Seth Huff, frontman for local rockers Archer’s Paradox, knew from an early age what he wanted to do with his life.
“I started the idea of the whole Archer’s Paradox thing when I was in high school,” Huff says during a recent phone conversation. “Between the ages of 16 and 22, when we started the actual band, I was just sort of making music on my own, just on my computer, you know, playing all the instruments and stuff in the hopes to convince some people to come play with me at some point.”
Convince some people he did, but not before a two-year stint as a bass player with Mia Carruthers and the Retros (who were featured on the MTV show Taking the Stage), an eye-opening experience that would inform his vision of the future.
“It was kind of grounding for me,” he says. “I always had this grandiose outlook on music and art. It was interesting seeing the way things actually worked in the business.”
Huff formed Archer’s Paradox in 2012, and it wasn’t long before the newly minted six-piece — which also includes keyboardist Cam Nawaz, guitarists Alex Solin and Scott Wanstrath, bassist Mark Wilson and drummer Stefan Wright — was making a name for itself, grabbing a slot at the inaugural Bunbury Music Festival and earning a growing number of converts. Then there’s Pyramid Lake, the band’s independently produced 2013 debut album, which features 10 hook-infested tunes that bring to mind The Cars filtered through the last 20 years of AltRock radio.
The following is a taste of our conversation with the frontman, a genial guy who isn’t afraid to admit that ABBA is permanently lodged in his music-mad head.
Archer’s Paradox started as solo project of sorts but has now evolved into a full band. How did you guys settle on the sound on Pyramid Lake?
The sound we have right now is not really what I imagined. I didn’t really imagine any sort of distinct sound from the beginning because things change once you pull a bunch of different guys together. We have a lot of guys from different backgrounds as far as genres go — our guitarist and our bassist used to be in Metal bands, our keyboardist used to be in a Hip Hop band.
The sound we have now, I think, is a great mix of my Pop mentality, which is my background. My parents used to blast ABBA, so I got that into my head. I’ve always loved Pop music. I’ve always loved catchy music. That being mixed with our lead guitarist Alex Solin’s background — which is Metal, big huge choruses and big huge solos — created this really cool kind of hybrid, a vintage kind of Pop thing.
The album is available on Spotify. How do you feel about putting your music out there for free?
I’ve never had a huge issue with putting up music for free. I feel like in this day and age you kind of have to prove your worth. I feel like sometimes it’s kind of arrogant to expect people to pay for music before anybody has even heard it. People need to hear it, and that’s the most important thing right now. That’s just the way I feel about it. I was born in 1990, so most of my life I’ve had free music readily available to me. Spotify is actually good because we do get paid — not a shit-ton, but we do get paid. It’s a changing industry. You’ve got to adapt.
I don’t think you guys have gone on a proper tour yet. Is that a next-step goal?
Definitely. We’re looking into that. It’s easy to get excited about possible tours and record labels and stuff pretty early on, just because it’s obviously the goal, but we’re trying to keep our head out of the clouds there. We’re definitely eager to do it, but we’re just taking it one step at a time.
And what are your plans for recording in the future? Are you going to put another album out there right away?
We want as many people as possible to hear Pyramid Lake before throwing some more music at them. We’ve started playing new songs live. We’re actually playing a live show for our buddy who mixed and mastered our album, Chris Schmidt. It’s his 15th anniversary of being the sound guy at the Mad Frog. He’s actually going to record that concert live, so we’ll have a little live album that will be out soon. It’s going to include a couple of the new songs.
We’re going to start recording probably in March. I definitely want to take a little more time on this one, just to kind of nitpick. Pyramid Lake is great, but at the end of the day we did record it all live, and we weren’t a band for very long before we recorded it. There are things that I wish were there, and I don’t want to have that same regret this time around.
ARCHER'S PARADOX performs Saturday, Jan. 18 at the Best New Bands showcase at Bogart's. Click here for show info and here for more on Archer's Paradox.