DJ ADAMNT

DJ Adamnt: Facebook / Twitter / InstagramBandcamp / SoundCloud

1. What’s your current set up?  Technic 1200 MKII, Vestax PMC 06, Roland SP 404sx, Roland SP 303 and Ableton 8. The process is pretty basic. I sample records into the 404sx from my mixer. Create the beat all on the 404sx, I chained the 404sx to the SP 303 so all the sounds come out from the 404sx through the 303 and into Ableton.

2. How long have you had it?  I’ve had this current setup since 2014. The SP 404SX was the latest addition to my current setup. Prior to that, I only used the SP 303.

3. What piece do you use most often?  The Technic 1200 turntable

4. What’s the next thing you have your eye on?  MPC 1000

5. Are you working on any new projects?  Skeletons LP with FVCK FVCE for HELLNOTE and a beat tape with ARTOO for IHAA Records.

Many thanks to J. Smith (of NBC SoundDiego and Parker & The Numberman) for this interview.

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BAKKUDA

Bakkuda: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / SoundCloud / Website

1. Tell me about the cool stuff in your photos: Best parts? Worst parts?  My computer is awesome! I recently acquired it and it’s a beast. I also love my speakers because they handle my habit of cranking the bass up too much really well. The worst part of my studio is probably my headphones. I need to get some legit headphones that don’t bleed sound as much when I’m recording vocals. But they’re not too bad, they get the job done for now. If something isn’t working or sounds like crap I don’t keep it around too long. I’ve gotten midi controllers, tried them out, returned them. It’s all part of the process to finding the perfect gear that works for you. Producing on my computer, using Ableton, allows me to get the electronic pop sound I want but it also gives me tons of room to play. Some songs are super pop, some are more weird and use unconventional sounds and beats. I just love experimenting!

2. What is your favorite piece of gear and why?  I’d have to say my new Neumann TLM49 mic and Universal Audio Solo-610 preamp. I don’t think I can pick just one of them because they kind of go together. They give my vocals a nice warm, rounded feel and I can get that super upfront vocal sound that you hear a lot in pop songs nowadays. I struggled with finding a good mic/pre for a while, and it’s a really important component to my studio because I’m going for a very vocal driven sound, so they needed to sound really good.

3. What song of yours do you feel is the best portrayal of your particular sound/style?  I’m really proud of my song “Skills.” To me, it’s the perfect blend of dark pop and ethereal electronica. It’s bold and different but still catchy. It’s a very sexy and empowering song and one of my favorites to perform. But my sound is seriously all over the place so it’s hard to pinpoint just one song that represents Bakkuda overall.

4. What was the first piece of gear you bought and what are your thoughts on it now?  I don’t know if this was my very first piece of gear but I got an Akai APC40 when I decided to do solo electronic music and performed it all myself. It works directly with Ableton and allows you to trigger loops and manipulate sounds. It’s very easy to use and I would recommend it to anyone, but especially those new to electronic music.

5. What do you have coming up that we should know about?  I just put out a new single “Beloved” which you can check out on soundcloud.com/bakkuda. I’ll be putting out the full EP on June 1st and I’m super excited! It has a little of everything, sweet ethereal ballads, dancey pop tracks, indie RnB sounds. I can’t wait. I also have a show April 22nd at MaryJane’s in the Hard Rock Hotel SD with my good friend Natalie Emmons!

RUTGER ROSENBORG / THE LULLS

The Lulls: Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Website

1. Tell me about your current rig: I never really use the Tube Screamer, and the EQ is just to prevent feedback when I play my hollowbody. I only use the Tremster on one Lulls song, and everything else is to create dynamics. My sound is based predominantly on stereo routing my Jazzmaster to my Holland Mini Jimi (a boutique tube amp that gives me just the slightest bit of unpredictability) and my Jazz Chorus (a solid state that recreates the same lush, clean tone every time). Tone above all. I hate mids so I cut them out completely (our ears hear enough of them as it is). The cleaner the guitar to amp sound, the more control I have over it with my playing and with my pedalboard. I start with a blank canvas and then add color only where it’s needed. I’m not just pouring out all of the paints at once; I’m mixing the right colors in the right proportions to create the scene I want.

