Atlanta-based punk rock band to play at Egan’s

Francie Johnson

Dom DiCecco, guitarist and vocalist of Atlanta-based punk rock band Seagulls, has been playing through the pain of a fractured finger ever since a week before the band’s first show. But in the words of DiCecco himself, “Punk rock doesn’t take a sick leave,” and this weekend, he will prove it.

Seagulls will perform at Egan’s Bar on Saturday, Jan. 19, alongside Tuscaloosa-based band August Spies.

Seagulls formed shortly after bassist and vocalist Steve Johnson, a UA graduate and former member of August Spies, relocated to Atlanta, Ga., for a new job. After Johnson placed an ad on Craigslist for bandmates, Seagulls was born.

The band is comprised of guitarist and vocalist Johnson, DiCecco, guitarist Billy Duncan and drummer Rick Bouchard.

Johnson’s time spent as a member of August Spies contributed to the development of Seagulls’ sound, which blends elements of punk, rock and pop music.

“I really liked the stuff I was doing in Tuscaloosa with August Spies,” Johnson said. “I started listening to more melodic pop punk in there and the result is pretty much Seagulls.”

Being part of a new band often comes with its fair share of challenges. For the members of Seagulls, one of these challenges is accommodating their four different schedules.

“It’s hard to get everyone on the same page, and that leaves a small window of opportunity for practice and shows,” Duncan said.

The band faces other obstacles as well. Because punk-rock fans tend to be part of a rather niche audience, it can be difficult for the band to gain exposure and develop a solid fan base.

“In the punk rock world, you’re catering to a relatively narrow sect of very picky people,” Johnson said. “Those people have a hard enough time finding each other and making a sustainable scene in a big town like Chicago or Atlanta, and it gets harder when you’re in a college town that has such high turnover rate of citizens.”

However, Johnson said performing in a college town does have its advantages.

“College towns have a lot higher percentage of young people that do a great job of getting into music they are totally unfamiliar with,” he said.

Whether they’re playing in a large city or a small college town, the band members share a genuine passion for performing.

“I count those first four beats and the adrenaline goes nuts,” said Bouchard. “After that, it’s 30 minutes of me giving the crowd everything I have.”

On Jan. 14, Seagulls released its first EP, “All the World’s Wars,” which is available for free download on the band’s Bandcamp website.

“Casual Encounters,” one of the four songs on the EP, relates the members’ experience forming and developing as a new band.

“It’s about the trials, tribulations and inescapable awkwardness that occurs when you attempt to get things off the ground, contextually juxtaposed with all of the overarching societal issues which both concern us but allow us to play music in the first place,” DiCecco said.

“The Great Leveler,” another song from the EP, is both Duncan and Bouchard’s favorite song out of the four. Bouchard played the song during his audition for the band, and he instantly knew that Seagulls was his perfect fit.

“I was no more than 15 seconds in and I thought, ‘This is it. I absolutely have to be a part of this band,’” Bouchard said. “It’s indescribable to me. I feel like it completely encompasses our sound. Then when that breakdown comes in, and those guitars are hanging there with that wall of feedback–that’s a thing of beauty to me.”

The show starts at 10 p.m. on Saturday night. For more information, visit the band’s Facebook page or their Bandcamp at seagullsatl.bandcamp.com.

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If You Go…

What: Seagulls and August Spies

When: Saturday, Jan. 19 at 10 p.m.

Where: Egan’s Bar