Art teacher Don Sizemore has been a fledging musician since his high school days. He established a band with his friends in the late eighties, and although separated by time, the three friends were reunited and rekindled to form a new band called Science. Just recently, the band’s debut was pressed on vinyl, and Sizemore took time out of his ceramics class to discuss their recording and history.
Oracle: Did you guys just come out with a new album?
Sizemore: We recorded in October 2013 until March 2014 and then put it out in May on Spotify, iTunes, bandcamp, Pandora, and we just got vinyl.
Oracle: Who are the other members in the band?
Sizemore: The other guys are Mark Fasso who plays drums, Edwin Valez plays guitar, and Ed Solago plays guitar. Mark, Edwin and I played in a band when we were sixteen, back in 1988. We recorded an album and some other songs and went on an east coast tour when we graduated from high school, so I was already friends with these guys.
Oracle: Do you have the same sorts of interests in music?
Sizemore: Oh yeah, when we started out as kids we were big into hardcore and punk rock. When we started playing again, there was some more synthesizer based bands like M83 acting as an influence, and we got to thinking we could incorporate those kinds of elements into our music. But playing together, our old style came back and it wasn’t something we thought about, it just happened like that.
Oracle: Do you guys play a lot of shows?
Sizemore: We don’t; we can meet every Wednesday and have done that for most of the past three years. It’s pretty religious that we meet and play, so it’s a lot different than being a kid. We really just want to play and record, shows became secondary. Having said that however, we just played three shows in two months and will be playing another next month in Miami.
Next month we play at this huge annual art festival called Art Bazzle. We got asked to play a show with our guitarist’s M.I.A. Skateshop, which is a real awesome opportunity to play out of the city and something larger scale than usual. It’s hard to get a following if you’re not playing a lot, but we do have enough to play a few shows but nothing to make it worth pursuing a lot.
Ironically we’ve got a following in Poland. As weird as that is, our guitar player has spent some time in Poland with some previous bands and they’re having a resurgence of punk rock and hardcore so our stuff on bandcamp and Spotify is played like crazy.
Oracle: That whole period when you guys weren’t together, were you making music?
Sizemore: Yeah, from probably 1991 until about 2001 I played in a new band. From 2001 to 2010 I laid low, had kids, and always played music, always recorded. I built a sound proof recording studio in my house. Not even knowing at the time it would set it up for what I have now with Science.
Oracle: How did you end up becoming a teacher in all of this?
Sizemore: I was at a crossroads: I was at the journalism program at University of Florida and I hated it, so I knew I needed to do something different. I applied to the Berkeley College of Music in Boston and got accepted. I was about ready to go that route but I just wasn’t feeling it because I didn’t want to rely on music, it’s always been my fun thing, I just didn’t want it pursue it as a career.
I took a couple years off, worked, and my wife who is a teacher got to talking to me about all the art classes I loved taking and maybe just make that into my career. Like any good woman can do, she planted a seed into my head and I got to it.
From 2000 up to now I’ve been working on pottery, which meant the art part of my life shifted over to prominence. I did a lot of shows and events, making a lot of pottery in the process. I’ve started juggling both, music and pottery together.
Oracle: Are there any plans for a new album coming up?
Sizemore: Yes, we were excited to be able to record in a studio, and make music. We prolonged those sessions we had last year and milked it. The whole process is so fun to us: to make songs, destroy them, remix parts, record demos, go back on those demos and work them. It’s almost like writing papers or novels, making sketches, working on them and revising them. It’s a really exciting process.
Oracle: When it comes to the creating part, do you feel like everyone collaborates equally?
Sizemore: It ultimately comes to everybody has a say, whether someone comes and presents ideas we all work in it together. We’ve been in enough bands to know what the ego it like. I also record at my house so when something doesn’t work it doesn’t hurt, I’ll just slide it back to my own recordings. I’ve been debating on putting something solo out next year.
Oracle: Would you put it out on your own name or under a pseudonym?
Sizemore: I don’t think I’d put my own name on it, but however that works out. I have so much stuff I need to do something with it. I’m a firm believer that anything made should at least be available. Someone else should be able to enjoy it.
Oracle: What advice would you give kids at our school who make music?
Sizemore: I do the music production club which is a cool avenue for me to share what I know and find out about new things like electronic music and how to do them. We have one philosophy in our band: just show up. If we show up every week, something will happen. If you’re not doing anything or afraid, then you aren’t making things to work with.
Science’s bandcamp has their debut album, East Coast Education, available for purchase, which is also available to stream on Spotify or download on iTunes.
Anthony Campbell // Staff Writer