For moments of breath, I use my digital reverb, which is always on the modulate setting. Adding a medium delay to the modulated reverb gives it a little extra kick in the ass. Using a phaser too much can get cheesy, but I like the effect of having it on the fastest speed to accentuate certain beats and make it seem like there’s another instrument coming in. The POG is to make up for the deficit of another guitar since the Lulls are just a trio. If we count my entire career in music, I guess you could say it took me 18 years to build this pedalboard the way it is now, but it has always been a fluid and reflexive process. Sometimes I think I want a pedal to create a certain sound, but then I realize it does this other thing too, so I go with that. The pedal fucks with me as much as I fuck with it. In general, my philosophy is: “The fewer the knobs, the better.” But what can I say? I’m a Swedish minimalist.

2. What’s your favorite piece of gear?  I don’t have favorites, but if I had to pick based on sentimental value, I would say my guitar. That Jazzmaster (an original, by the way) was given to me by my dad, who got it for free when he was 18 and impulsively decided to strip off all of the white paint (hallelujah).

3. What song of yours do you feel is the best portrayal of your sound/style?  My goal with my sound is defamiliarization (a term used by Russian formalists in the early 20th century to describe the way poetry works). I’m not a big fan of the whole dirty rock and roll guitar sound. At one point, it was innovative, but now it’s too recognizable. I want people to be surprised. I want them to go, “What the fuck instrument is that and how the fuck is only one instrument making all of that sound?” On a more specific level, I think a lot about the sound of water and how I can make my guitar sound like different forms of water. As such, I would say that either “Tyrant” or “Calafia” [listen to the song here], off of our upcoming album, demonstrate those sorts of things most evidently.

4. Who do you look up to the most sound/gear-wise and why?  I admire a lot about Daniel Rossen’s [Grizzly Bear] style and tone. Subtlety and intricacy. And the tones he gets on record. Good god. I tend to like very clean, pure sounds à la Ray Phiri, David Longstreth, and jazz guitarists like Kurt Rosenwinkel. Maybe I just like guitarists that have similar last names to mine.

5. What do you have coming up?  We’re waiting on some mixes to come back and brainstorming music videos, single releases, and eventually our album release. My pedalboard is featured in many permutations on this upcoming album, I’ll tell you that.

Be sure to catch The Lulls on Thursday, April 21, at Soda Bar with Haunted Summer, Garden Echo, and Annie Girl and the Flight. Tickets are available here.

LANDO MARTINEZ / HOCUS

Hocus: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / SoundCloud

1. Tell me about the gear in your photos:  First up is my Bonser Instruments 2015 Tele Custom. This was made by local musician Jon Bonser (The New Kinetics/Soft Lions/The Hiroshima Mockingbirds). I brought him some Guitar World magazines and asked him if he could make me one of these, but better, cooler and left handed. Three months later, I received the best guitar in the planet. It has some high gains and low sounding rumbles. And it stays in tune!!!! Well-balanced for both live performances and studio recordings

Next is my 2001 SG Custom. This guitar is balls out tough and has that Gibson crunch! It’s been a great guitar in the field but due to many injuries and shows, is now my number two guitar that only needs to come out when needed.

Next is the “Hocus” sound. A lot of my peers in the music scene sneer and chuckle due to the fact that my amp that I use and can rely on is my solid state Crate GFX 212. It produces that great high gain and very well-balanced clean sounds. Coupled with my Bonser and Gibson, this amplifier screams and sings in perfect harmony.

Also here is my “pedal board”. 1 = gain . 2= gut punch gain. 3 = reverb
Even though I have three switches, I still miss them on occasion while performing.

2. What song of yours do you feel is the best portrayal of your particular sound/style?  “Better Than You.” It’s a great rocker that just wants to get you jumping around and feeling snooty at the same time. Plus the riff and chorus is really contagious. It’s a great audience participation song.

3. If money was no object, what’s the one “holy grail” piece of gear you’d buy?  Out of necessity and budget, I’ve always favored Crate solid state amplifiers as they have have a great tone and awesome sound. So if I had the money, I’ve always read that Orange Amplifiers are the “bees knees.” I would really like to try them out.

