We sat down with Jesse Lee Herdman of Accidental Seabirds to discuss his show at the Saint in Asbury Park, his upcoming tour, and some other fun stuff!
Jesse Lee Herdman
Jimmy James Cutrera
WTSR: It’s great getting to talk to you here at the Saint in Asbury Park! For my first question, where is your band from and what brought you together?
Jesse: I’m from Lakewood, NJ. That’s Ocean County. I met our guitar player, Jimmy James, ten years ago when I joined a progressive metal fusion band. We’ve been in a bunch of projects since then and we live together in NY. So, that’s the first dude I linked up with in this project. And then, Anthony, the bass player, I’ve known him for years. There was a place called the Java Joint in Tom’s River that a bunch of us local musicians kind of met there a long time ago and all went away to college and all went back.
WTSR: So did you go from a full band to just two members or what?
Jesse: The local shows tend to be full band. Tonight is a solo set; but the drummer, Alex, I met through Anthony, our bass player and he’s the one who does all the touring so it’s the two of us who do all the tours. So for our set, we play a banjo and guitar and put a drum between our feet. That’s our economical way of travelling and playing. We like to do a three piece sort of set but with two people.
WTSR: Can you tell us about your show tonight and why you are playing a solo set?
Jesse: Yeah, It’s not as fun for me to play solo because there’s not as many musicians to interact with. I always like playing with people, but it’s also cool to be able to play brand new stuff that i’ve never played and not have to show it to the band first. So it’s fun in its own way, but it’s also a little scary because i’m out on my own there.
WTSR: How would you define your sound? And can you tell us about your unique instruments?
Jesse: I dunno, indie folk rock? Well, the hometown full band is usually two electric guitars, bass & drums, but our tour set up as a duo is more stripped down. We play acoustic guitar & banjo while splitting a basic drum kit between our feet. Alex plays kick drum & hi hat or jellyfish (homemade bottlecap hat trick thing) and I play the snare drum triggered by a foot pedal. It’s fun.
WTSR: That’s awesome! You guys are always so interesting to watch perform on stage. Tell us about any shows/tours coming up soon!
Jesse: We have a 33 day tour coming up, including 8 days in Colorado and a bunch of great spots in between. We have a record release show at The Stone Pony when we come back, which we’re very excited about. We’re also playing a One Nation event centered around affordable college education in NJ, and the policies that need to change in order to make college affordable or possibly free. But yeah, the “Metedeconk” release show is gonna be awesome. Our favorite bands are playing & release shows are always a party. Thomas Wesley Stern, Beatrix Potter, The Big Drops, and Emily Grove are all playing. Should be fun.
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Photos by Karin Flannery