In conversation with Se7eN Goza, it’s easy to see that the guitarist is willing to do whatever he needs to do in order to help his band break through and achieve the next level of exposure. He’s ready to get on the road and tour as long as he, bassist Eric Seevers, drummer Joe Bailey and singer/guitarist Jason Odaniel need to in order to build a devoted fan base (they’ve already begun doing that, in fact). He will record and then re-record his music because he wants to make the best impression possible and will keep going until Social 66 breaks through. He’s ready to do whatever it takes because this band has his heart, soul and every fiber of his being invested in it; he believes in his band.
“Our singer, Jason Odaniel, and I formed this band about seven or eight years ago,” says Goza, recounting the story of how the band came together. “Certain things went awry in the early days – I wanted to pursue other things – and I ended up splitting from Jason and went and did some other projects without him for about six years. He kept going with Social though and tried to build a name for himself and, while it didn’t work out quite the way he wanted it to, he did put out a couple of demo EPs under Social’s name on his own.”
“During that time, I helped him along the way with critiques of the music he was making and artwork – I do all the artwork for this band – and we always remained in contact with each other,” continues the guitarist. “Not long ago, when the other band I was in fell apart, he was the first person I called up. There was nobody else that I wanted to play with, and he told me to come on back home and we’d build Social 66 back up again. That sounded good to me, so we started trying to rebuild the band. I’d met Eric Seevers and Joe Bailey from their previous band In West Virginia, and I showed them some of the music that we were making. They were into it, so they ended up joining in June of 2013, and since then we’ve just treated it like a whirlwind; we’ve taken it to the street level and gotten in people’s faces and played as many shows as we could. After that, we approached Pavement last November and they really liked what we were doing. They said they’d put out the last album we did as is right then and there, but we told them we wanted to re-record it because a lot of the songs had taken on a completely different light with all the band members involved – so that’s what we did.
“It might sound simple saying it like that, and I guess it is. We all made our mistakes in other bands we played in. We know what we’re looking for and we have a clear goal set in mind that we want to accomplish, and we’re just going to do everything in our power to make it happen.”
If power and focus are the only things it takes to get an album to break through, then Social 66 is going to be the next elemental force to overtake the world at large. From the moment “Crash N Burn” kicks the door open on the album, scenes from the glory days of hard rock radio (between 1985 and 1994) come streaming out and quickly lock all of the unaware in a schoolyard-style headlock. Guitars and bass buckle down immediately into a sound comparable to the sordid interplay that Nikki Sixx and Mick Mars had in their prime. Like that aforementioned duo, Seevers keeps the low end simple and hip-swinging while Se7en’s guitar flies off into orbit with some searing rhythm and lead lines of the same sort with which Mick Mars and Zakk Wylde won hearts and inspired a generation of pubescent problem children to pick up hard rock and metal. The results are a work of genius because it really doesn’t venture too far from the highest peaks of hard rock inspiration established in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Critics may say it’s derivative in that regard, but really, it doesn’t matter. It has been just long enough since this sound was ruling the rock roost that Social 66 have a real shot at making a lot of waves with what they’ve got here.
“I know lots of bands say they had trouble figuring out what they want to do the first time they make an album, but it wasn’t hard to figure out at all,” chuckles Goza. “We wrote and recorded five new songs that we were going to record anyway, and then we took the best of the old stuff which we had been playing live and was getting really good fan response, re-recorded them and put them on the record too. Probably all in all, it might have taken us about a week to get all the guitar, bass, drums and vocals banged out, and then we really painstakingly mixed and mastered it with our producer, Cole Martinez from Cleveland. It was that easy; we wanted a really heavy, solid guitar rock record, and that’s what he gave us. It’s exactly what we wanted.”
According to Se7eN, the sound of the album has obviously been exactly what fans wanted too; the guitarist has noticed a difference in the audience’s reception of the band on the last two tours they’ve done and is hoping that the build will continue when Social 66 embarks on its first headlining tour beginning in late May. “We’re still confirming dates, but we’re basically doing really long weekends for the next couple of months and touring through Ohio, Michigan, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Indiana, Iowa; pretty much the Midwest and then head south down the East Coast,” explains the guitarist regarding their plan of attack. “We want to try and get this record out to as many people as we possibly can, get it in their faces and in their ear-holes so that everybody knows about Social 66 no matter what. That was what we wanted to do on the last tour too, and we definitely noticed a difference; we noticed that people at the shows were already familiar with the music – either they’d bought a copy or gotten it online – and they were singing the songs. Our fan base is growing, that’s for sure, and we can tell the difference; and that’s just making us want to work even harder and get out even more. We’re all bred that way, so that’s how we’re going to roll.”
Ground Control Magazine – Social 66 – s/t – [Review] groundcontrolmag.com/detail/3/3760/1
Social 66 is out now. Buy it here on Amazon.