4. What is your current favorite piece of equipment?  My current favorite is my Bonser Instruments Custom Tele. Jon Bonser is not only a great musician, but a great human being and fantastic craftsman. I would see his posts about building amplifiers and it really intrigued me that wow, this guy is making amplifiers from scratch. I wonder if he could make me a guitar? So I asked him it was possible and he jumped on the project immediately.

I brought some magazines to his house and discussed what I wanted he was extremely patient, and really wanted this guitar to be “my” guitar. At times, I was really impatient but this was a handmade guitar made for me and about three months later, I had it. It looks and feels great. Not only that, this guitar was the very first guitar that sports the “Bonser Instruments” logo. I am very proud of it and him. Every now and then I send him drunk texts on how this guitar is my dream guitar and I thank him profusely. Hopefully we will get a sister made by the end of the year. Here is a link of my baby being made. For all you guitar players…check him out! His gear is AWESOME.

5. What do you have coming up that we should know about? We have two shows coming up:

April 15 at The Ken Club, San Diego, CA
May 6 at The Pier View Pub, Oceanside, CA

We have just completed recording and mixing a 9-song EP. It was recorded at Raunchola Productions in Spring Valley and will be mastered by Tad Doyle.
We hope have it out by May 2016.

IAN PARKER / ONE I RED

One I Red: Facebook / Twitter / InstagramSoundCloud

1. Tell me about your current rig: Why do you use what you’re using? Anything special?  From the first time I saw John Bonham playing Ludwig Vistalite drums, I knew that I had to own a kit like that someday. One of my favorite drummers of all time, Chris Robyn from Far, played a multi-colored Vistalite kit, which only furthered my interest. So when the opportunity to purchase a vintage clear Vistalite kit from the early ’70s presented itself, I jumped on it. I loved the look of the acrylic shells and also the huge sound that the drums produced. One particularly rare thing about my kit is that all the drums have matching badges and serial numbers (except the snare, which I purchased separately). The drums have all the original hardware, including the internal dampeners which I currently only use during recording sessions.

2. What song of yours do you feel is the best portrayal of your particular sound/style? Out of our currently released material, I would say that the song “We Want It” is a good portrayal of our music and my drumming style. We have a video for this song that’s a compilation of our live shows.


3. If money was no object, what’s the #1 kit you’d buy?  If money wasn’t an issue, I would love to own the Ludwig Vistalite Zep kit (re-issue) in amber.

4. What was the first piece of gear you bought and what are your thoughts on it now? The first piece of musical equipment that was purchased for me was, ironically, a guitar that was a birthday present from my parents. I tried to learn how to play it but it just didn’t hold my interest. That’s when I realized that I was a drummer, not a guitarist.

5. What do you have coming up?  We are currently working on finishing our second full length album titled Sea of Stones, which will be released within the next few months. We’re excited to be playing a show at The Merrow this coming Tuesday (April 12th) presented by 91X and Halloran with Dark Water Rebellion and the Heather Nation Band. We’ll be playing a lot of new songs from our upcoming album as we prepare for our CD release.

JUSTIN COTA / GLOOMSDAY

Gloomsday: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bandcamp

1. Tell me about the stuff in your photos (any gear that caught you by surprise? Favorite pieces?):  Well, strictly regarding what I use in Gloomsday, I play a Fender Baritone Custom. That would also be the piece that surprised me the most of all gear I’ve purchased – its versatility and distinctive sound.

As for amplification, being in a two-piece, I have been religiously using a first generation Bogner Uberschall for low end. The funny thing about this is that after years of it being my workhorse amp throughout various musical projects, it only works upside down. I’ve taken it into the plant in LA before but since it’s over 10 years old, they have been uninterested in touching it. All it really does is make a loud growling hum until you rotate it upside down and then perfect. It has head room for days. Fills the room with great low end with a solid compressed drive. I’ve even built an enclosure for it to function without the feet up and teetering on a handle. The Uberschall is going through a 2×12 cab I built with Celestion T-75s and a Genz Benz 4×10 cab.

With the low end covered, I A/B/Y with a Fender Hot Rod Deville 4×10 combo. I dig the warmer, air-ish tone it brings. Almost a fuzzy sound without committing to a constant fuzz sound. That’s what I use for a mid/high sound for the baritone. I do whatever I can to make my sound two-dimensional.

