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Jean Claude Seagal: A New Journey through Alternative Rock

Nicole Brice

Mar 22, 2024

The music of Jean Claude Seagal captures the complexities of life and relationships with melodic hooks and gritty rock sensibilities.

Growing up as a teenager in the 90s, I was obsessed with DIY bands that did not conform to a certain look to get their messages across. I admired the authenticity of bands such as Sonic Youth, Buffalo Tom, The Breeders, and Archers of Loaf because of the raw power found in their music. Using scaled-down production techniques mixed with feedback and fuzz, these bands set a precedent for many who are trying to emulate their style now. They say that time repeats, and it is repeating now.


Enter one of the newest bands in Baton Rouge, Jean Claude Seagal. With potent lyrics combined with a smooth delivery and just the right amount of grunge fuzz, these guys are emerging as a continuation of the alt/grunge sound of the 90s, and their music is packaged as such. Possessing personality and sheer talent, the band comprises Justin Tatman on vocals and guitar, Nick Maggio on bass, and Robby Gray on drums.



Credit: Gary Governale


Formed in 2024, Jean Claude Seagal’s first release is titled “State Champs,” and with this EP, the band has created a sound combining elements of indie rock, punk, and grunge, creating a style that is both familiar and fresh. With honest, confessional songwriting that speaks to our experiences and emotions, Jean Claude Seagal has created timeless music that will connect with listeners, reminding us of the power of honest, heartfelt songwriting.





Mixed Alternative Magazine had the opportunity to chat with the guys of Jean Claude Seagal recently about the band's origins, plans, and much more, so take a moment to learn a little more about one of the newest bands on the scene in Baton Rouge.

 

MaM: Thanks for meeting with me today. Let’s dive right in. How did the band name come about?


Justin: I was in a band a long time ago, and we were trying to think of a name for it, and the drummer at the time suggested Jean Claude Seagal, and I thought it was the greatest thing I had ever heard, but we never used it, so years later, here we are.



Credit: Gary Governale


MaM: So, how do you all know each other?


Nick: Well, I met Robby over a decade ago off Craig’s List. We were starting a couple of projects here and there, and I needed a guitar player, but see, we were all in the band, Minus One. This was over a decade ago. Minus One was another alternative rock band, and we were around for a bit until COVID hit, and that just killed it. We just decided recently to form a new band, and here we are.


Robby: I’ve known Justin since elementary school. He and I have been in and out of bands since we were kids, and Nick and I have another project we’ve been working on that we can’t find members for currently. It’s a progressive rock project. Not the stuff you generally hear around Baton Rouge. I picked up playing drums when I was about 11 years old, with no lessons. I started listening to Metallica as a kid and then begged my dad for a drum set. I love playing drums, and if you listen to my playing, you’ll hear a little Metallica influence—the triplets I do with my feet and stuff like that. It’s in there. I’ve always thought that the drums help bring energy to the songs.


Justin: His style brings more potency to the music with a little punk influence.



Credit: Gary Governale



MaM: What got you each into music originally?


JustinI saw Nirvana’s “Live and Loud,” and when they were playing “Endless Nameless” and just messing around and throwing stuff everywhere, I was like, “I can do that!”. That’s really where it started for me.


Robby: For me, it was when I sat down behind my first drum kit. My crappy drum kit.  (laughter)


MaM: Well, you gotta start somewhere!


Justin: My mom had this little acoustic guitar, and I asked her if I could start playing it, but she didn’t think I would stick with it. I started tuning it and messing with it, though, and she would get mad at me.


NickFor me, I loved music from the get-go. My dad would throw on Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” album in the car, and he had a good bit of Whitney Houston, too, but for me, the way loud music resonates with you. Your whole body shakes with the music, and I always wanted to be a part of that. When I was 14 years old, my mom bought me my first guitar, and it was a no-name replica type of guitar. Some knock-off 6-string thing. I’m mainly a guitar player, though.



Credit: Gary Governale


MaM: So bass is new for you?


Nick: Well, yes and no. I can pick up a bass in a pinch. I listen to a lot of music that has intricate arrangements, and I like to think of a song in its totality—just everything in it. Everything has its part to play in making a cohesive sound. One band, one sound.


MaM: So, who are your biggest influences as far as the sound of this band?


Justin: I like Hum and Dinosaur Jr. Sometimes it’s upbeat, and sometimes it has that noisiness to it. They don’t try to make their music all posh or anything.


Nick: As far as influences for my bass playing, I like a lot of heavier bands. Dan Briggs from Between the Buried and Me is one of the best bass players on the planet, in my opinion, but he has a way of carrying the low end that is different from just sitting and playing your scales up and down, and I try to emulate that with what we do, but in a more simplified way because I’m not nearly as shreddy as that guy.


Robby: As for me, I have a hard time finding a band to compare us to. I would say that I take my influence from Rise Against mixed with a little Metallica.



Credit: Gary Governale


MaM: Where was the EP recorded?


Nick: My house


MaM: So, what was the creative process like for writing and recording it? How did you get the songs that you decided to put on the EP?


Nick: We had those songs ready already, so we spent a week tracking drums, half a week tracking the rest of it, and another week mixing it down. We got it done quickly.



Credit: Gary Governale


MaM: What is your mission statement as a band? What do you hope to accomplish in the future?


JustinWe want to stay creative, and we hope that people like what we are putting out.


Nick: At the end of the day, we just want to rock people’s faces off and have a blast doing it.

 

As Jean Claude Seagal continues to forge ahead in getting their music out to the masses, they no doubt will find those who resonate with their unpolished and bona fide sound. To hear their new EP, “State Champs,” just hit one of the links below, and then be sure to follow them on social media to stay up-to-date on all upcoming shows.

 

Facebook: Facebook

 

Instagram: Jean Claude Seagal (@jeanclaude_seagal) • Instagram photos and videos

 

Apple Music: Jean Claude Segal, Apple Music

 

Spotify: State Champs EP by Jean Claude Seagal | Spotify

 


*Cover photo by Gary Governale



Questions or comments? Reach out to mixedalternativemag@gmail.com.

 

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