Specters: Relentless Ambition
Formed in the fall of 2011, the band consists of Stephen Steen (guitar, vocals) and Sterling Laws (drums).
“Sterling and I had been playing music off and on in various bands for about 6 years (when I was 15 and he was 11). I had a bunch of songs already written, and we collaboratively arranged them” stated Steen. Having so much history together as musicians, it almost seemed natural for these two to continue playing music. The demo which they recorded around the same time of the formation of the band (Fall 2011) was recorded by Nick Wilbur at The Unknown Analog Recording Studio, in Anacortes, WA. “Wilbur engineered and mixed the whole thing. He did it on tape, no computers; the old fashion way.” I don’t know about you but automatically these guys move a peg on my board. Dealing with the daunting task of recording on tape can be a strenuous one, so for that kudos to Specters.
Both Steen and Laws seem to have moved in a different direction from their original influences, which range from Weezer, Nirvana and Alice in Chains to David Bazan and The Talking Heads. With that said the songwriting process for this group seems organic. “I write the songs all myself, usually late at night on my unplugged electric guitar. Sometimes they come all at once, sometimes the process takes many days of developing and refining and rewriting. Once I feel like it’s mostly finished, Sterling and I get together and make some decisions on how to arrange.”
Regardless of the pop rockish sound they have now seemed to create, their influences still shed a common and welcoming light on their demo; which is always more pleasing to the listener and definitely to the creator. It’s good to keep what you love close to you.
While trudging along on the local show circuit and the usual practices Specters is in the process of writing their first EP, which is planned to be released in mid fall of 2012. Working with Trevor Spencer who has done such work as The Violins “Before You Die”, Steen and Laws seem to be dedicated and focused on a quality product.
“We’re very happy with how it sounds so far. We’ve already decided we’re going to let people decide how much they want to pay for it, instead of setting a price.”
Both talented and generous, make sure to prepare yourselves for the release this fall. What I found most interesting about Specters when talking to them was that they have no plans to tour right now. They tend to lean toward staying home and strengthening their sound here before hitting the road. “Honestly, I think touring is kind of silly for bands like ours. We did it in our previous band and it was awesome, but it was more of a family vacation than a real tour.”