INTERVIEW: The Blind Eyes’ Seth Porter on the Upcoming All-Local Pageant Show
On Friday, August 23rd, four St. Louis bands will performing their original music on the Pageant’s immense stage, and if we all do it right, they’ll be playing to a packed crowd full of familiar faces and new fans. One of the groups performing that evening is The Blind Eyes, who you already know and love. We caught up with TBE’s benevolent leader Seth Porter:
Have the Blind Eyes ever played the Pageant?
Yeah, this will be our 3rd time. We did one of the Homegrown Showcases there with TILTS, Bruiser Queen, and Airplanes. We also opened a show featuring a band called 100 Monkeys. They were notable only because one of the members had a role in the Twilight movies. That was a different crowd for us. Lots of tweens and moms. I signed a bunch of autographs for kids, so that was fun and ridiculous.
I’m curious about how this show came to be. Was it originally billed as a Sleepy Kitty album release, or not? Either way, that release has been pushed back, but the show is still totally on. How did you end up on a bill with such interesting groups, ones that don’t normally play together?
Jimmy Griffin (Incurables, El Monstero, Celebration Day, etc.) initially put the show together. He just wanted to put bands he liked on a big stage. The Monstero guys (including members of The Incurables and Shooting with Annie) have a relationship with the Pageant and I suspect that having sold the place out countless times, they are not intimidated by it. Honestly, it would have never occurred to me to just book a show there, but I guess it can be done. I think the lineup is a good mix of the best of what the indie and modern rock worlds have to offer in St. Louis. Hopefully the result is some new sets of ears for everybody. People might find something new that they like and might not have otherwise heard.
As far as the Sleepy Kitty release, that was kind of icing on the cake for the night. It wasn’t initially part of the plan for the show. Don’t get me wrong, it would have been some very delicious icing, but they are still releasing something new that night, so Sleepy Kitty fans can still come and get a little something to tide them over until the full release. C’est la vie.
Aside from your newest EP, World Record, getting hella attention, airplay, and praise, what’s new with TBE?
There was such a mountain of non-musical work to do with the release of the EP, that after we had the release show, we decided to have about 6 weeks of practice with no agenda at all. We just chased any musical idea that seemed worth chasing. It was pretty cool. I feel like we had new, good stuff coming out of just about every practice. As a result, we have a lot of new material. Most of it is without still lyrics, but I’m pretty excited. I think we’ll be able to get in the studio a lot sooner than we have after our first two records.
Since the Pageant is a pinnacle venue of sorts for local bands to play – at least from a capacity and exposure standpoint, I was wondering about the first venue you ever played as TBE and what that show was like.
I’m going to do my best not to mash together different stories here. Our first show was at the Way-Out Club. I think it was a holiday party for the Arch Rival Roller Girls. The thing I remember most was being nervous about playing the guitar. Other than some fumbling around in college, I had never played guitar in a band (always bass or keys up to that point). I didn’t even own a guitar or an amp and was playing gear I borrowed from Matt [Picker]. The set went reasonably well I think, though I would not be anxious to hear a recording. We played a Kinks song (“House in the Country”) because we didn’t have enough originals to fill up a set. My guitar playing insecurities were not soothed when guitar wizards Shame Club (featuring our now-guitarist Andy White) wheeled their wall of amps onto the stage and completely shredded, but they were very nice to us and said how much they enjoyed our set. I guess is was legit, considering that Andy joined the band years later. We would go on to play in some truly empty rooms after that, so I think it was good that we had a built-in audience of roller girls for that first show.
If you weren’t a member of The Blind Eyes, which St. Louis band(s) would you audition for?
I have been playing viola with Beth Bombara at some of her bigger shows, so I’d definitely do more of that. I would play bass for née if they ever decided they wanted a bass player. Maybe also 3rd chair woodblock for So Many Dynamos, although I have very little confidence that I would actually land that gig.
The Blind Eyes and
Shooting With Annie at The Pageant
Friday, August 23rd, 2013