Laestrygonia is a great new band based out of Geneva, NY. The exciting thing about these guys that you notice upon first listen, is the originality they are bringing to the table. Opting to not include a vocalist, the bands plays a very aggressive brand of progressive instrumental metal. This format of music can bring out the best in the collective musicianship of a band, and Laestrygonia is definitely capable of creating some big noise within the scene. The band consisting of Shaun Secaur and CJ Darrow on guitar, Nick Hotaling on bass and Dave Hadley on drums, is my pick for the band most likely to make huge waves this year within the scenes. I had a chance to catch up with them recently
Erik: How did the band originally get together?
SHAUN: Dave asked me to join based on our experience together in our old band, Vigilance. He was already playing with then guitarist Alex.
DAVE: Yeah, I just moved into this house and everyone was a musician who lived there so naturally something came up. We were playing together for a while and I decided to call Shaun and see if he’d be interested and thankfully he was!
NICK: I just came downstairs and said I was the bassist. I usually play guitar and didn’t even have a bass so I got one off ebay and joined, haha.
CJ: Alex left the band and they asked me to play because I already knew Shaun and was into that kind of music.
Erik: Who are your biggest influences personally, and as a band?
SHAUN: I have a really broad range of influences musically, but as far as what I draw on for Laestrygonia, it’s mostly more ambient, melodic heavy stuff. Cloudkicker obviously, Agalloch, Year of No Light, Jesu, and maybe some Opeth. But personally, I try to incorporate shifting melodies over harsh riffing in the style of the cascadian black metal bands like Wolves in the Throne Room and Altar of Plagues.
DAVE: Cloudkicker is a HUGE influence for me in this, Ben Sharp is a musical genius.
NICK: Justin Beiber
Erik: Choosing a path of playing instrumental heavy music is a daring path. What made you decide to go in this direction?
SHAUN: I think we all decided early on that there’s just a lot more freedom to do what we want without a vocalist. How many times have you heard a band that you love musically but just can’t stand the vocalist? It was about freedom of musical ingenuity, and also having a vocalist can sometimes be a pain in the ass. Not having a vocalist focuses on the emotion of the music itself, which makes us work harder to create more diverse, emotive songs musically.
Erik: Are you guys planning on going back into the studio. And what can we expect?
SHAUN: We have a new song finished and some other new ones started, so we definitely want to be recording again within the next couple months.
DAVE: I’d like to try “mic”ing live drums next time, the first time was on an electronic kit. Our buddy Jon recorded for us the first time and did an awesome job, so I’m anxious to see what we can do the 2nd time around.
NICK: I’m just excited to record with my new equipment!
Erik: I see that you are playing a limited schedule at this point. Are there any plans to spread out and diversify through the state? What are your performance plans for the year?
SHAUN: Us playing a limited schedule isn’t our choice, we’d play every night if we could. We’re still working on getting our name out there and trying to get shows in different areas to help spread the word faster. BOOK US.
DAVE: We have a small tour planned for Europe in a few months…… Haha! I wish.
NICK: Dave and I have been talking about a little weekend thing where we just play a Friday, Saturday, Sunday. We may be trying to head towards Boston with it. But that’s still being talked about.
Erik: The Finger Lakes region has a rich history of turning out some pretty spectacular touring bands? What are you overall thoughts on the Upstate scene?
SHAUN: All of us in the band have been in different bands, probably 5 or 6 collectively, all of varying genres in the “heavy” classification, but from my area I’ve noticed a lot fewer bands starting up. I remember when I was in high school, there were so many local bands playing shows every weekend. I think that’s moved from the Syracuse/Auburn area to the Rochester area more recently, but the bands that are left are a lot more serious. Band members seem more committed, and the overall quality is more mature, albeit less abundant. I’d very much like to see shows in all the bigger upstate cities again, but with a serious lack of venues it can be challenging. Especially for younger local bands that can’t play in bars.
DAVE: I’d say that pretty much sums it up, except it seems that a lot of people have shifted their interests to pop punk.
NICK: There’s nothing wrong with pop punk…..
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