Sealion's Tour Vehicle Keeps The Dream Alive.
Behind every great band is a great van.
And when a band has racked up enough miles on the road, something begins to happen to that van. These former church vans, daycare buses and plumber's work vehicles start being thought of by the band as another member of the team. These vehicles start being brought up in casual conversation — much in the same way that a band might talk about their merch guy or an auxiliary percussionist.
To some degree, this helps explain how so many band vans end up in music videos, on album covers, on T-shirts and on other merch items. Hey, we get it: It's hard to spend so many hours with bandmates (both human and machine) without a few things getting broken, a few good fights taking place and lots of great memories being made.
With this in mind, we present our newest recurring column — The Bandwagon — in the hope that, by exploring these stories, we might get to know some bands from both North Texas and beyond on a more personal level.
For our first installment of the series, we spoke with Hunter Moehring, Alex Poulos and Paul Hernandez of Dallas surf-punk outfit Sealion, who were all too pleased to speak with us about their pal Siouxsie.
Band Name: Sealion.
Van Name: Siouxsie the Vanshee.
Year, Make and Model: 1998 Ford E-150 Econoline.
Where did your van come from? How did you acquire it?
Hunter (vocals, guitars): Craigslist. [Guitarist] Cole [Denton] bought it in Fort Worth.
What makes your van special? What are its best and worst features?
Alex (drums): The smell is pretty special.
Hunter: The smell is very special. No, she's home. She's got all sorts of accouterments. She's got a dream-catcher, a hula dancer, and tons of stickers inside. She's got Kenneth –she's Kenneth's home. [Editor's note: Kenneth is a plastic dinosaur we found sitting on the van's dashboard. Sealion has been using a drawing of the dinosaur on some of their newer merch, and they say they plan on naming their upcoming album after him as well.] The side door doesn't open. That's the worst. But it's actually kind of cool because, that way, nobody can break into the side door — not even us.
Paul (bass): Or get out. It's like the Thunderdome.
Hunter: No one can get in or out of the side door.
Who usually does the driving?
Hunter: Cole does most of the driving. He's definitely the designated drunk driver.
Do you have any good breakdown stories?
Hunter: None yet. Knock on wood.
What are your best memories from being in the van?
Alex: Watching The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly in Nashville because we had nothing better to do than kill six hours of time in the van and get really baked.
Paul: Or watching The Sandlot in traffic. Getting tattoos of Siouxsie in St. Louis was the best.
Hunter: Getting tattoos of the van was probably the best. We got them at Tower Classic from Lauren Busiere. Or when we were staying in Houston, Cole fell asleep in the van with the windows down. The next day, he woke up with a pair of women's underwear on him. We have no idea how they ended up there — or whose they were.
What are the best modifications you've made to the van, decorative or otherwise?
Hunter: Kenneth, the stickers and the dream-catcher, for sure. The dream-catcher is the most important because it protects our nightmares.
Alex: It's definitely done the most work so far.
Hunter: We used to have two. We lost one on the first tour.
Paul: Yeah, we lost my baby cub.
Anything else we you'd like to tell us about your van?
Hunter: If anybody wants to replace the shocks, that would be awesome.
Sealion performs Wednesday, March 27 at Lola's Saloon.