Catching Up With The Cold Seas
Dip your toes once more into The Cold Seas.
The Jersey based alternative indie rock band, The Cold Seas began when Chad Sabo, Nash Breen, Erik Rudic, and Matt Castoral moved to the historic rock town, Asbury Park in October of 2014. Over the years the group crossed paths playing together in a variety of projects but finally decided to officially form the band after a year of discussions and jam sessions.
The group’s 2015 self-produced and home-recorded EP, Afterglow, immediately earned high marks upon release, praised for its sophisticated psych sound mixed with elements of progressive and folk rock. Since then, the band has toured with Armor For Sleep, performed with Deadmau5 and DRAM, written for Rihanna and been hard at work on their next EP and upcoming full-length debut.
Most recently, The Cold Seas dropped their excellent “Catacombs” single and are out today with the aforementioned track’s music video, available exclusively on TIDAL. You can watch the video below and then continue on to read our interview with The Cold Seas’ Chad Sabo from a few months back. You can also listen to The Cold Seas’ personally curated Catacombs Mixtape playlist here.
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TIDAL: I know your parents were a big influence in you becoming a musician with your dad having a band himself. How did learning how to play the piano at the early age of 5 prepare you for the great music you’re able to create today? Did it help you transition to other instruments and hone your writing skills?
Chad Sabo: Piano was extremely important in my early development as a musician. Aside from the ear training element, learning melody and rhythm, and learning how to read sheet music, I learned the importance of practicing to improve. I found that spending hours doing something you couldn’t do would eventually lead to a breakthrough. I was always a patient child, but I think learning an instrument at an early age helped enforce that attribute.
Having a background playing piano definitely helped me transition into playing other instruments (mainly guitar and bass). Guitar is the primary instrument I use in writing, but everything absolutely stemmed from playing piano throughout my childhood.
TIDAL: How often did you practice and when did you transition from playing instruments to writing your own songs.
CS: I used to practice daily for about an hour so. I’m sure I skipped some days to go outside and play with my friends, but I was usually prepared for lessons every time. I think I started slacking right before I stopped taking piano lessons, but at that time I became interested in guitar and would spend entire days listening to my favorite songs and learning them. I would try to recreate those songs by recording the rhythm, bass, and lead guitar parts separately on a tape recorder. I was basically jamming by myself because none of my friends at the time could play music.
I think that experience inspired me to start writing my own stuff. By the time I was in high school, I was writing music with friends, but never supplied the lyrics. It wasn’t until about 5 years ago that I started writing music, melodies, and lyrics.
TIDAL: Success didn’t happen overnight for you. How many bands did you play in before finding the members of The Cold Seas. How long did it take to find each other?
CS: I’ve been in a handful of bands since high school and every time I join or start a new band, it feels like a graduation from the previous one. The Cold Seas met gradually over the last 6 years or so. We had all been playing in bands around Asbury Park and knew each other because of that.
Over the years we all became friends and had a ton of respect for one another. It was kind of a no-brainer when we decided to start playing together. Once I had a few songs written for the project, we all moved to Asbury Park, where Erik was already living, and formed The Cold Seas.
TIDAL: Tell about the importance of Asbury Park to the launch of your career. How can a change of scenery inspire an emerging singer/songwriter?
CS: Where I was living prior to Asbury Park (Allentown, NJ), there was nothing really going on there. It’s a quiet, nice little town where I got a chance to write a bunch of songs in solitude, but it’s not ideal for starting a band and getting gigs. Asbury Park is a town that I had grown to know and love throughout my early 20′s and I was more than happy to make the move here and experience that change of scenery.
I believe it’s important to get away from home, where you grew up, and the comfort of what you know to really find yourself and learn how to become your own person, so making the move here was much more than about growing a songwriter.
TIDAL: It was while you were living in Asbury Park with The Cold Seas that you got a call from a friend who mentioned your name to a record executive at Roc Nation after hearing your self released songs on Facebook, correct? Were you surprised that there was interest in your talent? At any time were you thinking of not taking it seriously? What made you take that chance to go out to LA and meet with them?
CS: I had actually been contacted by Roc Nation about 4 months prior to moving to Asbury Park. I was still living in Allentown, but I was out on the road touring as hired guitarist/pianist for a band. I had sent a few songs to my friend in LA who then passed it along to Roc Nation and I didn’t really expect anything to come from it. I was incredibly surprised when I found out that they were interested in signing me to a publishing deal.
I never dreamed that could happen. It was something I ever pursued, I was just writing music for my own pleasure. I was fortunate to hitch a ride to LA with the band I was touring with and meet everyone in the LA office when I had some down time. It was a crazy experience knowing that someone aside from my friends and family had appreciated and believed in my music.
TIDAL: That relationship led to The Cold Seas releasing their debut EP Afterglow and opening for deadmau5 at the TIDAL Theater. But it also led to you writing and producing the song “Never Ending” for Rihanna’s new album ANTI. How did that come about? What’s the song about and why do you think she was about to connect with your writing skills.
CS: ”Never Ending was a song I had been working on prior to signing with Roc Nation. I had posted it on Soundcloud for streaming and that’s one of the songs that my friend heard and passed along to Roc Nation. It was almost simultaneous when I heard the news about Roc Nation publishing’s interest in signing me and Rihanna wanting to do a cut of “Never Ending.” It was amazing news followed by more amazing news. It was a totally surreal experience.
The song was inspired by an out-of-body-type experience I had while I was on tour in California. It was written very literally lyrically, but I left it open ended to be interpreted as more of a love and heartbreak song. I think Rihanna connected with it because of it’s honest lyrics and it’s unique vibe. I think she wanted to do something entirely different with Anti and this song fit right in with the eclectic vibe of her album.
TIDAL: This is still the beginning for you but it’s an amazing start. What do you attribute your success so far to? What advice would you have for a new singer/songwriter/musician who’s trying to make the same waves in their career?
CS: Yes, it’s absolutely just the beginning. There is so much I’d like to accomplish, and I think that my love for creating music is the reason why I’m in the position I am in now. I have so much to learn and so much room to grow as a songwriter. I think staying humble and hungry is one of the most important things you can do if you’re trying to be successful in not just music, but anything in life.
On the contrary, I don’t think new songwriters should focus on success. Just focus on being honest with yourself because honesty will resonate with people and I believe the ultimate goal of songwriting is to connect with others.
TIDAL: Now that you have written a record on a platinum album, what’s next for you and The Cold Seas? Are you still writing with the same drive or have you relaxed since your big break?
CS: I’m focusing on becoming a better songwriter and I’m working on new music with The Cold Seas. We’re still in our infancy, so we have a lot of work to do in making this band what we believe it can be. “Never Ending” was the biggest gift life has given me in terms of my musical career, but I’m in no way ready to relax because of that milestone.
TIDAL: Knowing what you know now, If there’s one thing you could tell yourself while you were a struggling musician, what would it be?
CS: I’ve had an amazing support system my entire life. My parents mostly, but also my family and friends. They’ve always encouraged me to pursue music. I really never saw myself doing anything else. I’m not sure I could give myself any advice that I hadn’t already received from others and I think that’s something to be extremely grateful for.
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