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Strong Suit has been called a Seattle super group, which might sound strange considering you may not have heard of some of the musicians in the band. But if you’ve seen much live music in Seattle, you’ve probably seen these guys play. Strong Suit is made up of the some of the most in-demand, most respected sidemen in town, each getting the chance in this project to play to their strength- their Strong Suit- free from the restrictions of someone else’s name on the marquee.
The seed was planted in 2012 when lead singer/guitarist, Sean Bates and guitarist/vocalist, Justin Davis finally fulfilled their longtime desire to write music together. Soon after the pair had worked out a few tunes, they got a hold of the best players they knew, guys they had been playing with in various projects for years, and the result was stunning: the whole much greater than the sum of its parts. Everyone realized this was an opportunity for a whole new kind of project, and Strong Suit was born. A week later they played their first show, one of the perks afforded a band of pros!
This is a great live band. Their shows are bursting with energy, excitement, and chops. For a taste, take a listen to their self-titled and released, debut EP. The band recorded the tracks live at Studio Litho in one day (only one of the songs took a second take, the rest were all first takes). The following day they added a little polish- acoustic guitars, backup vocals, etc.- and that was it! Mix, master, release. Their first single for London Tone Music and the label’s 52x52 launch is called, Lightning Chaser, a passionate rock waltz ballad, bursting with the kind of energy each band member is known for. Jonathan Plum at London Bridge Studio produced it. Sean Bates, who wrote the song, describes where it came from, “I usually get a little blue right after the holidays which leads me to the piano which then leads to some kind of aching love song. When I wrote Lightning Chaser, I was trying to capture the obliviousness of being young and thinking that you love someone so much that it's all you've waited for your entire life but also being shit scared at the same time.”
When you see the band live, the music is just as tight as on the record, but full of wild improvisations and that intense symbiotic energy that the best bands find with their audiences.