Seeking Valor | photo via facebook.com/SeekingValor
After losing their friend Gary to a battle with depression, Philadelphia rock six-piece Seeking Valor decided to write an album in his memory. More than just that, though, they wanted to write an album that could possibly save someone else’s life. According to guitarist Frank Gannon, he resulting record – particularly the “So Far Gone” single, released back in October – is a testament to their friend Gary but also the band’s journey as a whole; 7 of Diamonds has not only been two years in the making, it has been two years of reflecting and processing. I caught up with the group to ask them their album, the foundation that comes with it, and the upcoming release show at The Trocadero on May 2nd.
On the band and how it came together:
“The core of group consists of me on rhythm guitar, Brian Fritz (lead guitar / drums), John Colberg (bass guitar) and Drew Feehery (vocals). We started playing together 15 years ago back in junior high, and have been in and out of various bands since then. This latest project was formed two and a half years ago when our close friend Gary Diamond unexpectedly passed away due to his battle with depression and suicide claiming his life. We wanted to not only cope with the tragedy the only way we knew how, but also wanted to pay tribute to his life and hopefully share our message and make a difference in the lives of people like Gary.”
On writing the song “So Far Gone”:
“The track “So Far Gone” lyically represents all of the core concepts of the album. The loss of a loved one, the feeling of not being alone, and hope for tomorrow. Also lending a hand in the studio for the track was vocalist Courtney Jansen of Gypsy Wisdom and drummer/producer Mike Birchard of Mikey B Media. Instrumentally it was one of the more easier songs to write despite lead guitarist Brian Fritz residing in California at the time. We were sending files back and forth through email and oddly enough the song felt natural. This was the song that prompted us to take this project from the studio and start playing out live.”
On the themes of the album:
“Each song, to some extent represents our take on either what we thought Gary’s perspective on things might have been, or the thoughts of someone close to him and the journey they experienced in dealing with such an unexpected tragedy. Some songs were written from our own perspective as just a way to vent or cope with losing a childhood friend.”
On the album release show on May 2:
“While in the studio, lead guitarist Brian Fritz pulled double duties and also played drums on some tracks, as did Mike Birchard who was recording/producing the album. Another long time buddy, Mike Signora joined us on drums after the recording of the album to play live with us and has fit in perfectly. He has brought a fresh new take to some of the songs and those familiar with ‘So Far Gone’ will be in for a surprise when they hear it live. Our album has a very polished sound, however our style as a live band is a lot more raw and people will see that we are a ROCK band that feeds off each other’s energy and emotion while playing.”
Gannon also went on to explain that the collection of the songs that make up the album have a pretty concise meaning to the band but were written so that the listener can make their own interpretation as well. More information on the release show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the American Foundations for Suicide Prevention in Gary’s name.