As for my pedal board, I use more through the Fender than the Bogner.  A delay, a looper, a wah, a pitch shifter, and the T-Rex Octavious – a rad fuzz/octave pedal with a gain boost built in. For the Bogner, only an octave, a boost, and a loop pedal to loop rhythms to lead and solo to while Lori (drummer) plays along.

2. What song of yours do you feel is the best portrayal of your sound/style?  “Vacation Gloom” off of our new album, Worst Coast Scenario. It starts with just the Fender, then with Bogner without octave, then Octavious, then the octave as the whole song kicks in. It repeats that dynamic again later. There are parts where I use every pedal on my board with exceptions to the loopers. Those are only used for live sets.

3. If money was no object, what’s the one “holy grail” piece of gear you’d buy?  Honestly, I’m not particularly fond of ownership of a vintage whatever that was played by whoever. That’s a souvenir. And not worth the money it would cost me  to acquire it. That aspect of gear gathering aside, I would rather work with Ben Verellen, creator of Verellen amps, to build a one-of-a-kind monster. I love his work. That’s my idea of the holy grail. Making one up.

4. Who is the musician you admire most gear/sound-wise? Hands-down: Jon Bonser. Solid drummer. I’ve seen and heard his amplifiers – they are stunning works of sonic art. A local I’m sure most have seen live. I am hoping to unload a combo amp to make room for one of his. Currently, I am working with the two members of Badabing – a new project that requires the use of what Bonser can build. But that’s another story.

5. What’s next for you?  Gloomsday will be playing April 9th at Til-Two with the Schizophonics and the exciting debut of The Hiroshima Mockingbirds – Jon Bonser and Brian Reilly’s (of The New Kinetics) new jam. [INFO] A couple weeks later, April 22nd at Soda Bar, we will be headlining for our friends from LA, Pleasure Burn, and local darlings Subtropics. Also, we will be releasing our new album, Worst Coast Scenario, on vinyl this summer on Tower Bar Records. [Listen/buy the album here]

JORDAN KRIMSTON / BIG BAD BUFFALO

Big Bad Buffalo: Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Bandcamp

1. Tell me about your current rig: Weirdest part? Work in progress?  All of my Big Bad Buffalo gear is very “rock” oriented. It all kind of caters towards a fat, crunchy, hardly-restrained sound. I like the ability to slightly alter my tone song-to-song, which is the main reason I have pedals. I think the weirdest pedal I have is my Philosopher’s Tone pedal which is a distortion/sustain pedal, but I use it as a treble-boost pedal. I also have a Hardwire Loop/Delay pedal that I use to get a Tera Melos-esque stutter effect. My rig is definitely still a work in progress as BBB’s sound has changed and doesn’t require some of the effects I used to use.

2. What song of yours (or your band’s) do you feel is the best portrayal of your particular sound/style?  Ooh, tough call. If I had to pick, it would probably be between a couple songs of the new, currently unrecorded, album. Sorry! Off of American (our first album), I would say “Sharon is Karen.”

3. If money was no object, what’s the holy grail piece of gear you’d buy? I would definitely get a Satellite amp. Hands down.

4. Who is the musician you admire the most sound/gear-wise? Tough call for sure … I think in terms of distorted tones, I would go with John Reis (Hot Snakes) or Rivers Cuomo (Weezer), but in terms of clean tones I would go with Andrew Aged (Inc.) or David Pajo (Slint). Kinda split that answer four ways, haha.

5. What do you have coming up that we should know about?  Lately, Big Bad Buffalo has been pretty inactive in a public sense. We’ve mainly been working on demoing songs for our next record which is due to come out in the summer. Once the record comes out, we’ll start playing a lot more again.

Big Bad Buffalo are playing an all-ages show hosted by 91X’s Lou Niles on Saturday, April 9th at The Studio in Encinitas (1057 s. Coast Hwy), with Indio Romero and Julian Rey Saenz. Get info here. Be sure to listen and download their debut album, “American,” here.

