During his 50th birthday celebration concert at Madison Square Garden, David Bowie said, “I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.”
It’s a tried and true mantra of artists that change is good. Unfortunately, for fans, this can mean the end of an era, but Bowie’s persona of the Thin White Duke replaced Ziggy Stardust and the album “Blackstar” debuted last year, so our beloved artists always provide.
On Nov. 4, local indie rock band Seymour played their final show at Snug Harbor (Snugs) relaying a similar message to Bowie. After years of jamming together at basement shows, bars and campus events, the band is calling it quits, for now.
“We are taking different directions in life right now and taking some time to pursue our own interests and careers,” co-founder, vocalist, guitarist and bassist Steve Geary said. “This isn’t necessarily the end for Seymour, we’ll just have to wait and see what the next step is.”
According to Geary, he started the band with vocalist, guitarist and bassist Avery Maracek approximately four years ago. The original line-up featured Maracek on drums and singer-songwriter Alex Figura. That band broke up, leaving just Geary and Maracek before they recruited lead guitarist John Morrison and drummer Brandon Bera both of The Other Brothers band.
Maracek can recall countless favorite Seymour memories including performing at a gig five hours away and not returning to New Paltz until 7 a.m. the next day. Yet, a particular highlight remained recording their self-titled nine-track album “Seymour.”
“Recording the album ourselves was a lot of work, but definitely something that I’ll always remember,” Maracek said.
The all SUNY New Paltz alumni group’s name derives from their song “Seymour,” which happens to be the first song on their album. Therefore, at 12:30 a.m. on Friday it seemed fitting that the band opened with their namesake song.
“So syrup sweet it tasted bitter / Don’t act like he’s the only one / Now Seymour’s with the babysitter / Surveying all the damage done.”
The opening lines and vibrant guitar chords erupted throughout the space previously occupied by intermittent Seymour sound checks. A belligerently drunk man shouted, “Play something already!” and as if that was their cue, the band began.
A range of Snugs’ characters started wildly dancing like they were witnessing the first rainstorm after a drought.
Among the crowd stood recent SUNY New Paltz graduate Joe Zwikelmaier, who attended many previous Seymour shows. Zwikelmaier’s favorite Seymour track happens to be the band’s namesake tune.
“Not many bands can pull off a self-titled song, except Seymour,” Zwikelmaier said. “Long live Seymour.”
Midday host on Radio Woodstock 100.1 MK Burnell also showed up for the group’s farewell concert. Burnell runs an original music show called “Locally Grown with MK” and Seymour was one of the first bands to submit music to her program. She played their song “Calamine” on her first broadcast and hosted them for an in-studio set last May.
“That’s when I was really blown away by them, when I saw them play together in person,” Burnell said.
During their last set at Snugs the band performed originals like: “Seymour,” “Collar,” “No Talkin,” “Hypocrite,” “Calamine,” “Bleeding Heart,” “Mr. Odomus,” “Tethered,” “The Wolf,” “Fireworks,” “Cornfield” and covers such as “Soma” by The Strokes and Radiohead’s “Weird Fishes.”
The night ended with ear shattering applause and demands for an encore causing Maracek to remark that they already played all of their songs.
“I don’t think any of us would hesitate to do a reunion show, but at the moment we each have other priorities,” Maracek said.
Fans can check out Morrison and Bera’s band The Other Brothers on their Facebook page and Maracek’s new solo project called Schmave also on Facebook.