Note: The following is part three of a three part series that is part of Seaknuckle Week here at Frederick Playlist. All three parts will run in this week’s 72 Hours as one single story, though Frederick Playlist is the only place you can find all the videos to accompany the writing. We will be publishing two videos with each post. Today’s videos feature the band running through pre-production on one of their songs. They will be holding an EP digital release party on Friday at Cafe Nola and we will also be there as part of our effort to spread the word about our upcoming Frederick Music Showcase. For now, though, behold part three of our three-part series chronicling a day in the life of Seaknuckle.
It’s almost 5 p.m. and Seaknuckle have turned their attention to the second song of the day, “Little Animals.” Shultzaberger is navigating his way through the complex and aggressive groove that’s as angular as it is quick. He liked the first take, but he wants to keep at it, performing the song five, six, seven times with hopes of taking what they like the most from each performance and pasting it together for an end product.
Phelps, for his part, has faded. Sprawled out across Vlachos’ bed, he looks like he just returned home from a 48-hour party and fell face-first onto the first mattress he saw (which, all things considered, might not even be entirely untrue in this instance). No more than 10 minutes pass before that lifeless body has somehow fallen to the floor, face down, unconscious, without anyone even noticing.
As he’s resting, it’s hard not to be reminded of something he said earlier in the day. When we speak, he is unemployed with hopes of landing a job at a greenhouse. Jalette works for Anthony Owens Remodeling and Repair. Shultzaberger picks up bookkeeping work for his girlfriend’s business, Offbeat Threads, in the winter, though he also works at Upward Enterprises, helping out with team building exercises on ropes courses. And Dabson, pink Macho Man shirt and all, works overnight at the Washington County ARC.
Back when he was still able to stand, Phelps was outside with Dabson and Jalette, discussing his goals for the band.
“Social media is an integral part of making it,” he opines, stretching his voice to emphasize his next phrase: “Which we fully intend on doing.”
There’s something so pure about the way he says it. It’s as though he has no choice. It’s easy to meet local musicians who spend their time promising how committed they are to their craft. Each one wants to make it a full-time job. Each one is willing to do whatever it takes to get there. Each one has a dream they want to achieve.
But Phelps? There’s a hunger in his eyes that’s not common. In fact, it’s somewhat unsettling to witness. To him, this music thing is non-negotiable. It’s do or don’t. It’s a means of survival. It’s his life, sure, and of course it’s his passion. But it’s also what he’s good at. Actually, it’s probably what he’s best at. In theory, he could go work in a greenhouse for the next 50 years, but there’s something behind those glasses that suggests precisely how impractical that would be for a guy like him.
“Bands around here go nowhere because they don’t know how to do it,” he said hours before he wound up on the carpet. “And neither do we. We don’t know how to do it.
“But,” he adds with measure. “We’re learning.”
And almost on cue, as that thought flashes through my brain, I hear a collapse. Jalette, who was sitting on one of Vlachos’ parents’ deck chairs, crashes through the apparatus, its legs giving out from underneath him and dropping his entire body onto the snow-filled grass. Vlachos’ mother races out to see what happened and check if Jalette is OK.
He laughs a laugh that would make Seth Rogen blush before leaning back into his now-broken recliner.
“I don’t even know what just happened.”