian does clean vocals. Those were previously done, which i loved so i left in the album. I recorded all of it with Julian, using a ErnieBall Music Man 6 string. Which i have to say is one of my favorite guitars. Tracking really only took about 2 weeks. Then the rest was up to Jules, Probably would of have had this album release much sooner if i knew i wasn’t doing vocals haha.
MT – How has the response been?
SH – Response has been overall positive! I won’t have my iTunes reports till next month so i won’t know exactly how well its been doing, but i also released on Bandcamp. The stats on that seem to be doing pretty well. But my stats and reviews have always been on iTunes. I think kids seem to like it because it has the old Elitist – Caves vibes to it. Personally when i was writing it, I wanted to give that sense of old Elitist. Plus
more Sean Hall. Which i think shows.
MT – Any favorite tracks?
SH – Hmm… I try to listen to it as a listener , not the composer. I always try to write music “I’D” listen to. My favorite track to listen to is probably Passage: The Traveler, I love the lead melodies and feel of that song. Now playing wise, I love playing Passage, and Awaken the Sleeper.
Sleeper has an overall easy groove you can play. Lots of sequences i created for easy playing. I believe i will be doing a play along for that song first, and releases the tabs for that.
MT – How did you go about choosing the title “Beneath The Solace”?
SH – I’m sure most people can agree , when something good happens in their life. Sometime things tend to be too good to be true. I was having some tough times with some personal issues, when i thought something was getting better, then there was something beneath the solace of feeling good. Sometimes things underlining the happiness can be too good to be true.
MT – What was it like transitioning between your debut “Terrestrial” to “Beneath The Solace”?
SH – As i mentioned before, i didn’t really want to do another Djent album. Honestly, it was super easy. Djent was brand new to me writing wise. “even though people said old elitist was, i dont agree” Beneath went back to my roots, I wanted something i was totally proud of, and i feel like i accomplished that regardless of what people think of the album. I’m super happy with what i put out.
MT – Throwing back further, what was it like transitioning from playing in a band like Elitist to being a solo artist?
SH – I was super bummed when i parted ways with Elitist, Some things were disclosed, Some things weren’t. I just didn’t have it in me to start from scratch again with a band. I worked for about 3 years in Elitist building that band from the ground up, then had it all taken away. My thought was i don’t want to stop doing music, music is my first love and will always be my first love regardless of being a tattoo artist now. It was super hard having to make an album all by myself at first. I had some help from Julian, and Diego from Volumes, “who produced and engineered terrestrial” I also had a ton of loyal fans it turned out that supported me every step of the way. I value my fans so much, and try to respond to each and everyone of them, because without them i would be nothing.
MT – You’re basically an artistic jack of all trades dabbling in not only music, but tattoo artistry, painting, and graphic design. Are there any other hidden talents? And how did you get involved in so many artistic trades?
SH – I started tattooing about 3-4 years ago, painting a year 1/2 ago, but i went to school for graphic design in college. I thought thats what i was going to do for a living besides music. But i HATED being in front of a computer for 14 hours a day doing photoshop and stuff. I’ve always loved art though, getting tattooed etc. So got an apprenticeship when i was still in The Fortune Teller, and been tattooing ever since. Luckily i had that to fall back onto haha. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but i’m an awesome chef. I LOVE food. If i wasn’t doing tattooing or music/art. I told myself i’d be a chef. I love BBQING and cooking. But yes, I paint, Tattoo, Graphic Design, Amateur 3d modeling, Watercolor, Fine Arts, and i can write and play several instruments. Always been that way ever since i was a kid. Never happy with one medium of artistry.
MT – Who or what inspires your art?
SH – I’m constantly looking for new inspiration. I’m a student looking to expand everyday. Get better and become a master at what i do. I’m really into Oil painting now, and there’s TONS of people who inspire me everyday. As far as music, My all time favorite guitarists would probably be Aj Minette & Guthrie Govan. I personally know AJ, he was my guitar instructor for years, and i seriously owe most of what i know to him. He played for The Human Abstract and i was lucky enough to be taught by him.
MT – If you could collab with any artist(s), dead or alive, who would you work with? (not limited to music)
SH – Good question. I’d LOVE to make a song with AJ, “which i might some day” fingers crossed haha. I’d love to go back to the old days and paint with all the amazing painters back then and pick there brain. I love old paintings, Van Gogh, Leonardo di Vinci. all those amazing people changed art forever.
MT – Rumor has it you’re a nerd. If you could chill with any fictional character for a day, who would it be?
SH – Oh jeez, theres so many! haha probably the toughest question so far. If this could happen, I’d probably hang out with hang with Marty Mcfly, Who wouldn’t want to travel back in time and stir some shit up!
MT – What are your plans for the rest of 2013, early 2014?
SH – Well as the old saying goes, idle hands are the devils workshop. So i always try to be doing something artistic. I’m already working on another single, which is done being written and should be recorded soon. Then will probably make another Ep, after that. But as of now, the single. Then take some time and relax hopefully and enjoy the fruits of my labor.
MT – Is there anything you want to say to your fans before we wrap up here?
SH – Thank you all so much for supporting me this past year, It’s seriously been the only reason i’ve kept my music going. To have such nice fans pay such nice compliments really makes all my hard work seem worth it. Keep on the look out for my new single coming soon!