Long before The Strokes, The White Stripes or The Hives bands currently being hyped as the new triumvirate of torchbearers for the rock 'n' roll legacy were a glimmer in anyone's eye, vocalist Sky Sunlight Saxon was cranking out fuzz-blasted freak-beat psychedelia with his influential band The Seeds. Dubbed "America's own Rolling Stones" by Muddy Waters, The Seeds inspired legions of angst-ridden garage bands with their 1966 debut album.
Now with a new group of musicians led by Saxon, The Seeds have begun to sprout again, playing their original classics for a smattering of West Coast shows and an upcoming European tour. Saxon calls the sort-of reunion an act of God. "It's time for Flower Power to come back," he says. Saxon is entitled to use that late-'60s catch phrase; "Flower Power" was coined by The Seeds around 1967, though it quickly dissolved into a generic media and marketing slogan.
While Saxon says people have always asked him to perform the hits, his decision to return to regularly playing those songs had everything to do with the spirit of the times. "I just felt like the world needs this music right now," he says.
Indeed, Saxon's not the only one with that opinion. The Seeds' trippy garage ballad "Can't Seem to Make You Mine" has been covered by contemporary artists ranging from Billy Childish to Yo La Tengo to Garbage. And "Pushin' Too Hard," likely the band's best-known tune, is a timeless piece of raw pre-punk that appeals to neo-garage rockers with its simplicity and snarling attitude.
"There is a whole new generation of fans," raves Saxon, who's amazed at how familiar people are with The Seeds' music. "Maybe they heard the music in their mothers' wombs."