See You Next Year:
Sue Diaz- Lead Vocals/ Guitar
Brian Supple- Bass
Chris Jones- Vocals
Jose Nunez- Guitar
Caiti Dole- Drums
See You Next Year is a local Albany band, and a long time favorite of mine. They were the headliner at a show this past weekend at a local venue. I’m going to cut to the chase; See You Next Year no longer has their lead singer, Ben. When I heard this I didn’t know what to expect from the band. I was told that they replaced him with two people; a singer and a guitarist. And if that wasn’t enough of a slap in the face, they also replaced the drummer.
As a huge fan of the original four part set up, I was speechless. SYNY is now a five piece with two of the three new members never having been in a band before. As if that wasn’t enough to cause a fan to stop at the door, they had only been practicing together for 3 weeks. A little piece of me died inside when I heard this, but my sheer curiosity got me through the door and kept me around to hear the new SYNY. At this point I figured I would be writing a piece where I was overcome with nostalgia, wishing the original band had never separated and debating if I would still play their music on my show.
They opened with “Party All Night” and instantly my mouth dropped. I couldn’t believe the voice that the new singer, Chris Jones, is gifted with. The only thing that Chris needs to work on is his stage presence. He seemed as if he was unsure of what to do with his hands when he wasn’t singing. With that being said, he is one of the two people who has never performed on stage before. His voice was strong and he sounded confident which is what counts. Stage presence is something that comes with practice and playing shows, but talent can’t be learned, and it’s clear that Chris has natural talent.
Jose Nunez is the newest guitarist to join SYNY. He was able to replicate all of the chords that he needed to in order to make sure the songs had the same melody, as any guitarist should be expected to do when replacing someone. What literally made my jaw drop was his guitar solo. He was playing up the neck of the guitar, was proficient with a whammy bar and was creating riffs that left the crowd roaring. Jose is a very talented guitarist and proved to be an asset to the band.
Caiti Dole is the new drummer for SYNY, yes I said Caiti. SYNY now has a girl drummer! More often than not, boys hold it down on the drums, but this girl proved she can hold her own on the kit. Caiti never missed a beat as far as I heard and kept the band in time. The only thing I would have liked to see was a solo for her to showcase her skills. Caiti is the other person that had never played in a band before, and like Chris, she is a natural.
Brian, as per usual, was able to show us that there is always beauty in the bass line, locking the melody with the rhythm flawlessly and propelling each song forward.
One of the most impressive aspects of the band is how effortlessly Sue was able to step up to become the front woman. She was able to transition between songs without creating awkward banter between the musicians and the audience, making the connection between the band and the audience electric. Her vocals have also improved since the last time SYNY performed and it was clear that she is taking her new position seriously.
I hope SYNY can only grow stronger as a band, and I am looking forward to seeing them evolve. I was able to catch up with them after the show and they were as excited as I was about all of the new changes that were happening:
How long have you guys been together as the new See You Next Year?
3 weeks. That sounds like it’s not that much time, but it has been a crazy month, teaching everyone the material and making sure we sound good. It has been one of the busiest 3 weeks this band has ever seen.
You guys have lost a couple important members in the group, how has that had an impact on the band?
We miss Ben, he was the leader of this band and until now, the only writer, so, now we will have to fulfill that duty ourselves. Luckily, Sue has stepped up and has taken over as the leader and it’s clear she’s dedicated to the success of the band.
What do you think is going to be the biggest challenge with so many new band members?
With new members, the only issue will be scheduling for practices. Getting the new members caught up took some time, but now that they’re up to speed, we do not anticipate any more problems in that department.
Now that you’ve played your first show together, what would you say you need to work on?
We are all very proud of the performance that we were able to put on, especially considering how short of a time we’ve been together and how little experience some of our members have. With that being said, we are going to be working on stage presence and energy. Like we said, some of our members have never been on stage before, so with time and more shows, we know that the energy we want them to harness will come naturally, and we are all excited about the unlimited potential that is clear we have.
I know I was hesitant knowing there was a new singer, what would you say to your fans to encourage them to come out even though there are so many changes in the band?
We want them to understand that Chris and Ben are two different singers, there is no questioning that. Chris isn’t better or worse than Ben, he is simply different. We would not have chosen him as a replacement if we didn’t feel that he didn’t adequately represent the sound we are going for as a band. We want people to trust our choices and to come to the shows with an open mind and an understanding that changes were made, but that doesn’t change the quality of our music.
You guys just released a demo. Tell me a little about it.
We started recording the demo in December of 2011. It has been a long process, but it was well worth it. We released a CD a while ago that had the do it yourself quality that most bands produce, so to have this demo out, we are really proud. You can tell it was recorded in the studio, the tracks are clearer, the instrumentals are tighter and the vocals are well put together. Jason Sutter recorded “Party All Night”, The Bar Song”, and “Summers Past”, Ben and Sue recorded “These Busy Streets”, and Sue recorded “Devilish Ideas.” Since we have been working on it for a while, Ben’s vocals are the on the CD, but we are excited to make another CD where Chris can record vocals and Caiti and Jose can showcase their talent on their respected instruments- we just have to write some new material!
Why did you guys decide not to charge for your demo?
We didn’t want to charge for the demos because, at this stage of the game, we are simply trying to get our name out there, and show people what we can do. We want everyone to be able to listen and share our music without money being a deciding factor.
Who would you say are some of the bands major influences?
On an individual level, we all listen to all genres of music, from Reggae to metal. The bands that have influenced us collectively as a band are pop punk bands from the mid 2000′s- New Found Glory, Green Day, Taking Back Sunday are all huge idols of ours.
What are you guys going to be doing next?
Like we said before, we are going to be working on writing new material, which is going to be a challenge, but we are excited for it. We also plan on booking more shows and really working on getting our name out there. We are trying to spread our wings a little bit- we are going to be playing a show in Massachusetts and we are all really excited for that. Now that we have our members set, it’s time to push our music and show people what we’ve got.
I am very excited to see what new things See You Next Year comes out with, and until then check them out on