EDWARD LOZA / THE HEART BEAT TRAIL

The Heart Beat Trail: Facebook / Bandcamp

Uniform Victor: Facebook / Twitter / Bandcamp

1. Tell me about the gear in the pictures. What is your go-to live rig and why?  The guitar I reach for the most is my 1999 Fender Stratocaster. It’s one the most comfortable and versatile guitars I’ve ever played. This is also the guitar I play the majority of the time in The Heart Beat Trail. For a while, I was modifying the electronics and hardware for fun but the current setup feels and sounds like home. I chose the gold pickguard as a nod to Ken of L’arc en Ciel. Initially, I just thought it looked cool but there ended up being a pleasant side effect. Coincidentally, the pickguard seems to cancel out some of the 60Hz hum from the pickups without screwing up the tone and it even made the guitar a little louder.

My live amp of the moment is a Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister 18 through a Fender Bassbreaker BB-212 cab. The amp is fun because I can push it hard and get a lot of reaction from the tubes. At only 18 watts, the amp sometimes struggles to rise above the band. Because of this I had to get a little more creative with the EQ on my amp and pedals than I would if I just had enough watts to be really loud. This lets me sit in the mix better and not be overly loud for the people in the front row.

On my pedalboard, I have one of my favorite flangers, the MXR M117R. I love sneaking flanger into songs. It can also be used to fake a chorus pedal and channel some lovely John McGeoch sounds. There’s also a Fulltone Deja Vibe on the board. This one is used heavily on the live version of “Cherry Blossoms” to get the syrupy wobble.

The red guitar is a Squier Jagmaster I got from my friend Paul Ryu in Mittens. It’s kind of like a wacky Strat with humbuckers and a short scale Jaguar neck. It’s pretty fun to play so I am grateful that Paul was willing to part with it. The Flying V is my newest guitar. It needs a little tweaking before I trust it live. Some guitars take a little more time to bond with but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. A strange guitar can tell you weird and wonderful things if you take the time.

In the band Peacock, I play lap steel. It is a bit tricky for me to play as it forces me to approach my parts differently than I would on guitar. The tuning among other things puts me out of my comfort zone, which is a bit of fun. It’s perfect for the spooky ghost notes and chords.

When recording, I almost always use my ‘70s silverface Fender Champ or the Groove Tubes Soul-O 45. That Champ is a magical amp that just sounds incredible no matter how I set it. My Vox VBM1 is the amp I used on “Man of Tin” by Uniform Victor to get that ripping, amp-on-fire sound. Amongst the many pedals by the Vox are two of my favorites: the Zvex Fuzz Factory and the ProCo Rat. As much as I LOVE the Fuzz Factory, I find the Zvex Mastotron a little more controllable live. That’s why one is on my board and the other is in the studio. I never build a pedalboard without a Rat. It goes from overdrive to almost fuzz and I love the span of the tone knob. If I could only have one dirty pedal it would be the Rat!

2. Which song is a good example of your style?  The Heart Beat Trail song “Falling” is a good one. On the solos, I tried to make it sound like when you’re dying to tell somebody you’re falling for them but you can’t quite say it yet. The solos feel like the release when you get the courage to say you’re falling in love. I chose a thick distorted sound because I felt the first solo needed to be like when you’re afraid to say you love somebody so you just keep telling yourself. Then the second solo is like when you finally exclaim “I LOVE YOU!” and kiss like it’s the end of the world.

3. What is your “money is no object” piece of dream gear?  Building a custom guitar is something I dream of. I don’t care if it’s not cool to admit but I want a signature guitar; call me up, Fender. Getting the neck just right would be the most exciting part of the build. A compound radius fretboard, jumbo frets, large headstock and an asymmetrical rear profile sound like a good start. For the body, I’d like to think I could come up with something as unique as the Music Man St. Vincent guitar but it would probably end up being a Strat in disguise. Even though I have two sunburst Strats, I kind of hate that color. I would have to go with a more interesting color like cerise.

4. Who is the musician you admire the most sound/gear-wise?  I am torn between Annie Clark of St. Vincent and Nels Cline of Wilco. They both push the boundaries of expected guitar sounds while also being masters of the more familiar sounds. I also love the way they both have elements of exploding discordant noise mixed with heartbreaking beauty in their styles. What I have learned from them is to play with the beauty and danger of a volcano as long as is serves the song.

