‘I think we’re a band that definately takes advantage of the potential to reach people via (the) internet.’
Darrell Sundai (Seraphim)
Interview by Leo Abbs
Where did the name Seraphim come from?
They’re a biblical order of angels with 3 pairs of wings, and they were God’s highest order of Angels. One of the members being Satan, who was condemned for acting against God. Probably the first ever act of rebelliousness against some form of authoratative and commanding figure. He was kicked out for being emo. Although whether you want to debate about the misreadings of whether it was Lucifer or Satan who was the original sinner is another thing. The bible is filled with lots of drama, but not as exciting as The O.C.
How did the band come together?
The original members were the 3 guitarists Joe, Roland and Alex. I was in fact a fan of the band when they were first starting out. Funnily enough, the first time I saw them play live was their farewell gig because the original singer was leaving. A month or so later I heard they got a hold of a new singer, and I came down to their gig. I remember thinking how much better the band was as a unit and the sounds they were doing. I already knew Roland from gigs here and there, and he knew I was a drummer. He informed me of needing a replacement drummer and that’s how it all started. I can remember I had 2 or so weeks to learn an entire set before a big gig and I was nervous as hell, but it all worked out nicely from there.
How much does the band use the internet to promote your band?
I think we’re a band that definately takes advantage of the potential to reach people via internet. I know for a fact that lots of people are sick of Seraphim over-kill on certain websites, and I completely understand that, but it all comes down to how willing and confident we are to promote our band at every opportunity. A huge majority of people I meet who haven’t seen us play have at least heard the name in some shape or form, whether it be word of mouth or on the internet. If it gets one or two more people in the door to see us then it’s well and truly worth it.
Which people in the local scene have been helpful to Seraphim?
Oh man there’s way too many to get through, but one man that stands out is our manager Joel Birch who has always helped when he could. There are a lot of bands too that’ve always helped us in some way, whether its lending us gear or giving us a spot on a bill. Bands like Mochief, Antistatic, Head Filled Attraction plus loads more have always been kind to us. Of course we have loads of crew who are our friends and family that have helped us a great deal. Nic Morien has helped us with transporting gear since God knows when, Mathew and Colsy have helped with amazing photography, Johnny Gillman has helped with my drums, my sister Serena has done a lot of artwork for Seraphim, and we can’t forget our therapist and cheerleader, Lee. The people that have helped us the most are the people who are behind the scenes all the time, and they deserve all the credit they can get.
Are you writing any new material? If so how is it going?
Most of our current set at the moment is totally new stuff. We have about 3 or 4 brand new songs that have hardly been played live, but the majority are still new songs that are going to be in the upcoming EP. The material on the single is actually very early Seraphim material that we wanted to document and get out to people before we could move on. The EP is going to be 6 or 7 totally new tracks, which we’re looking forward to launching hopefully sometime in January, if all goes well.
How was the cd launch?
It was great! Probably one the best gigs ever. There was a 300-strong turnout and we got to play with some of our favourite local bands as well as celebrate the release of the Single. I couldn’t really ask for anything more, except Nando’s on the band rider. That’s about it. Oh, I also stabbed myself in the eye during the 3rd last song. It looked like I was crying blood. I looked very gothic and emo, which is what I’m all about.
Is there one artist that all the band agree on?
You mean in terms of songwriting? I’d say we’re fairly democratic when it comes to writing songs. It used to be guided strongly by Roland and Joe, but even then there was never any one person dictating. Also it was due to the fact that Hannah and I were new members and didn’t want to tread on any toes too early. Its safe to say now that we’re fairly in touch with everyone’s taste and abilities within the band, so its become a much faster process. I have the comfort now of bringing ideas to the band, no matter how outrageous, and they’d still listen.
Is there a weakness in the band that you would admit to?
Weakness? Never! Nah…I think we go through strong phases of certain bands we’re heavily into. We’d go through phases where we’d want odd time signatures everywhere one week, then the next week we just want total ambience and minimal drums, and perhaps the following week we’d try something more upbeat and catchy. That’s probably the problem our band has with 5 members each having such eclectic tastes ranging from black metal to trip-hop to indie-rock. We’ve still managed to forge a sound that is pretty unique, and I think the lack of any sort of genre-boundary is what has made Seraphim stand out. There’s elements of a lot of styles that whole range of people can get into.
What’s the best part of being in a band?
I guess its just an output for…everything. Whatever happens to you or inspires you or brings you down, you have that comfort of knowing that output is available, and you’re creating something that maybe someone else can watch and enjoy too. Even if I wasn’t in a band, I’d still have some form of creative output, whether it be playing and composing music alone, or drawing or writing or anything. Its also the bond you create between the band members, and the friends you make and the people that understand what you’re doing and appreciate it. Doesn’t matter if its one person or one thousand people. Everyone’s got their way of touching people, for me its with music…and my fingers.
How far would you like to take this rock’n’roll trip?
I’m sure every band would like to take it to the top. Anyone who is serious about their band would know that there is more money flowing out than in. If you’re lucky you might be able to live off it. I guess you have to have that sort of tunnel vision, where you just do what you do as best as you can and aim a little higher each time and hope for the best. It’s really all about self improvement, and if you aim for the top and miss, you’re already working towards something high. I’m just happy playing music.
What advice can you give new groups out there?
Just work out all your stuff before getting onstage. The first impression is probably the only chance your band has – there’s no real reason to see a band you didn’t like a second time. Also, never settle and stagnate with songwriting, always try something from new angles and basically just aim to write better and better songs. Most of all, stick to your guns and make the music that you want to hear, and have fun.