Talented San Francisco singer-songwriter Seth Lael has dropped a new highly anticipated full-length album, Bird Strings. Through his 12-songs he brings Americana, Jazz, Folk, Pop and Indie Rock to life with his impressive talent on the guitar, mandolin, banjo and his modern vocals. Seth shares with us what inspired him on this album and some very cool techniques that he learned while creating it, as well as some of his current passions in life.
What drew you to playing strings like the banjo, guitar, and mandolin? When did you start playing them or even realize that you could?
Seth: Well, my first guitar was a nylon guitar that I got from my older brother who I think broke up with his girlfriend and he didn’t play that anymore, so I started playing that. And then, I got a banjo because my other brother was going to get married, and got this free banjo, and they didn’t get married so I got that banjo. Then I just bought a mandolin this year, just kinda’ filling parts on the record. All happenstance kinda’ got lucky.
Who’s the producer?
Seth: McKay Garner. He was in LA and had a studio there for a while, he has done some TV. I know he wrote the music to when a girl gets kicked off Americas Next Top Model. He’s done some mix in with some other bands.
Who inspired you? Who are you listening to now?
Seth: When I was working at a bakery, a friend introduced me to Greg Brown and I thought his songs were really cool. When I was waiting tables, another friend introduced me to John Harper. He’s a really good picker, kind of an older dude. I’m also really into EMOR. I heard him from KEXP radio; I think I just heard him on the radio when I was living in Seattle. But I go through music and artists listening to them like candy bars or ice cream. I like to listen to a bunch of stuff. I like to listen to a lot of rock and modern things.
What’s your favorite song out of the 12 from Bird Strings, like which one was your favorite to work on that you would call your favorite song?
Seth: “Big Country” was fun because that only took about fifteen minutes, but “All Hours,” I think I rewrote that song with McKay, probably twenty-five times. I really like how it came out. I like playing it live. It’s a little bit challenging to play. It came alive with what McKay did with the drums and he used the snare sound from tapping on a keyboard like an old apple keyboard. I like how we finally finished that one up; it came out really cool.”
For those who are just reading about you for the first time what would you like them to know about you? Do you have a message for you listeners?
Seth: I would say if you’re into songs, musicianship and a little bit of humor you might want to put me in your CD player. (Laughs). Or you could look at my naked pictures online if you want, whatever; I usually put pictures on Instagram with like swim suits and stuff. I actually just photoshopped my face on Selena Gomez’s body to try to sell more records. I think it’s still on Instagram…it is (Laughs).
Do you have any other hobbies besides music?
Seth: I do a lot of baking. I have been making breakfast. I love cooking for friends. Yeah, I think I am trying to be more of a community-focused artist, so if I can have people over and cook for them and also play some music for them that sounds like a good night for me. Food and music are two things you shouldn’t live without.
Whats next? Are there any events projects, live performances we can look forward to? If so where and when?
Seth: I [just finished] a tour in the beginning of [November]. One of the songs on the record is called “Jimmy’s Dream” and it’s about my friend who was telling me about his situation. He bought this house and it started falling a part right away and he saved up a bunch of money to pay for it and realized his house needed a lot more work than he thought. So we have this music video that’s out now for [the single]. It’s pretty political, which I don’t think too many people do, but it looks good and was good doing it. A music video about the housing occurrences, there’s definitely a crisis going on. I just dropped Bird Strings on the October 1st. I am also in another band called The Wyatt act and we are playing at the Oddville festival on Nov 13th in Oakland, California, there will be about five thousand people there it’s a big festival. I’ll also have another video coming out after “Jimmy’s Dream” in the beginning of November for the track “On the Road,” that’s also on the album. Switching up from music to video.