New band rocks ‘sui swag’

The members of Seeking Sui are not looking to change the face of rock. They aren’t looking to revolutionize hip-hop. They aren’t the new gods of jazz or dons of swing.

They don’t want to be defined.

Seeking Sui is a three-man band just looking to play music in front of fans or friends who appreciate their art as much as they do.

“We’re trying to present something with a fresh spin on it,” said guitarist and lead vocalist Jon Gary, from Miami. “We want it to be something people can familiarize with and enjoy, but still be introduced to something new and fresh.”

The band’s name “Sui” comes from the Latin “sui generis,” meaning “of its own kind” or “unique in its characteristics.”

Seeking Sui is a local project, with all three band members coming from somewhere in Florida. Drummer Drew Salzman is a senior at Florida State University, while bassist Darryl McGowan is a Florida A&M University junior. Their local connection leads to an on-stage chemistry and a friendship that makes the band seem more like siblings than three random musicians joining together.

“People do need to see what we’re doing because…it’s really good,” McGowan said, his bandmates snickering behind him. “In a nutshell if you take a look and listen to all the bands you see on the TV and on the radio, we’re on par.”

Seeking Sui has taken its “Sui Swag” to various venues, playing shows outside Tallahassee in places like Valdosta and Jacksonville. The live shows give the band a chance to interact with its fans. Fan interaction is one of Seeking Sui’s favorite aspects of the show.

“We’re looking for dedicated fans,” Clary said. “We’re looking for a family. We’re looking for friends. We want to grow together and expand all of our musical genres.”

With success comes the fear of “going mainstream” in the band world, usually the kiss of death for a band’s diehard fans. Avoiding the sellout nature of many successful bands is a task the down-to-Earth group is dedicated to seeing through.

“It’s a really thin line,” Salzman said. “Between being a musician’s band and being a general public’s band. Because general public likes really simplified, like, overdone cliché music. Musicians like crazy stuff.”

The band’s next venue will be at Florida State University, before the Seminoles take on the Boston College Eagles during Parents’ Weekend. Seeking Sui will be performing starting at 9 a.m. on Langford Green.

Salzman jokingly said the process for getting the opportunity to play at Florida State was easy.

“To get the fans there, we arranged for there to be an FSU football game,” he said. “We called up FSU and we were like, ‘Hey we want you to play a football game.’ Then we arranged for it to be Parents Weekend.”

Jokes aside, Clary, McGowan and Salzman encourage people to come out and see their show, which happens to be free to the public.

“We put on a good live show,” Clary said. “People need to see it and see our passion.”


Where: Langford Green at Florida State University

When: Saturday Oct. 16, 9 a.m.