5. What shows, news or projects do you have coming up?  The Heart Beat Trail will play The Merrow on April 7th with Daring Greatly and The Peripherals. We are currently writing/recording a follow up to So Long, Carcosa. Peacock is a new band with Berkeley Kent Austin, Lia Dearborn, Evan Bethany and I. We are in the middle of recording with Paul Durso at Zos Kia Studios and should have something available very soon.

DANNY KING / THE PALACE BALLROOM

The Palace Ballroom: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bandcamp

1. Tell me about your stuff: I’m currently playing a 2014 Maple Classic Ludwig Black Oyster finish drum kit. Sizes are 24×16 kick, 14×9 tom, 18×16 floor. I use a 14×7 custom maple Vessel snare drum (awesome local company). I use Zildjian and Paiste cymbals. DW hardware and Tama Iron cobra pedals. Vater 1A sticks. Roland electronics. My favorite part, if I had to pick, is the 24-inch Giant beat Paiste ride I use. The cymbal is dark and washy. I can beat the hell out of it and also has decent ping on the bell but not too much. I don’t like my rides to be super pingy. I need to be able to crash on them.

2. Got any specific faves?  My favorite piece is a beechwood 1980’s Phonic series drumset that I bought off drummer Kellii Scott of Failure. He used the kit on their iconic Fantastic Planet album.

3. What song of yours do you feel is the best portrayal of the particular sound/style you’re after?  I think “Descender” is a a great representation of our sound/style. Very brooding and yet catchy. I like the way it sounds kind of like a Cure or Depeche Mode song. I love the way rhythmically it just chugs along in 4/4 with the hi-hats closed tight.

4. If money was no object, what’s the “holy grail” piece of gear you’d buy?  A 1970s Bonham-style Ludwig clear Vistalite kit: 26×14 kick, 14×10 rack tom, 16×16 floor, 18×16 floor and a 14×6.5 Supraphonic snare. Also have to have a Black Beauty snare just for good measure.

5. Who is the musician you admire the most sound/gear-wise and why?  I really like Kellii Scott from Failure’s sound. He has been a huge inspiration to me growing up. He plays a Gretsch kit right now and just makes that thing sing. He has great dynamics and knows how to get the best tone out of his drums. I also like Marc Trombino’s (Drive Like Jehu) sound. I love his frenetic drumming and use of odd time signatures. Not to mention the drum sound he got while engineering Inch’s album This Will Fall on Dead Ears. That has to be one of my favorite drum sounds on a record ever.

Be sure to see The Palace Ballroom, The Mondegreens and Grizzly Business at Soda Bar on Saturday, April 9th. For more info, go here.

ANDREA MATTHIES / THE GIFT MACHINE

The Gift Machine: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bandcamp

1. Tell me about your rig:  My current rig is a vintage 5-piece Pearl drum kit that I am “borrowing” from my brother in law, Darrin. It’s a funky old kit and I love the Ringo vibe it carries.

2. What is your favorite piece of gear?  My favorite piece of gear is the paper guitar, which is basically just a small acoustic guitar (in my case, I use a First Act guitar for kids) with a piece of paper woven through the strings. The paper mutes the strings in a way that you don’t hear notes, but you hear the sound of a snare hit. This is a Johnny Cash trick that I cannot take credit for. I love the travel-ability of this piece of gear. I used to play nothing but a paper guitar and a bass drum when I started playing with The Gift Machine.

3. What song of yours (or your band’s) do you feel is the best portrayal of your particular sound/style?  My current favorite song to play is “Pillar of Salt,” as it is one of the more rocking-out songs of our set list. When I first joined during the “Goodbye Goodluck” era, we were a bit quieter and more mellow. “Pillar of Salt” was one of the first songs where I was actually playing a whole kit and able to rock out.

4. What’s the one “holy grail” piece of equipment you’d buy if money was no object?  I am actually completely satisfied with my current drum set, however, some of it is somewhat jerry-rigged together. I suppose if I could replace the improvised sections of the kit, such as the legs for the bass drum, and maybe a new metal fork that the toms are mounted on .. that would be great!

5. What do you have coming up that we should know about?  We are currently working on recording a new album and have a show coming up on Friday, April 22 with Dani Bell & the Tarantist and Madly at the Pour House in Oceanside, as well as two shows at The Merrow: April 3 with East Cameron Folkcore and Ash Williams, and May 18 with Low Hums from Seattle.