Electronic Duo Shares Unique Style

Musical group Dr. Seahorse taught Ramapo what the term electric percussion means at this week’s Tuesday Night Live. The duo combined drumbeats, fresh lyrics and electronic effects to entertain the audience at Friends Hall.

Before Dr. Seahorse, student opener Matt Goode took the stage to warm up the crowd. Goode sang and played the keyboard as he performed original songs like “The Hit,” “Gone” and “A Second of Love.”

After Goode, Dr. Seahorse stepped up to begin its high energy set. Ramapo students, like College Programming Board member Francesca Hoffer, came to the show to enjoy their techno style.

“I came because I love techno music. I like the beat. I’m big on house music,” Hoffer said.

Like Hoffer, freshman Alex Hotek was interested in the electronic beat and knows about electric percussion himself.

“I know a little about electric percussion. I’ve never used a drum machine. I’ve only used software drum machines. I’m very interested in electronic music production,” Hotek said.

Trevor Davis and Mark Suhonen, the members of Dr. Seahorse, have performed together for five years. Davis provides the vocals while Suhonen handles the percussion and electronic effects.

Dr. Seahorse performed original songs like “Red Carpet,” “Holding Nothing Back” and “Closer.” They also covered songs such as “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson and “That’s All” by Genesis.

Davis explained that writing their music begins with only guitar, and the electronic percussion is added later.

“It starts with acoustic guitar. I write the songs then go to Mark’s house and drop them off. Then he works on them forever, tweaking them. Then I get a text telling me to check my email and listen to the song,” Davis said.

As far as the actual lyrics go, Davis finds inspiration in anything emotional. When asked what inspires him he said:

“Extreme emotions,” Davis said when asked what inspires him. “Whether that’s a band that’s really angry, really tender, really anything, but as long as it’s balls to the wall emotional.”

In holding up the percussion aspect of the performance, Suhonen explained that sometimes it gets confusing as to which drum to hit or button to press because of the improvisational side of their performance.

“It’s never the same from night to night. I’ve never seen [Davis] do the exact same thing so sometimes I’m like, ‘Oh, he’s going to go play on that piano during this drum solo, cool.’ There’s a lot of improv, so sometimes we do get confused,” Suhonen said.

Aside from the music, movement is a big part of Dr. Seahorse’s performance. However, only some of it is planned.

“We have a few hits that we have coordinated. I’d say like 20 percent of the time we’re choreographed,” Davis said.

To elaborate, Suhonen explained, “We’ve never had a rehearsal. Everything we do together is just because we’ve been playing for five years. We pick up on each other. If you do it enough you just figure out what the other person’s body is going to do and start moving accordingly.”

To see more TNL performances, catch comedian Todd Womack next week for the last performance of the semester.