[Photo by: Ian Rees]

Seaway have taken the pop-punk world by storm with only two full-lengths—2013’s Hoser and 2015’s Colour Blind—under their belt, but their upcoming Vacation is the version of the band they have always wanted to achieve.

“In starting Seaway, we had an idea for it, and I think two albums later we’ve achieved it on Vacation, which is a really cool thing.”

The Canadian five-piece venture into new territory inspired by the pop-rock sensibilities of the ’90s, from Weezer to Third Eye Blind. But the shift isn’t totally unexpected as vocalist Ryan Locke reveals it has been their vision all along. “We’re a pop-punk band at heart, but I think the influences that we grew up with really bled through on Vacation,” he says. “Some songs have poppier vibes [and] other songs have more of a punk-rock feel, [but] I guess in starting Seaway, we had an idea for it, and I think two albums later we’ve achieved it on Vacation, which is a really cool thing.”

From day one of the creation of their third full-length, the band—Locke, guitarist/vocalist Patrick Carleton, guitarist Andrew Eichinger, bassist Adam Shoji and drummer Ken Taylor—were trying new things. While they typically wrote and then finished tracks in the studio, for Vacation, they took their time in pre-production, returning to work with some of the Colour Blind team, including Four Year Strong vocalist/guitarist Alan Day and producer Derek Hoffman (Silverstein, Like Pacific).

The choice to work with familiar faces stemmed from a previous good overall experience and being happy with the outcome, Locke reveals. “Both of them in their own respects are amazingly talented songwriters,” he says. “For pre-production, we thought [we’d] stick with what we know and get these songs molded into something we’re comfortable with and excited on.”

Regarding “Curse Me Out,” the first track they demoed with Hoffman in Los Angeles, Locke believes the tune sticks out on the record as one of the catchier, pop-based tracks, with a vibe reminiscent of the All-American Rejects thanks to its mid-tempo feel and “a little bit of rock, but not in-your-face rock.”

Listen to “Curse Me Out”:

Typically, the band stuck around Toronto to record, so uprooting to LA and working with two producers at once were new experiences. The pop-punk act were going back and forth between the duo on the same tracks, what Locke describes as a unique process that allowed them to learn. Due to their extensive pre-production, it was a pretty smooth experience once in the studio, but Locke described a need to challenge himself; he wanted to  improve his singing through a vocal coach. “I am definitely not a self-proclaimed ‘amazing singer,’” Locke explains. “I’ve learned as we’ve gone along, [and] I think it was also important for the band to take that next step and really hone in on our crafts.”

“[We aren’t] just a straight pop-punk band doing pop-punk songs.”

Seaway’s sharpened musicianship can be heard on “Lula On The Beach,” a synth-based anthem that grew organically from a repetitive guitar riff Carleton started playing. While the risky track started as a joke, it ended up playing an important role in diversifying the sound of their record: It added more rock vibes, so it wasn’t “just a straight pop-punk band doing pop-punk songs.”

“I think what’s important in making a full, robust record is not having every song sound the same,” Locke continues, “so the idea with ‘Lula’ was: ‘Let’s take a risk on this [and] do something a little bit different for us.’”

Seaway also did something a little different when finding someone to make a vocal cameo on this record. Silverstein’s Shane Told popped up on Hoser’s “The Weight” while Ian Stanger of Toronto-based punk act the Fullblast chimed in on Colour Blind’s “The Day That She Left.” The band grew up listening to both artists, but they thought it was time to go with a newer act for Vacation. “We were brainstorming a bunch of ideas, and [Pure Noise Records said], ‘You guys are always talking to Beartooth, and you’re good buds with Beartooth, so that’d be really cool to have Caleb on a song,’” Locke reveals. “We were like, ‘Goddamn, why didn’t we think of that before?’” From there, Locke emailed frontman Caleb Shomo (who, like the rest of his band, has a Seaway-inspired “Everything is cool, man” tattoo), and the result can be heard on “Scatter My Ashes Along The Coast, Or Don’t.”

While Locke sings about everywhere from sandy beaches to Indiana, the album is more than the sum of its locale call-outs. In fact, Vacation isn’t a concept album. Locke explains it as being a multi-faceted title that grew from the songs as they wrote them, not the other way around. “It’s important to understand the album isn’t about going on vacation and super fun all the time, [and] there are certain songs on the record that I think showcase the other side of vacation—always being away, always missing family or a significant other,” he says. “I refer to vacation as being away, so maybe I don’t think being on tour is a vacation, but that’s where I equate it to personally. I guess [the album] is the dichotomy of being away and the struggle of that—and also being in a rock band and how fun that is.”

Seaway’s Vacation is out Sept. 15, and you can pre-order here. Follow the band on their website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and catch them on tour:

Upcoming Tour Dates w/ With Confidence:
08/25 – Perth @ The Boston
08/26 – Perth @ YMCA HQ

Upcoming Tour Dates w/ Four Year Strong and Like Pacific:
09/6 – Portland, ME @ Port City Music Hall
09/7 – Philadelphia, PA @ TLA
09/8 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Night Bazar
09/9 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Night Bazar
09/10 – New Haven, CT @ The Ballroom
09/12 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Rex Theater
09/13 – Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theater
09/14 – Cincinnati, OH @ Yacht Club
09/15 – Chicago, IL @ Riot Fest
09/16 – Detroit, MI @ St Andrews Hall
09/18 – St. Paul, MN @ Amsterdam
09/20 – St. Louis, MO @ Fubar
09/21 – Lawrence, KS @ The Bottleneck
09/22 – Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater
09/23 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
09/25 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos
09/26 – Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theater
09/27 – Berkley, CA @ Cornerstone
09/28 – Fresno, CA @ Strummers
09/29 – Anaheim, CA @ Chain Reaction
09/30 – Anaheim, CA @ Chain Reaction
09/1 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram
10/2 – San Diego, CA @ Irenic
10/4 – Phoenix, AZ @ Nile
10/6 – El Paso, TX @ Tricky Falls
10/7 – Austin, TX @ Come And Take It Live
10/8 – Dallas, TX @ RBC
10/10 – Birmingham, AL @ Zydeco
10/11 – Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
10/12 – Tampa, FL @ Crowbar
10/13 – Margate, FL @ O’Malley’s
10/14 – Orlando, FL @ Backbooth
10/15 – Orlando, FL @ Backbooth
10/17 – Columbia, SC @ New Brooklyn Tavern
10/18 – Greensboro, NC @ Blind Tiger
10/19 – Virginia Beach, VA @ Shakas
10/20 – Baltimore, MD @ Soundstage

Upcoming Tour Dates w/ Silverstein:
11/1 – Kingston, ON @ The Mansion
11/2 – Montreal, QC @ La Tulipe
11/3 – Quebec City, QC @ Le Cercle
11/4 – Ottawa, ON @ Brass Monkey
11/7 – Winnipeg, MB @ Park Theatre
11/8 – Saskatoon, SK @ Louis
11/9 – Edmonton, AB @ The Needle
11/11 – Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw
11/15 – Spokane, WA @ The Pin
11/18 – Fargo, ND @ The Aquarium
11/21 – Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave
11/22 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme
11/23 – Hamilton, ON @ Club Absinthe
11/24 – Oshawa, ON @ The Music Hall
11/25 – London, ON @ London Music Hall